By The Tribune-Review
Published: Wednesday, Sept. 18, 2013, 9:01 p.m.
Regarding the news story “Drive focuses on kids, gun violence” (Aug. 29 and TribLIVE.com): It's not political — we just want to scare you.
The Center to Prevent Youth Violence (CPYV) advises parents to ask about guns in the home and to assume their children will have access to and play with guns if a home has them.
As close as the CPYV gets to gun safety is to mimic the NRA's rules about safe gun storage — no mention of teaching kids a practical safety message like NRA's “Eddie Eagle” program.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, drowning kills 730 children per year, gunshots about half as many — 370 children. The CPYV says thousands of children die by guns each year, citing weak references.
Asking parents about guns in the home is not about improving safety; it's about shaming them for practicing a legal American birthright.
The story quoted a Brookline resident who sounds as if he assumes all gun owners are irresponsible. I hope he read the obituary for Ray C. Soergel, 81, of Cooperstown that ran during the same week as the news story — he was an NRA member whose role-model life would be considered unfit by the standards promoted by the CPYV.
The CPYV's ASK (Asking Saves Kids) program attempts to separate gun owners from the general public. The goal is to change the culture, to weaken public acceptance of the Second Amendment, funded locally by the Pittsburgh Foundation and the Falk Foundation.
The writer is a National Rifle Association pistol instructor and range safety officer, a Pennsylvania hunter/trapper education instructor and an Allegheny County Rifle Club and Logans Ferry Sportsmens Club member.
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