Should Parents Ask About Guns in Homes Where Their Kids Are Playing?


Should parents ask about guns in a home before their children play here? Asking the question “is almost like saying, 'Are you responsible enough to have my child there, and she's not going to get hurt?,' ” Tennessee mom Lee Ann Lewin tells The Tennessean. “I don't want it to sound like I don't trust you well enough or that I think if you have a gun it's not safe. Gun ownership does not bother me. It's the people who aren't responsible enough to make sure kids don't get ahold of them where I worry.” This month in New Jersey, a 4-year-old shot a 6-year-old playmate in the head with a .22-caliber rifle. A few days earlier in Tennessee, a 4-year-old boy picked up a handgun and pulled the trigger, killing Josephine Fanning, 48, the wife of a sheriff's deputy. Tennessee has the sixth-highest rate of accidental shooting deaths in the nation, says the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which collected data from 45 states and the District of Columbia. From 1999 through 2010, 427 people were killed in such incidents in Tennessee, and more than 8,300 were killed nationwide.

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