Since Feb. 22, three kids under 10 have died or been seriously injured in Washington because adults didn’t lock up their guns. These shootings are unfortunate accidents; we think nothing can be done.
Twenty years ago people died in unfortunate accidents by drunk drivers; we thought nothing could be done. But then we did something. We passed laws and drinking and driving became socially unacceptable and now fewer people die from drunk drivers.
We can also do something about kids dying from bullets. A majority of states have passed Child Access Prevention laws designed to prevent children from accessing firearms. In those states, unintentional firearm deaths have fallen by 23 percent among children under age 15.
Laws encourage a certain behavior. Drunk driving laws, seat belt laws and speed limits make us all safer. Before all these laws, people died. We did something about it. Now fewer people die because they’re drunk, or not wearing seat belts or speeding.
We can do something about unintentional gun deaths. Washington state leaders should, without delay, pass a Child Access Prevention law to hold parents accountable — but mostly to influence behavior. Because there is something we can do about it.