Thursday, February 1, 2007
Don't Be a Victim: Gun
We hear about it all the time: A child shot by another who got hold of a loaded gun. Tonight, Seven's JP Hervis shows us how not to be a victim.
911 Operator: "You heard a gunshot and a baby stop crying?
"And it hit the baby, the baby laying on the floor, bleeding and everything".
Itís the 911 call moments after 3-year-old Laterika Davis from Homestead was shot in the head by her 5-year-old brother.
The boy found a loaded gun in his playroom.
Sgt. Michael Frevola: "It happens every day. Every day, in this country, there's a child that is shot and killed or shot and injured by a firearm."
Over 40 percent of households with kids have guns and many times the guns are left where a child can find them.
JP Hervis: "Police say, when it comes to kids and weapons inside your home, out of sight, out of mind is not the way to play it."
So don't be a victim.
Sgt. Michael Frevola of the Coral Gables Police Department says, first, if you own a gun, you can bet your kids will be curious about it.
So let your kids know weapons aren't toys.
Sgt. Michael Frevola: "If you have guns in your house, educate your kids about it. Don't hide it from your kids, because if you hide it, your kids may find it, and then they're going to want to experiment with it."
Second, make sure the gun is secured at all times.
Sgt. Michael Frevola: "If you have a gun in your home, lock it up. There are free devices that we as a police department give away. Other police departments give free gunlocks away. We give them away, we don't charge you."
So there is no reason for an unsecured gun to get into the hands of your children.
Also, don't assume that if you unload your gun it's safe.
Sgt. Michael Frevola: "If your child says, 'Oh, it's unloaded, I'm going to bring it to school'."
Remember that anything your child does with a weapon could not only endanger their life but other kids as well.
So take the mystery out of the gun.
Sgt. Michael Frevola: "If there's a mystery to it, kids are going to want to see what that mystery is. Don't make it a mystery. If they're old enough, teach them how to use it, how to be safe with it, so it will make it a lot safer for you and your family."
And keep in mind that if you fail to secure your gun and keep your kids safe, you could face serious criminal charges.
Sgt. Michael Frevola: "You can end up being charged with involuntary manslaughter. There's a litany of charges you can be charged with."
Because it's never just an accident when a child is injured by a gun -- they never should have gotten a hold of it in the first place.