I Will Ask

Because Asking Saves Kids!



Is There A Gun In The Home Where Your Child Visits?

If you find that there is a gun in the home where your child will visit…

  • Ask if the gun is unloaded

  • Ask if the gun is stored in a locked place

  • Ask if the ammunition is stored seperately

If you are not sure that your child will be safe, invite the children to play at your house!

The Facts About Guns and Children!

1 out of 3 homes with children have guns, many left unlocked or loaded.

Johnson R, Coyne-Beasley T, Runyan C. Firearm Ownership and Storage Practices, U.S. Households, 1992–2002: A Systematic Review. AJPM.2004; 27:2:173-182.

9 kids and teens are injured or killed in gun accidents every day.  

Daily average, most recent 5 years of data retrieved from CDC, NCIPC, WISQARS. [cited 2014 Mar 20].  http://www.cdc.gov/injury/wisqars/fatal.html

80% of unintentional firearm deaths of children under 15 occur in a home. 

NVDRS [online].[cited 2014 Apr 2] http://www.cdc.gov/violenceprevention/nvdrs/


Feel free to download any of these materials for distribution. They are all PDF Files.

Tips to Make Asking Easier

  • Know the facts about guns.

  • Present your concerns in a respectful way.

  • Do not argue about the right to own a gun.

  • Include questions about guns with other questions.

  • Explain that all children are naturally curious, so you can’t trust your own child around guns.

Responsible & Safe Gun Storage

For those who do keep a gun in the home, the following measures help protect children and teens from accidental firearm injury, death, or suicide attempts:

  • Keep the gun locked. Hide the keys.

  • Keep the gun unloaded.

  • Store the ammunition locked.

  • Store the ammunition in a separate place from the gun.

  • When handling or cleaning a gun, never leave it unattended, not even for a moment.

True Stories About Guns and Children

Seanne CarolineMy name is Seanne and I lived in Largo, Florida. I was a pretty ordinary seventh grader who loved swimming and boating. I also pitched for my Little League Team and had already celebrated my first hole-in-one in golf!  When my parents heard a siren in their neighborhood, they never even thought that it could be going to my friend’s house where I had been accidentally shot. My friend and I knew we were never supposed to even look at, let alone find the guns his dad kept in his closet – but we did. We were just playing around, and then, it happened! The gun was loaded and it did go off and the bullet went into my heart. That ambulance never even made it on time to the house. My friend screamed and screamed and I died in a pool of blood!

Matthew BellamyMy name is Mathew and I was eleven when the gun thing happened!  After I came home from school that day, I went over to my best friend’s house where my folks knew I would be spending the night.  Earlier in the week, my friend had been hunting with his Grandfather and when they returned, a gun came home with them.  Like my folks, my friend’s Mom isn’t a “gun person” so while she saw the pistol earlier, she had no idea it was real, let alone loaded and ready to fire!  They call that “unsecured”.  Of course my friend who loves his grandfather and the things they do together couldn’t wait to show me the gun.  It seems like he just picked it up and – pow!  It went off!  The one bullet that was accidentally left in the gun discharged, and hit me. . . . . .   It was an accident.  He didn’t mean to kill me. . . . but I died in the ambulance on the way to the hospital.

Shantrice HarrisMy seven-year-old cousin and I were sleeping at Grandma’s house. This was a big treat for us. Not only were we at Grandma’s, but also our favorite aunt lived with Grandma. When we were put to bed for the evening, Grandma went downstairs for some well-deserved rest and relaxation. She had no idea that  we would decide to leave the bedroom where we were supposed to be sleeping and go to Aunt Lakida’s bedroom. We began to jump on the bed. After we hopped up and down a few times, a .22 caliber handgun that had been wedged between the mattress and the headboard fell to the floor with a thud. My cousin picked up the gun, pointed it at me and pulled the trigger. That’s how police say my short life came to an end. I died in the trauma unit at MetroHealth Medical Center – killed by a single bullet that struck me above my eye and lodged into my brain.

My parents never knew that there was a gun at my Grandma’s house – they really wished they had asked.

Sonya BargeI was running just a little late from work to pick up my 3 year-old-son from his regular babysitter’s home outside St. Louis one June day in 1998. It was during those fateful minutes that the babysitter’s own 11-year-old child found a gun in a closet. My son Markie entered the room, startling the boy with the gun. The gun went off. He never meant to shoot Markie.

About six months before the tragedy, I can so vividly remember hearing a story on the evening news about a local mother who lost her son to an accidental shooting. Little did I know that one day the tragic news story would be about my son Markie, and that there may have been something I could have been doing all along to prevent it.

Today, I urge all parents to do everything they can to keep their children safe from guns and ask a simple question that can prevent accidental tragedies just like the one that has changed the rest of my life: “Is there a gun in the homes where my child plays?”

There’s no way to describe the anguish of losing a child and the effects of Markie’s death – not just on my family, but also on the family of the boy who shot my son. My hope is to prevent other families from experiencing the heartache we have gone through.