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NC Congresswoman Calls for Criminalizing, Not Educating Gun Owners on Safe Storage Practices

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A North Carolina congresswoman is advocating for stringent gun storage laws aiming to curb the access children have to firearms, reported Yahoo News.

U.S. Rep. Deborah Ross, D-N.C., emphasized the critical nature of the issue, noting that firearms have become the leading cause of death or injury among children in her state, surpassing car accidents.

“In North Carolina, one of the reasons for this tragedy is the lack of safe storage across the country,” Ross stated. However, her facts, as are most facts argued by anti-gun legislators are incorrect.

In fact, in both the 2020 and 2021, Office of the Chief Medical Examiner NC Child Fatality Prevention Team Annual Summary, the latter of which was updated as late as June 2023, vehicle accidents remains the leading cause of accidental death and overall death of children ages 17 or younger. Firearms are the leading means of homicide of children in that age range, but when added to accidental deaths, it is still just below the total vehicular deaths of children in the state.

Ross, who represents the 2nd District, primarily located in Wake County, highlighted the October 2022 mass shooting in Raleigh’s Hedingham neighborhood as a distressing example of the consequences of unsecured firearms.

“The shooter was a 15-year-old who took a firearm that he used to kill five people from his family home, and it was left unsecured,” she recounted.

According to Ross, about 70 percent of school shootings nationwide are committed by children who access unsecured guns at home. Again, Rep. Ross can’t stick to facts in making her case and again, is exaggerating numbers. The truth is, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics, while it is true many adolescent school shooters steal their guns from family members, that number is actually around 42%. Again, when making an argument, Dems can’t seem to help not exaggerating the truth.

The congresswoman argued for the adoption of safe storage laws and other gun violence prevention policies (read anti-gun policies) that would impose tougher penalties and otherwise criminalize legal gunowners in many situations. Currently, North Carolina lacks legislation mandating specific storage methods for unattended firearms or requiring a locking device with the sale of a firearm.

“Forty-two percent of households in my state own firearms, legally owned firearms, but half of those households do not have safe storage,” Ross said.

While former North Carolina Superior Court Judge and state lawmaker Milton Fitch acknowledges the necessity of education in addressing this issue, he questioned the practical enforcement of such laws.

“I think you ought to ramp up education because laws can be made and what police force do you have to enforce it,” Fitch noted in the article.

However, Fitch also suggested that a focus on educational efforts might be a unifying, bipartisan approach to gun safety.

“I think the ingredient that is missing is education for sure. Honestly, nobody can be opposed to telling kids and teaching what guns do,” he concluded.

Before jumping to laws that will criminalize every day citizens instead of the people actually committing crimes, maybe educational programs that support safe gun storage and even financial incentives to underwrite the cost of gun safes and lock boxes, similar to what Dems are eager to do for solar power and electric cars might be a better first course of action.

Read the full article here

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