Guns in Our Society

GUNS IN OUR SOCIETY: A new program by the Coalition Against Gun Violence will be inaugurated on SBTV, Channel 17, at the following times:  Saturday, January 30 at 10:00 am, Sunday, January 31 at 2:30 pm and Tuesday, February 2 at 5:00 pm

Each month CAGV will discuss a different aspect of gun violence using an interview format with guests from our community.  The first program is about the Safe Storage of Firearms in Homes and Safety in Our Schools. 

As of 2014, California makes someone criminally liable if they negligently store or leave any loaded firearm in their home where a child is likely to gain access to it –regardless of whether or not the child takes the gun out of the home into a public place.

The Coalition Against Violence, has been working diligently to educate our community about gun violence prevention.  We hope to make certain that every home in Santa Barbara County where a minor lives or visits is aware of this law and firearms are stored safely and legally.

A most effective way to communicate this information that could prevent a tragedy is to disseminate it as publically and widely as possible.  A Noozhawk story will be read by many.

From 2000 to 2010 there have been 54 school shootings.  From 2010 to 2015 there have been 96 school shootings, almost double.  In almost every case, when the shooter was a minor the gun came from home.

In the United States an adult has the legal right to have a firearm in the home.  However many states have passed child access prevention laws to encourage safe storage of firearms.  The purpose of these laws is to prevent accidental shootings in the home, suicides by minors and school shootings.

  • Suicide is the 2nd leading cause of death among teens and young adults.
  • On average, 4 American teenagers commit suicide every day.
  • Many teens attempt suicide on impulse and there is rarely a second chance when a gun is used.
  • Suicide attempts with a gun are deadly over 85% of the time.

It is because of these preventable tragedies that California has passed the following strong prevention laws:

  • As of 2014, California makes someone criminally liable if they negligently store or leave any loaded firearm in their home where a child is likely to gain access to it –regardless of whether or not the child takes the gun out of the home into a public place.
  • A parent or guardian can also be civilly liable for damages resulting from the discharge of a firearm by that person’s child. These damages can be up to $30,000 per victim and $60,000 total.

 

Ensuring that this information reaches parents in all Santa Barbara’s 20 school districts is a difficult task.

The State Superintendent of Public Instruction, Tom Torlakson sent a letter to County and District Superintendents and Charter School Administrators informing the about the Safe Storage of Firearms and School Safety and Security.  He states, “Please consider this an urgent request to inform your school community about the law regarding safe storage of firearms.  I have attached English and Spanish versions for memoranda to parents and guardians informing them of the laws in California regarding safe storage of firearms.  I strongly encourage you to use the documents to help educate parents and guardians of their responsibilities under California law.”

Another way to ensure your child’s safety and prevent tragic accidents is to ASK:

There is a national program called ASK (Asking Saves Kids) CAGV emphatically urges all parents that when their child goes to play or visit the home of a friend or family, to ASK—is there a gun in your home and how is it stored? Asking prevents tragedies.

Be part of the conversation. We would like to hear from you.  What are your thoughts and comments about Safe Storage and School Safety?  Your suggestions for future topics about gun violence prevention are welcome.

CAGV’s next program on GUNS in OUR SOCIETY will be about Laura’s Law, a mental health program that will be discussed by the Board of Supervisors in March.

Please contact us via our website:  www.sbcoalition.org or send an email to sbcagv@gmail.org

 

Toni Wellen is the chair of the Santa Barbara Coalition Against Gun Violence. She lives in Carpinteria.