Gun owners must teach children gun safety

A family in Cleveland is reeling right now after a 12-year-old boy and his brother found a loaded gun in their father’s truck and tragedy followed.

Donell King Jr. is dead now, after having attempted to take the gun away from his brother, who had picked it up. The gun fired and Donell was hit in the chest. His brother ran for help, but Donell died in the hospital.

His father, Donell King Sr. now faces charges of involuntary manslaughter, child endangerment and a weapons offense in the death of his son.

Those who keep guns in their homes (or their trucks) have an obligation to do so safely, particularly when there are children in the household.

They have an obligation to teach their children to respect guns and handle them safely. Certainly they have a responsibility not to leave a loaded gun in an unsecured place children can easily access.

This has nothing to do with the Second Amendment. Ohioans have a right to keep and bear arms, but not to do so recklessly. In fact, the Ohio House of Representatives is moving quickly right now on a measure that would relax rules on concealed weapons. But Buckeye State residents must not interpret those changes as meaning they should relax their attention to gun safety.

Donell King Sr. is facing unthinkable consequences — the least of which being his legal woes — because he allegedly left a loaded gun somewhere his sons could find it. Others would do well to use his example as a reminder to make sure their own guns are put away securely and unloaded, and that their children get a refresher on gun safety before the unthinkable repeats itself.


Today's breaking news and more in your inbox

I'm interested in (please check all that apply)