It was a compelling spot. But it never aired. ABC Broadcast Standards pulled it because the kid pointed his weapon right at the lens. Today's video games feature the point-of-view of gunman and criminals. And kids at home are still exposed to many unlocked guns in homes of well-meaning people. Nationally, about 1.7 million children live in homes with unlocked and loaded firearms. Gunshots are the third leading cause of death for children, claiming about 1,300 lives in 2017.
Our younger son, Mike, had a frightening experience at preschool age while in the home of dear friends. Their younger son showed Mike his father's handgun, which his dad used in his law enforcement job. The youngster climbed up and got into the gun safe on the closet shelf. It was chilling to hear his mother reveal the experience.
Last week, a national effort called ASK (Asking Saves Kids) Gun Safety Campaign encouraged diligent education to prevent accidental shootings. With the rise in gun violence, doctors are required to talk safety at annual physicals to parents who own guns. Many moms and dads are accompanying children on a first play date to find out if there's a gun in the house.
Medication comes in childproof containers right from the pharmacy. Vehicles with smart airbags know if the occupant is too small to be safe and they disarm themselves to protect children. Wouldn't it be great if a gun was so smart it knew to lock itself when picked up by a child or someone who's had too much to drink?
Is that asking too much from manufacturers who earn $13.5 billion a year making weapons?