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ASK Campaign Promotes Gun Safety For San Diego Parents

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June 18, 2015 1:26 p.m.

Saving Lives: Gun Safety Question for San Diego Parents

GUESTS:

Ron Marcus, media relations, San Diego Chapter of the Brady Campaign

Julie Hinton, ASK participant & parent

Related Story: ASK Campaign Promotes Gun Safety For San Diego Parents

Transcript:

This is a rush transcript created by a contractor for KPBS to improve accessibility for the deaf and hard-of-hearing. Please refer to the media file as the formal record of this interview. Opinions expressed by guests during interviews reflect the guest’s individual views and do not necessarily represent those of KPBS staff, members or its sponsors.

It's a parent's nightmare. One of the most senseless tragedies and national. It happens hundreds of times across the country every year. The accidental shooting death of a child because of an unlocked firearm.
Peer the words of one woman who lived through that tragedy so new barge was on losing her son at the time three years old.
We maybe the day Mike died, traffic was bad there's horrible rainstorm. I was 45 minutes late picking market up from daycare. When I arrived at the sitter's house there please cards sitting in the front. I walked around the back and as we were walking around, I noticed there all coming from the sitter's house. At that point I realized something had happened. The sitter had an evening a job and should left to go to her job at since I was late, her living outside was watching my five-year-old Jennifer. What they were home alone for a few minutes of the little boy happened to find a gun the closet was playing around with the gun. Mike came in and startled him and he was shot in the chest and died.
The city of San Diego is joining an effort to try to stop these tragedies by endorsing the national asked campaign. Is an offshoot of the Brady campaign with a focus on getting parents involved in finding out if their child circle of family and friends is safe from unlocked firearms. Joining me are Ron Marcus the San Diego chapter of the Brady campaign to prevent gun violence. Welcome to the show.
Juliet hinted here is she is asked participant and a parent of a five euro. Welcome.
San Diego has had its own tragedies with these accidental shootings. Can you remind us of some of the times it's happened here?
I can tell you about a couple in particular. This is part of a national trend of over 100 reported every year and then never may be higher? Because of the accidental shootings are actually labeled as not accidental by the medical examiner.
Homicide when they may have been accidental.
A couple of years ago, a little boy 10 years old when a store to play with the neighbor daughter nine-year-old, they found a gun in the garage and subsequently the boy was shot admitted to the hospital but died there because I The father this year was sentenced to Jail Time because of child endangerment. He had been certain the gun was properly stored away, blocked and unloaded. Despite his certainty, this happened. Perhaps if the question had been asked, is a gun in the house, he may have thought to double check before leaving the house.
That is what this campaign is all about. Give us the nuts and bolts. What does this campaign asked parents to do?
It's a simple. Ask is an acronym that stands for asking says kids. The captain was launched 18 years ago to me by Brady campaign and also the American Academy of pediatrics. It's a health issue. We are encouraging parents to ask is their Internet access, is there simple is it access to drugs or alcohol is her adult supervision. Most parents don't think to ask or are too afraid to ask the question is are gun in the house? Is the gun properly stored and unloaded? Nine times a day, child accidentally shoots either him or herself or someone else in the home during a play date picker we want to try to avoid this. It's really a senseless and is this way for kids to get injured and die every year. By simply asking the question and having a conversation, we hope more people parents have the awareness and think about it and have said storage of their firearms.
Julia, have you had this conversation?
My child is so young that I wish him on every play date that he goes on. It will certainly become more of an issue for me as he grows older. As a schoolteacher, and support to spread awareness the safety of children, students and any other children out there in San Diego County or anywhere.
Have you thought about how you may broach the subject?
I think it's easy, it needs to become part of the dialogue prior to a play date. I think part of the awareness aspect is to take the stigma out of the question so becomes as common and comfortable as is their pool? Will the kids be monitored while they are on the Internet? Other questions such as that. Gun ownership is still a controversial issue. We see lawsuits about concealed carry permits, we talked about that the other day. There are going to be legal rulings about gun rights. It's potentially touchy and awkward subject for parents to bring up. Are there strategies for overcoming this?
Research studies have been conducted with people have been asked about their done ownership. Most people are comfortable to get the question, is not a question people shy away from. There's a stigma about it because in some circles, the controversy about guns has been elevated to almost a religious fervor. It's a very contentious subject and you have polarizing positions on both sides. Much like it may be a comfortable to talk about religious views, I think the same sort of fear may exist in this issue as well. I think that if we can break down that barrier by simply starting to do it, was to start doing something it becomes easier. People may be surprised to realize, I did know when you had a gun, now that I've talked to them about its, that wasn't so difficult.
If you asked the question and someone says they have a gun but it's safely secure, what does that mean? Do ask the next question? What are the safe ways they can be stored?
The best ways to have in a gun safe. To have the key secured somewhere and ideally to have a gun on loaded because interestingly, most parents believe their gun is hidden away safely entered a poor kids know where the guns are and can get access to them.
. CB having conversations with their kids about this very subject and educating them, but ideally because need to be locked in a safe. Keys are one of the more controversial issues being discussed to have biometric safes. Just like the unlock button on your phone, your thumb on the safe and only your thumb can open it. That be great failsafe that is still being debated. In my opinion, that's really the best way to
Julia, why'd you what to get involved in this campaign?
I think the biggest reason, after the Sandy Hook tragedy, that guided me. Is a situation in which myself as well as many others felt powerless. You never think you're going to send your child to school and your child won't come home.
Likewise, when you send a child on a plated, it's a plate. You would never imagine your child would be injured or wouldn't come home from that plated. I think with the Sandy Hook it incidents and feeling powerless with the ask campaign as parents are taking back our power and the power takes three minutes. Three minutes of a potentially uncomfortable conversation, I would take over a lifetime regret or sorrow over the loss of my child or any other child.
That's why I feel passionate about spreading awareness and that's why I signed and I'm here.
Want, the way you explained, it almost sounds like asking the question could bridge that gap between people for pro-gun pro-Second Amendment rights and anti-gun or for gun control. Everybody wants to keep kids safe.
Absolutely. That's not a composition for today. This is an easy way to reach that divide. Interestingly, the divide exists and doesn't have to be an either/or proposition. There can be sensible gun regulations and responsible gun ownership in the peacefully coexist. My favorite example is car ownership.Contests you have to pass a test of everyday basis to keep your license and any number of interactions can result in temporary or permanent loss of your driving permit. With the issues you have a chat driving and other things, it makes sense. A gun which is more lethal, when we not have at least laws on par with what we have governing cars? It just have to be at the divide. It's an artificial divide but the real conversation is how to reduce gun death and always a major way simply asking. Thus we are talking about.
The Second Amendment retort would be driving is a privilege and the Supreme Court has spent on a weapon is a right. It's this debate goes on and on and that's what I want to ask you next because the here again today about another mass shooting in the United States. Our politicians etc. President. Obama who cannot again today and talked about the need to stop this type of violence, Missouri politicians are remaining silent about the ways we may possibly control gun violence to go
Do expect a good control for this conversation will play any part in the debate in this year's presidential campaign?
It's hard to tell. My feeling is sadly probably won't. Especially six month now, this incident will become a memory. Even Sandy Hook as usually tragic as it was, is now a footnote. It's a reference point and it doesn't have the dramatic weight or gravitas that it did when it was happening.
It's a continual push and that's why Brady campaign and other organizations are all trying to keep pushing to continue have this conversation. Again, the right to bear arms has to come with some responsibility.
Is no right that's carte blanche. We are saying we respect the right as stated in the Constitution but you have to exercise a responsibly and those that wouldn't we want to make sure they don't have the easy ready access to guns they had today. Something like this it happen yesterday, this young man had gotten a gun for his birthday. Was that a sensible gift? I don't know.
Let's get back to national ask day. This Sunday is national ask him a day.
Which you like to see parents in San Diego do to recognize that fact and take the first step on this journey to keep their kids and their friends saver?
One of the things national Brady is promoting is the largest ever played eight country. This is good to be in five cities including Los Angeles and Brooklyn. They are encouraging anyone across the country to host their own informal play date, have kids come over, parents get together and discuss the issue.
Hack we talk about this and ask each other about the speaker what are the sensibilities on both sides to having a conversation how can we break the barrier?
The more awareness we spread in the last 15 years, 99 households have had this conversation as a result of the awareness created I this campaign. Every year the start of summer is national ask day and the more people that hear about this and start talking about it, the better.
I would to thank you both, thank you very much for the