A 5-year-old boy from Connersville found an unlocked gun in an unlocked case in July 2011. The results were devastating, with the boy’s 2-year-old brother dying from gunshot wounds.
“We’ve been fortunate,” said Lt. Matt Myers, spokesperson for the Columbus Police Department, with no similar tragedies to report.
But that doesn’t mean a gun accident couldn’t happen here, and the Columbus Police Department is taking proactive measures to reduce those chances.
“We want to do everything we can,” Myers said.
Toward that end, the CPD recently
began participating in Project ChildSafe, a nationwide program which promotes firearms safety. Local police received more than 500 gun locks, which will be distributed at community events along with pamphlets on firearms safety.
“One of the things we are trying to do is ... prevent tragedy from happening,” Myers said. “That’s why we’re trying to get involved in these type of programs, so that we can be a step ahead of bad things from happening.”
He said when the CPD’s supply runs out, it will get more.
“If you have five guns in their house, then you need five locks,” Myers said. “Don’t think your kids aren’t going to touch your guns.”
Indiana is one of 10 states in which gun-related deaths outnumbered traffic-related deaths in 2009, the most recent year for which state-level data is available, according to an anti-gun-violence policy center.
Statewide, 735 gun-related deaths — homicides, suicides and accidental deaths — were recorded in 2009. That’s 20 more than the 715 traffic-related deaths, according to the Violence Policy Center, a national tax-exempt educational organization working to stop gun deaths and injuries.
“If you take 20 minutes to come down here and get (locks) ... and you put these on your guns, it could save your child’s life or save somebody else’s life,” Myers said. “You don’t think about it until bad things happen or you read about it someplace else.”
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