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American Press

Wednesday, December 17, 2014
Southwest Louisiana ,
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Preventing school incidents starts at home

Last Modified: Monday, April 14, 2014 1:48 PM

On Wednesday, a student at W.W. Lewis Middle in Sulphur brought an unloaded gun to school.

The young teenager was charged with possession of a dangerous weapon on school grounds.

“At no time were our students and faculty threatened or in danger,” school Principal Robert Barrentine wrote in a letter sent home to parents. “The situation was handled quickly with assistance from our school safety officer and the sheriff’s department.”

In January, a high school student brought a firearm to a Bossier City high school. The teenager, who didn’t attend the school, allegedly had an altercation with a student on campus, walked to his car, waved the gun outside of the car window, and drove off.

The teen was booked on a charge of possession of a firearm on a school campus.

The ending of these reports could have been much different — Sandy Hook Elementary, Columbine High School quickly come to mind.

Thankfully, no students were hurt during these senseless incidents.

But in the midst of shock at these reports, there is bewilderment. Why does this keep happening? Why are these guns so easily assessable? Why would a student think it is OK to bring a gun to school?

Anything that deters the curiosity of children in a home with firearms is worth considering.

If you are a parent and a gunowner, this message is for you.

We cannot reiterate enough the importance of gun safety. Preventing school incidents starts at home.

The Safe Kids Worldwide organization offers these tips for parents on storing guns and ammunition:

Store guns in a locked location out of the reach and sight of children. Never keep a loaded gun in your home.

Store ammunition in a separate locked location.

Keep the keys and combinations hidden.

When a gun is not in its lock box, keep it in your line of sight.

Make sure all guns are equipped with child-resistant gun locks.

Never leave guns on a night stand, table or other place where a child can gain access.

The organization also encourages parents to explain to their children how a gun seen on television, a movie, or in a video game is different than those in real life. The group advises parents to tell their children to never touch a gun and immediately tell an adult if they see one.

It is also encouraged to talk to grandparents and the parents of friends your children visit about safe gun storage practices.

The group offers even more tips at www.safekids.org/tip/gun-safety-tips#sthash.jehNnLuN.dpuf. Take the time today to prevent sorrow tomorrow.

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