Pittsburgh Foundation, Falk Foundation asking about guns in the home
Starting next year, two foundations hope to curb violence by encouraging parents to ask if there are guns at the homes where their children play and if they are stored safely.
“We're not getting into the whole gun debate,” assured Grant Oliphant, president and CEO of The Pittsburgh Foundation. “We're not asking for any policy about guns. We're not asking people to give up guns.
“We're just asking parents to ask questions to protect their children.”
The Pittsburgh Foundation is giving $50,000 and the Falk Foundation, $150,000, to The Center to Prevent Youth Violence, a nonprofit group in New York City. The money will help kickstart the Asking Saves Kids, or ASK, Campaign, next spring, said Jennie Lintz, deputy director of the center. Similar programs took place in Rockford, Ill., and Portland, Ore.
The center plans to work with community groups and pediatricians and use the media to raise awareness with parents of children ages 5 to 14.
“We ask parents to ask if there's a gun where their child plays just like they would ask other health and safety-related questions like who would be supervising them, if the child has any allergies, what would they be watching on television,” Lintz said.
“What parents do with that information is really up to them.”
Lintz said a poll found just 5 million parents were asking the question when the center launched a national publicity campaign in 2000. The number swelled to 19 million in 2006.
The National Rifle Association did not respond to requests for an interview.
Oliphant said encouraging parents to be curious motivates them to re-evaluate gun safety in their own house: whether guns are stored in a locked place away from children, whether they are unloaded and whether ammunition is stored separately.
Twenty-one percent of adults in Allegheny County have firearms around the house, according to a 2002 poll by the county health department, but state and national figures are higher.
The Rev. Glenn G. Grayson, executive director of The Center that CARES, an anti-violence organization in the Hill District, said the program is an encouraging step.
“It's good to see that the foundation and the other foundation take an interest in gun violence because it's affecting everyone, not just the African-American community,” Grayson said.
His son, Jeron, a student at Hampton University in Virginia, was killed in 2010 at a party near California University of Pennsylvania when a man shot through a door.
“No one is exempt from a bullet because a bullet doesn't have a name on it.”
Bill Zlatos is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-320-7828 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.