Letter: We Need Safe-Storage Laws
To the Editor:
I salute the Valley News for its poignant, front-page series last week on Newtown, Conn., parents Jackie and Mark Barden. That said, as I stood on June 14 with 85 folks at Hanover’s six-month anniversary vigil of Newtown, I thought about the coming summer. What have we done to make our children safer in school next year? We need to motivate our lawmakers to act.
Vermonters seem to care more about the next generation of deer than they do about their own children. Vermont law prohibits loaded rifles and shotguns in cars to prevent poaching deer and to guard against accidental discharges while driving. However, Vermont law does not prohibit loaded rifles and shotguns in the home. Sadly, this puts our children at great risk, confirmed by lethal statistics: Vermont leads the entire Northeast in the rate of youth suicide by firearm and the rate of accidental firearm death, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
The Green Mountain State needs a safe gun-storage law to make our youngsters safer. Twenty-seven states and Washington, D. C., have such laws. Even the National Shooting Sports Foundation encourages safe storage. If Nancy Lanza had locked her guns, her son Adam couldn’t have gone on his rampage in Newtown. We need a safe storage law here, as well as one for the nation. Tell our legislators in Montpelier and Washington why. It’s our kids.