Kids and Guns

As mentioned in a previous post, June 21, 2006 is ASK (Asking Saves Kids) Day. While looking over ASK’s statistics page, I noticed something interesting:


  • 97% of parents who owned a gun said they would not feel uncomfortable if asked about the presence of a gun in their home by another parent.

The same web page indicates that the majority of parents have not thought to ask if there are guns where their children play, even though more than 40% of homes with children have guns.
Why you should ask

  • A survey of 314 pairs of parents and children, aged 5 to 14, found that many parents don’t realize that their children know the where firearms are located in the home and have already handled them.1

  • Approximately 35% of all U.S. households contain at least one firearm and nearly 25% of households contain a handgun.2

  • Of the approximately 1,400 juveniles murdered in 2001, 44% were killed with a firearm. 3

  • More than 2,800 students were expelled in 1999-2000 for bringing guns to school. 43% of these were elementary or junior high school students.3

  • Rates of firearm-related homicides and suicides are higher in the U.S. than in other industrialized countries.4

How you should ask

Have you talked with your child about the dangers of guns and what s/he should do if s/he finds one or ends up in the presence of another child with a gun? ASK has some suggestions to help you talk to your child.



1 U. S. Department of Health & Human Services, Don’t Think Kids Can Get at Household Guns? Think Again, 2006, on the Internet at (visited June 8, 2006).

2 Center for Gun Policy and Research, Johns Hopkins Universiity, Fact Sheet: Guns in the Home, 2004, on the Internet at (visited June 8, 2006).

3 Office of Justice Programs, U.S. Department of Justice, Fact Sheet Project Safe Neighborhoods: America’s Network Against Gun Violence, 2003, on the Internet at (visited June 8, 2006).

4 Office of Juvenile Justice 1999 National Report Series, National Criminal Justice Reference Series, U.S. Department of Justice, U.S. child homicide and suicide rates exceed rates for other industrialized countries, 1999, on the Internet at (visited June 8, 2006).