It’s a sound many people are familiar with. Children run around chanting the words as they play.
To a child, a gun is most commonly used as a toy. For an adult, a gun is most commonly used as a tool for protection and sport.
What happens when a child finds a real gun? The results can be devastating, according to law enforcement and health care representatives.
Since 2010, Scott & White Hospital has treated 24 children who were seriously injured from gunshots, said Susan Burchfield, trauma injury prevention supervisor at Scott & White Healthcare in Temple.
Three of the children died from their injuries.
“As an advocate for injury prevention, my primary concern is that children are properly supervised when around firearms,” Burchfield said. “Being responsible and keeping firearms safely stored away from children and untrained adults have to be the first priority.”
Since the tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary in Connecticut, children’s safety is even more in question among parents as national statistics show that more adults are becoming armed.
“Since December there has been a significant increase in concealed weapon permit application downloads,” said DPS spokesman Tom Vinger.
Harker Heights has not recently seen any gun incidents involving children, Community Services Officer Dave Haley said, giving credit to the police department’s community involvement for keeping those kinds of accidents at bay.
Haley provides the community with gunlocks, when they’re available, and informational brochures on gun safety.
“I cannot remember the last gun accident (involving children) in Harker Heights,” Haley said. “The police chief keeps the department very proactive and the community knows that, which keeps gun violence down.”
John Wynne of Salado, a competitive shooter, is passionate about firearm safety, especially for children.
“It is important for kids to have exposure to guns and learn not to be afraid but to treat them with respect,” he said.