I am appalled to hear today (August 29th) of the third gun incident involving a child within our area - the third in about two months, the first being an injury but the others resulting in fatalities. While these are generally reported as "accidents", sorry to say they are actually cases of negligence in some form.
There are two factors here which lie behind such events, the first being too often a lack of early education with children on general aspects of gun safety, and this including "toy" guns also. The second factor is of course gun security - preventing access by a juvenile. Combine these two successfully and there should be no such "accidents".
I am a certified NRA Instructor and nothing would please me more than to have the opportunity to talk to really young kids about the safety aspect. However and unfortunately there is so much these days which makes guns politically incorrect, it is hard to see much chance of reaching a large audience. I would prefer that responsible parents who own guns not only ensure the security aspect but teach their children from an early age and so have eductated children who understand correct and safe handling.
Perhaps the worst problem is that our schools these days are so "zero tolerance" that if a child so much as draws a gun picture they can be suspended! The gun itself is not the demon, it is those who seek to do harm and also those who are too ignorant that increase the sinister aspect though malevolent or irresponsible useage.
If (and I can dream) I was given the opportunity I would for no cost, address a class of elementary school children just so as to make sure they were fully aware of what is involved, with safety as the prime subject. That would no doubt be disallowed by school authorities and even more be frowned on or forbidden by some parents. A pity when this can save lives or injury.
Out of all the rules of safety there is one that stands out in my opinion, although all rules are important - it is simply that no gun (even a toy) should be pointed at something that one is not willing to destroy! It's that simple and if only that was learned and followed we would not have these tragic episodes.
My heart goes out to all involved within these (sadly avoidable) tragedies.