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Gun safety more critical when children are around

A family in Cleveland continues to mourn after a 12-year-old boy and his brother found a loaded gun in their father’s truck and tragedy followed last week.

Donell King Jr., 12, died after having attempted to take the gun away from his brother, who had picked it up. The gun went off, and Donell was hit in the chest. He died later at a 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 vehicles have an obligation to do so safely, particularly when there are children around. And when the virus emerged in March there was a big spike of guns sales — perhaps those never owning a gun or having ever been trained in handling one nevertheless acquiring one. Thus creating even more potential for tragedy.

Parents and guardians have a responsibility 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 access.

This has nothing to do with the Second Amendment. Ohioans have a right to keep and bear arms. In fact, state legislators are moving quickly on a measure that would relax rules on concealed weapons.

But thoughtful gun owners understand that with firearms ownership goes responsibility.

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 occurs — perhaps right here in our area.

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