Tuesday, January 15, 2008

10 year anniversary at PAX

PAX, a nonprofit organisation that promotes gun safety, will be celebrating its tenth anniversary this year.

While pax can still be stamped as a gun control group, they're either far more sensible -or subtle- than almost all other such groups. They recognise that gun violence is a big deal, and they focus on children in particular. An example of their moderation: they hold high the number of eight children deaths per day, and distinguish between true children and teenagers. As opposed to say, the Coalition to stop gun violence, whose figure of 17 includes adults over 19 and criminals killed by police officers.

For good measure, less than 500 children of 14 or under died from gunfire (accidental, homicide and suicide) in '99, and in the age group 0-19, there were only 214 positively accidental deaths (there were 80 deaths of unknown intent) Numbers can be found here, another site which advocates responsible gun related behavior when kids are present.

What does pax like to hammer on? Leaving loaded guns lying around where children can get to them is irresponsible! How could anybody not agree with that? I've written a lenghty piece on safe storage myself. They do go a little overboard on some things, such as demanding that guns are to be stored unloaded, and live rounds should be kept in a seperate location.
They also insist that criminals can be stopped by vigilant, law abiding people. By informing the proper authorities of suspicious behavior, school shootings and alike could be prevented. (speak up campaign) They also support verifying that your children aren't exposed to guns that are not under your control, when spending time with another family. (ask campaign)

What's so striking about their campaigning, is that they are not demonizing guns, or gun owners. They are demonizing irresponsible behavior, rightfully so in my opinion. Their is of course the aftertaste when you go looking for "ask if there's a dangerous dog in the house, corrosive chemicals or car keys lying around", and find those completely absent. I suppose one must focus his/her efforts I suppose. A pitty, seeing that firearms are nowhere near the top causes of children deaths. Scaleable forts and ladders, for example, pose a much larger threat than guns do.

This is a gun control organisation, but they for one are worth giving a fair hearing.

1 comment:

theotherryan said...

Storage of firearms (much like the ownership of them) is a very personal decision for which there is no cookie cutter right answer. The only real solid piece of advice I would give is that letting children have access to loaded firearms without proper adult supervision is completley negligent and dangerous. Locking up firearms with ammo seperate is probably a little bit extreme because it makes them almost useless for self defense. In a house with children having a gun on your person or in a readily accessible but secure location is probably the best answer. This group seems to be more moderate and reasonable then the vast majority of other anti gun groups.