On the first day of each summer, ASK (Asking Saves Kids) Day has been celebrated throughout New York State among local governments and politicians to promote gun awareness. On Tuesday, parents and guardians were encouraged to ask caretakers of their children if guns are accessible to kids.
According to Medical News Today, half of the youth deaths, more than 1,500 per year, have occurred because parents, relatives and friends have made guns accessible to kids. In New York, more than 95,000 children live in households with loaded weapons and more than 52,000 of those homes have “loaded and unlocked firearms,” the news report states.
More than 40 percent of households with children have guns, according to a statement issued by Rep. Charles Rangel (D-N.Y.) He said that recent gun violence in New York made the day more relevant as problem has been so common, that “youth shootings seldom make the news.”
“Six months ago, 10-year-old Brandon Scandrett was killed in an accidental shooting at his stepfather’s home where there was a loaded handgun in a bag; almost two weeks ago, our community lost 16-year-old Tysha Jones and the other 4 kids who were shot at the beach,” he stated in the press release.
“We owe it to our kids to provide them with safe areas to play and enjoy life, free from fear or violence of all types,” he stated.
The Center to Prevent Youth Violence collaborated with the American Academy of Pediatrics to create the ASK campaign. Since its inception in August of 2000, the campaign has partnered with more than 400 grassroots organizations and has reached more than two million households.
The numbers of parents who say guns are a top priority when their child visit someone’s home has risen from 5 percent to 19 percent, according to the campaign’s Web site.