Each year guns are connected to many deaths in this country. Often, a gun accident involves children who find a weapon in their home. Guns can be useful in the right situation, but as a community you need to work together to make everyone aware of the potential dangers of guns. Due to the fact that it does require a community to work together, most of us feel that it is unrealistic. However, it can be done. It is possible. If you are interested in trying to bring your entire community together, consider implementing these 5 ways to promote gun safety in your community. Talk to Your ChildrenOne of the best ways to teach children is to talk to them about the very real danger of firearms. Go to your police station, hospital, and firehouse and ask them to talk at your schools to explain how many people are injured by guns each year. Encourage children to realize that there are better ways to handle a bad situation. Give them power without weapons by telling them that no matter what type of issues they are dealing with, you can help them through it and then be there when they do come to you. If they do not feel comfortable enough to go to you or other parents, encourage them to talk to a policeman, a fireman, a teacher or some other authority figure about what is going on.
Encourage the Community to Work TogetherEveryone in your community has people that they care about. Talking to kids is a great start, but you also need to enlighten other parents in your community. Encourage local officials to meetings to discuss what you can do to make your neighborhood a better place to be. Not everyone will show up for, but there will be those that do. The people who do show up may discuss with the absent member s what they learned during the meeting. Word of mouth is a great way to spread gun safety knowledge and to get others interested. Encourage people at the meeting who own guns to keep their guns in a gun safe
? or somewhere hidden. After the meeting, have snacks and take the time to talk to the people that are in the room with you. Get to better know your neighbors. Set Good ExamplesKids are not the only ones who get upset and have to deal with tough situations. You express anger the same way that they do. Some adults tend to fight back with weapons and/or violence. Children see it and repeat it. You may see others fighting on the street and walk right on by, ignoring the violence. Your child will see your reaction and ignore it as well. Instead of walking past, call the law and tell them what is going on. Tell them if there are weapons present. Let your child see that you feel violence is not a good choice. You may talk to them about how the people fighting should have done things differently. Do the same when you are angry at another person. Instead of resorting to fists and weapons, walk away and cool off. Then come back later to discuss the situation. Learn Gun SafetyEncourage people within the community to take courses on how to handle the gun properly. Even children can learn how to handle a gun the right way. If they happen to find one inside of their home or a friends home, they will know not to touch or play with the firearm. If your child is older, teaching them to hold and fire a gun will encourage them to respect the power it has. Then talk to them about the reasons and situations that a gun may be necessary, but point out that most situations should be handled without it. Incorporate the Neighborhood WatchGet your neighbors together on controlling the bad situations within your neighborhood. Provide numbers and resources for them to use if they see something going on within their neighborhood. Host events within the neighborhood that will allow neighbors to get to know one another and encourage them to have each other’s back if they encounter a dangerous situation. It takes the entire community working together to prevent violence. It takes a community working together to teach gun safety. It may not be an easy thing to get started, but it will be well worth it. Even if only half of the people in your community join you in your fight to create a safer place to live.