Editor, The Cheshire Herald:
The Feb. 23 edition of The Cheshire Herald included a message from Chesprocott Health District explaining how firearm incidents are a public health issue. The inspiration for that message may have been a tragedy in Virginia in early January where a 6-year-old brought his mother’s handgun to school and shot his teacher.
Nearly half of all homes in America own at least one gun. According to the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia Research Institute, three-quarters of adults with a gun in their home mistakenly believe their child does not know where it is hidden. Gun storage laws in Connecticut are much stronger than in Virginia. In Connecticut since 2019, “Ethan’s Law” requires that any firearm in any household with school-age children must be securely locked up, with ammunition locked in a separate location.
The fact that second graders in Cheshire are now being introduced to gun safety at school under a revised curriculum does not relieve parents of their primary responsibility for child safety under existing law. If my grown children were still young and one was going to the home of a friend or babysitter or relative, I would inquire if there were any guns in their home and if they were legally secured.
Nothing is more precious than our children. They are the future, and their future does not have to include the level of gun violence that their present does. There is no acceptable level of tragedy.
As we see too often, it can happen anywhere, any time. There is no single, simple solution to reducing gun violence, but every adult can be more proactive in making it safer for all through our own diligence. The children are counting on us.