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COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) –
As parents, you think you know practically everything when it comes to your children, especially when it comes to something dangerous and deadly like guns.
However, we found that you may not. News Leader 9’s Cheryl Renee has this special report that could keep tragedy from knocking at your family’s door.
Can you honestly say your child has never seen or held a gun?
With the recent accidental shootings involving kids across Georgia like 3-year-old Holston Cole from outside Atlanta and 2-year-old Robert Reaves near Muscle Shoals, AL, we wanted to know how much some kids here in the Chattahoochee Valley know about guns.
You may be surprised, like some parents were, with what we uncovered – that kids may know more about guns than we think.
The group of kids we spoke to are between the ages of 6 and 10.
We asked them if any of their friends talked about guns or have played with guns.
“The kids at school have gotten crazy now,” said one child. “I have lots of friends at school that talk about stuff like that.”
We know the consequences can be deadly. We’re seeing it play out with more and more headlines from across the country
Looking at preliminary numbers in Georgia, there have been eight accidental shootings involving kids this year. That’s up two from last year.
So we decided to have a candid conversation with kids about guns.
Cheryl asked a group of students if guns scared them.
One child, Cayden Seard, said he was scared of guns because they could kill a person.
“One second when you press the wrong button it might be the killing button and you’re shooting the gun, it can actually kill you,” added Nyla Person.
The children were pretty knowledgeable about guns, what they do, and even how they work.
GBI Agent Trebor Randle says the scary part is that children are very curious and will explore. That’s why parents need to take extra precaution in making sure the gun is kept out of sight.
“It was a child, brought a gun to his neighbor’s house just because he wanted to show it to his friends because he thought it was cool,” said Agent Randle. “It was dad’s gun. Of course, when that gun went off, it was a complete accident. What was not an accident is the fact that that child had access to their parent’s weapon in their home and they were able to bring that to a neighbor’s home where their children were.”
Agent Randle says that’s why parents need to talk with their kids and educate them, so even if they come in contact with a gun they won’t do what these kids are doing in this undercover investigation from our sister station in Jonesboro, AR.
“Whenever you have a child who finds a gun and shoots themselves accidentally or another child, it’s always preventable,” said Agent Randle.
“My mom told me if you see a gun and you don’t know it’s real, don’t you ever test it to see if it’s real,” said Cayden. “You don’t grab it, shoot someone with it.”
“Get an adult and hopefully nobody uses it,” added Terrence Battle.
“Not mess with it,” said Matthew Hill.
These kids have been taught well, but when we showed their parents our talk about guns, some say it opened their eyes.
“I saw you get emotional as you were watching, what made you emotional?” asked Cheryl.
“A little bit of it scares me in the world today how kids are so violent and they’re already talking about guns and he is nine so he’s only in the 4th grade and I don’t remember hearing those things in the 4th grade,” said one parent.
That’s why it’s better to be safe than sorry.
“I think it’s important for us, as parents, not to assume that our kids know the right things to do,” said another parent. “We have to sit down and have those conversations.”
“What we find is that no one thinks that it’s going to happen to them until it’s too late,” said Agent Randle.
The GBI says one simple safety device, the gun lock, can prevent accidental deaths.
Your local police department or the GBI can assist you in getting one for free.
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