I read with great sadness the AP article in the Herald on Oct. 16 about the accidental shooting of a teen boy in Seattle. Any unintentional firearm fatality is probably preventable by several means. The most sensible approach is to require firearm safety education in schools. If driver and sex ed is mandated in our schools, so should firearm safety classes. If the boys in the article had received proper firearm safety education, then this and most of the other 1,000 accidental fatalities noted in the article likely would never have happened.
Many would argue that only safe (locked) storage mandated by law is the answer to accidental firearm deaths among children. It is hard to argue against that, but what about folks who cannot afford the luxury of safe secure and yet easily accessible firearm storage in modern electronic quick opening safes so that the firearm is readily available for self defense?
Only proper education by qualified instructors in a structured school environment and at the earliest appropriate age can reliably give children the knowledge and training to treat all firearms safely. Firearms are simply a tool needing instruction and training in their safe handling, just like a car.
James F. White, Richland