August 1, 2011
NSSF Letter to St. Louis Post-Dispatch
To the Editor:
No one blames “our nation as a whole” for the tragic accidents that claim the lives of children, and adults, involving automobiles, swimming pools, poisonings, suffocations and falls, all of which rank far higher than firearms as causes (“Collateral Damage,” July 25”). In fact, less than 1 percent of fatal accidents in the home are the result of firearms, according to the National Safety Council.
Let’s not demonize firearms or lawful firearms owners in the search for answers to the unfortunate accidental deaths of three city-area children. Let’s instead remind the public that such accidents are rare and can be prevented by taking steps to ensure that guns cannot be accessed by children or other unauthorized persons. Place unloaded guns in locked storage. Store ammunition in a locked location separate from firearms. If a gun is kept in the home for protection, make sure only authorized persons can access it. Quick-access lock boxes are suitable for this.
Through its Project ChildSafe program, the firearms industry is providing the St. Louis Police Department with gun lock safety kits and firearm safety educational materials for free distribution to residents. Other firearm safety resources can be found at www.nssf.org/safety. Firearms-related accidental fatalities are at all-time lows. Let’s work to keep them there.
(The writer is president and CEO of the National Shooting Sports Foundation, the trade association for the firearms and ammunition industry.)