Parents’ guns, children’s funerals – New York Daily News

Ben Wheeler, one of too many children killed.
AP Ben Wheeler, one of too many children killed.

My son Ben will be six years old forever. Nearly two years ago, Ben was one of the victims of the mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School, where he was killed by a gunman inside his classroom.

He was a bright, energetic, loving, spirited boy who rushed headlong through life and found joy in everyone and everything.

He and his older brother filled our house with the noise of at least four children. For the past almost two years, our house has been unnaturally quiet.

I was stunned to watch the news a little over a week ago of yet another senseless school shooting. These stories have become sadly routine, rarely holding the nation’s attention for more than a few minutes.

This time, three students were killed and another two were gravely wounded at a high school in Marysville, Washington. According to police, the .40-caliber handgun used by the shooter was purchased legally by one of the shooter’s relatives.

And that brings us to a gun safety conversation that we assiduously avoid but badly need to have.

In Marysville, Sandy Hook, Troutdale, Ore., Chardon, Oh., and in two-thirds of school shootings, the attacker’s gun came from their own home or the home of a relative, according to the Brady Center’s recent report, “The Truth About Kids and Guns.”

Which means that, if school shootings and other violent incidents at schools are to be stopped, the effort must begin at home. It must start with parent recognizing the inherent risks of owning guns and making safer choices about gun access and storage.

Today, an estimated 1.7 million children have access to an unlocked, loaded gun in their home. I can’t help but wonder how different my family’s life would be now if …read more

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