Households with guns must take precautions

The accidental shooting of a 10-year-old girl Sunday in the parking lot of a business in the city is a stark reminder why loaded guns and children are a dangerous combination.

Brunswick police say family or family members were loading purchases they had just made at the Family Dollar store on Norwich Street into a vehicle when the accident occurred. A .22-caliber rifle, its exact location in the car unknown, somehow went off, discharging a bullet into one of the shoulders of the girl.

Fortunately for this child, she will live to tell the story. She received treatment for the gunshot wound at the Brunswick hospital and is on the road to recovery, according to the Brunswick Police Department.

It should have never happened, though. Adults know better, or they are supposed to, anyway. Most every day in this country, some community in some state is mourning the injury or loss of a child who came in contact with a loaded handgun or rifle that someone thought was secure enough to leave unattended.

Households with guns where children are around should take every precaution to keep the two apart. Lock guns away in a safe location, and as an additional safety measure, install trigger locks.

Children who are old enough to understand potential consequences should be taught what to do if they ever find themselves face to face with a gun or someone who is playing with one, whether in their home or someone else's. Too many preteens and teens have died or needlessly suffered because they didn't know to run or duck while being shown a supposedly unloaded gun by a friend.

Make sure your son or daughter does not become one of these statistics. Keep guns out of sight and secured under lock and key.