American children are at tremendous risk of being killed by a gun—and are nine times more likely to be killed by one than are kids in other developed nations. A large part of this risk comes from unsecured firearms in the home, and unless the adults responsible are held accountable, this won’t change.
“Studies show that while most parents and grandparents and friends believe their weapons are safely hidden, children as young as 3 know where to find them and how to use them. We can’t make our children stupider,” writes Slate‘s Dahlia Lithwick. “But we can encourage parents to make sure their guns are secured. Cruel as it may sound to prosecute a parent dealing with the fallout from an accidental shooting, holding adults accountable for failing to lock up their weapons would at the very least create an incentive for them to be less careless.”