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My Turn: Unsecured guns can turn play date into tragedy

A Stratham middle school student recently brought a loaded gun to school. The school went into lockdown, and parents were notified. Thankfully, the loaded gun was not discharged – this time.

Unfortunately, this scenario plays out all too often in our society. Children kill other children because an irresponsible adult left a gun improperly secured.

I am a New Hampshire mom who is advocating for gun safety. I am outraged that this child had such easy access to a loaded firearm and brought it into the school.

In New Hampshire, we have a law that requires adults to keep guns stored safely and away from innocent children. We don’t know what went wrong in this case. Hopefully, a thorough investigation will provide answers.

As parents, we are not helpless.

There are things we can do to protect our children and grandchildren: Educate yourselves, friends and neighbors about the proper storage of guns.

They need to be locked up and the ammunition locked up in a separate location.

With 48 percent of New Hampshire homes having a firearm, the chances are very good that your child plays at a home where there is a gun. This is not a problem if the gun is properly secured, but it is a tragedy waiting to happen if it is not.

Always ask if there is an unlocked gun at a place where you child may be playing. Need some suggestions on how to broach this subject?

I urge you to go online and visit They have great advice.

You wouldn’t let your child ride in a car with a drunken driver, so why would you let your child play in a home with an unlocked gun?

(Pamela Faltin lives in Durham.)

Legacy Comments2

Thank you the information & for your efforts to reduce gun violence and promote public health & safety for New Hampshire's children, Ms. Faltin.

Any tool or power source can be used or misused. Unfortunately, our well-meaning hard-working police can almost never prevent a crime. They get called after the fact. Self/family defense is part of the real world unless one's believes in magical protective forces. A weapon that is locked up and unusable is worthless to defend self and family. Of course, we all want to see our kids safe but I feel education is a better safety measure than screaming, "Don't touch that it!" Does that work for knifes, care, power tools and oh, yes medicines? Educate your children about things that can save or harm. Help them learn how manage their environment and its power sources instead of living in fear and superstition because they do not know how the world works. OBTW - do you put a combination lock on your fire extinguisher? Put your first aid kit in a safe?

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