Accidental Gun Deaths

Written by Edgar Antillon

May 20, 2022

In 2021 there were at least 377 unintentional shootings by children. This resulted in 154 deaths and 242 injuries in the United States. 70% of unintentional shootings by children occur in the home.

The last week in April I appeared on several news stations in Colorado and New England, speaking about three children who died as a result of accidental gun shots. This was news not only because of the accidents, but they all happened in a short amount of time and gun deaths among kids are increasing across the nation.

Many will question why this is the story we chose lead off with. Many will claim that we’re only helping the anti-gun folks with their agenda. I argue that we have a responsibility to acknowledge these facts, and more importantly try to find a solution that does not involve the government. We must be at the table when the conversation of gun violence is going on.

Children are dying. That is why we should be at the table discussing solutions. Responsible gun owners also want to see gun deaths decrease to zero, especially among our children. For most of us that is reason enough to put politics aside and be a part of the solution. Unfortunately there are many on both sides that prefer to play the political game, and the death of a human is not enough.

Walk The Talk America, Hold My Guns, 2AO, GFE, etc have all challenged gun owners to do better when storing firearms. All have been met with accusations of being anti-gun and wanting the government to take our guns. But those slinging mud are too politically driven to understand how we can be better gun owners, and still not want government infringement.

Walk The Talk America has begun the necessary interaction between the mental health community and the firearms industry. They believe government is not the solution, and that leaders in mental health care and the gun industry can offer better solutions.

Hold My Guns started a nationwide network of voluntary gun storage for those that need a break from their guns. This is a much better solution than the failed ERPO (Red Flag) laws that exist in many states.

Why do I bring up mental health in a story about accidental gun deaths? They are proof that gun loving people can be a part of the conversation, and provide solutions without giving up any of our rights to the government.

Often the fear is that if we talk about it, we acknowledge that an issue exist and the anti-gun politicians will use that to create new anti-gun laws. The reality is, an issue does exist, and if we do not pick up the ball the politicians will gladly pickup the ball and run with it. By having this conversation with friends, family, the community, and leaders we control the narrative. So you do have a responsibility in this. Accidental gun deaths happen, and they are increasing among children. I would rather see pro-gun individuals at the forefront of this important discussion, than those who believe we are all heartless killers.

Responsible gun owners have proven that they understand the issue. Responsible gun owners want these accidents to end. We can’t say that anti-gun individuals don’t want to see an end to accidental gun deaths, because I genuinely believe we share that in common. They (anti-gunners) don’t understand this freedom as we do. And because we understand that freedom, we must accept the responsibilities that it comes with. It is disingenuous not to.

It is our responsibility to talk about how we can prevent unauthorized access to our guns to save lives, without government intervention or compromise our self-defense. We have a responsibility to listen to the 2A who have already proposed great solutions to these problems without the need of new laws. It is our responsibility to acknowledge a problem exist. It is our responsibility to be involved in finding solutions. It is our responsibility because we are better equipped to do it with greater success, and without government intervention.

I repeated myself a lot in writing this. Some of it has to do with the fact that I am not a professional journalist or writer. But mostly, I want to drive the point home. Two things happen if we do not accept a responsibility. No, we are not to fault. But if we don’t assume a role in being part of the solution; we continue to lose children to accidental gun deaths. We also continue to lose freedoms to politicians who assumed the role for us. If we assume the role that belongs to us we save lives and keep our freedoms. It’s that simple.

The natural follow up question to this challenge is “what can I do?” There is no magic formula, or secret to being involved. Hosting forums has been a great way to get the ball rolling in communities. Hosting a range day for people on the fence about guns is a strategy that has been successful in many cities across. Individual events may not solve the huge problem that exist, but many great ideas got their start at events like this.

I also encourage you to learn follow and study  2nd Amendment organizations like Walk The Talk America, Hold My guns, and Project Child Safe. There are also 2A leaders like Maj Toure, Rob Pincus, AAArgo Jay, Rhonda Mary, Dianna Muller, and the list goes on. We, at Guns For Everyone can be included in the mix. These organizations and individuals have challenged the dogma, and presented better approaches and solutions. These 2A folks, among others, have created a blueprint that you can learn from.

It must be said again, If you are not accepting the responsibility that comes with your freedom, someone who with bad intention will assume that responsibility and strip you of that freedom.  Freedom comes with responsibilities.

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