In our own backyard, three gun accidents left two children dead and one severely injured in the short time span between February 22 and March 15 this year.
In all three cases, parents left loaded handguns within easy access of their children. In two of the cases, one involving a parent that was a Marysville police officer, the parents had permits for the guns.
It's time to review our personal gun safety practices, which includes posing the difficiult question to our playmate's parents: "Do you have guns in the house? If so, how do you store those?" In my years on Mercer island (14 years) I only had one parent ask me that question. I remember thinking how brave that mom was and it was a reminder that I should be asking that question too!
Over the years, my kids have spent loads of time at homes where hunters and gun enthusiasts reside. I trusted that they kept their guns under lock and key, but did not really double check.
We may naively dismiss stories like the recent tragedies in Bremerton, Tacoma and Marysville as places and events that have no relevance to our Island kids. But these horrific events, and numerous others like them, can occur in the briefest of moments with lapses in judgment that occur in seconds.
This doesn't just happen to children with drug addict moms. It happens to the children of police officers, highly trained professionals. This is a reminder to talk to our kids and other parents about how we handle our guns.