Get gunlocks before another child is hurt

EDITORIAL: There’s no reason not to take advantage

of police program designed to prevent accidents
   >When news spread that a Manville juvenile accidently shot himself while examining a loaded .22-calibre rifle found in the attic of his parent’s home Feb. 18, many parents must have shuddered.
   It’s fortunate the youngster was not more seriously wounded than he was — he was treated and released the same day — but the next accidental shooting victim is not likely to be so fortunate.
   We’d be willing to bet a week’s salary the news caused a great deal of dismay in the halls of the police department, and especially Detective Mike Guilbert’s office.
   For the last few months, Detective Guilbert has been leading the local effort to distribute cable gunlocks, free of charge, as part of a national program called Project Childsafe.
   Let’s repeat that — free, gunlocks, Childsafe.
   One would think the word "free" would be enough to get everyone with a gun to line up to get one.
   Apparently not.
   One would think the word "gunlock" would cause lots of people to line up to get one.
   Apparently not.
   One would certainly expect the words "child" and "safe" to capture parents’ attention, but, again, apparently not everyone heard.
   Barely eight weeks before this incident, Detective Guilbert organized an open house at his department’s headquarters. He hoped to hand out the gun locks, as well as discuss safe storage of guns, at the event.
   Sadly, the turnout was not as great as it could have been.
   Police have distributed about 25 gunlocks in Manville, which probably doesn’t begin to reach the number of guns stored in basements, homes and attics in our community.
   We want to urge all residents to make sure weapons they have in their homes are securely locked away, with ammunition stored separately.
   And we hope everyone will take the 30 minutes necessary to go to the police department and get a free gunlock to keep children safe.
   Again: free, gunlock, Childsafe.