Every day, 8 children and teens are unintentionally injured or killed due to an unlocked or unsupervised gun in the home1. Unintentional shootings, suicide, and intentional shootings are all forms of family fire. It’s one part of America’s gun violence epidemic that we all can address...starting in our own homes.
ASK (Asking Saves Kids) is a simple way to help keep kids safe and the very foundation of Brady’s End Family Fire campaign. ASK, “Is there an unlocked gun in your house?” before sending your child to a playdate, caretaker or relative’s home. Have your teens ASK about guns in the home before going on a babysitting job or entering a new group housing situation. And especially ASK about guns in the home if you know someone is in crisis and at risk of harming themselves or others.
A Mother's Story
I think about my life in two parts now: before the tragedy and after it.
One June day, I left work a little later than expected. This made me a few minutes late to pick up my 3-year-old son from his regular babysitter’s house outside St. Louis.
It was during those minutes that the babysitter’s 11-year-old child found a gun in a closet. Markie, my son, entered the room, surprising the boy with the gun. The gun went off. He never meant to shoot Markie.
Today, I tell all parents to ask a simple question that can help prevent unintentional shootings like the one that has changed my life:
“Is there an unlocked gun in the homes where my child plays?”
There’s no way to describe the pain of losing a child and the effects of Markie’s death – not just on my family, but also on the family of the boy who shot my son.
My hope is to prevent other families from feeling the same pain and heartache. That is why I support the Asking Saves Kids Campaign. ASK encourages parents to ask about guns in the home before sending their children over to play.
Parenting is a constant juggling act, and we can always share extra tips and information to help keep our children safe.
And while I know many parents might find it hard to start this conversation, it's a conversation that can save lives.
I encourage you to pledge to ASK, and to make sure your friends and neighbors do too.
For more than a decade, supporters of ASKING SAVES KIDS (ASK) have partnered with over 400 grassroots organizations to spread its message in neighborhoods nationwide. Beginning as a collaboration between Brady and the American Academy of Pediatrics, the ASK Campaign has successfully inspired 19 million households to ask if there are guns where their children play. Brady has since expanded upon this question and created the End Family Fire campaign to ensure that families with firearms in the home store them locked and unloaded and, most importantly, revisit what constitutes safe storage as their families or household circumstances change.
© 2015 The ASK Campaign. All rights reserved.
- Brady averaged the five most recent years of complete data from death certificates (2013-17) available via CDC’s National Center for Injury Prevention and Control’s Web-based Injury Statistics Query and Reporting System, cdc.gov/injury/wisqars/fatal.html, and three most recent years of complete data from emergency department visits (2013, ‘14, and ‘16) available via the Healthcare Cost and Utilization Project’s (HCUP’s) online query system, hcupnet.ahrq.gov