‘Be SMART’ Firearm Safety Program Aims to Prevent Gun Violence

‘Be SMART’ Firearm Safety Program Aims to Prevent Gun Violence

This Saturday, February 20, 2021, at 10:00 a.m., Mercer County Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America will be hosting an event to discuss their non-partisan firearm safety program for adults called Be SMART. The presentation will educate adults on the five simple steps that can be taken to protect children from unforeseen gun violence, in addition to a lesson on how you can share the Be SMART for Kids message with local medical practices and school communities.

Moms Demand Action is a grassroots movement of Americans fighting for public safety measures that aims to protect people from gun violence. The organization passes stronger gun laws and work to close the loopholes that can potentially jeopardize the safety of families. They also work in their own communities and with business leaders to encourage a culture of responsible gun ownership. They believe that gun violence is preventable, and are committed to doing what it takes to keep families safe.

“It’s really a framework that’s geared towards adults to help parents and adults normalize conversations around gun safety and take actions that can prevent child gun deaths and injuries,” said Amanda Schultz, Co-Lead of the local Moms Demand Action chapter in Mercer County. “It’s something that we want to make common. If my child has a peanut allergy, you would definitely let that parent know if they’re going to a playdate; but for some reason, we don’t ask about guns. It’s like a taboo topic. So, we really just want to make this conversation easy.”

The SMART portion of the Be SMART program is an acronym representing the five steps families can take to prevent gun violence in communities: Secure all guns in your home and vehicles; Model responsible behavior around guns; Ask about the presence of unsecured guns in other homes; Recognize the role of funs in suicide; and Tell your peers to be SMART.

Moms Demand Action has established a volunteer chapter in every state of the country and Washington, D.C. and is part of Everytown for Gun Safety, the largest gun violence prevention organization in the country with nearly six million supporters and more than 375,000 donors. At this upcoming Mercer County chapter presentation, the organization wants to emphasize the need for gun safety in educational environments as well as medical institutes in our area.

“78 percent of incidence of gunfire on school grounds obtained their guns from homes, relatives or friends,” said Schultz. “We’re trying to work with the medical community to put the SMART materials in their offices so parents, when they go to a well child visit, can look and think, ‘you know what, I need to ask about the presence of unsecured guns in other homes; I have guns, okay, I need to make sure they’re secured.’”

She continued, “We’re also trying to reach out to every school board and Mercer County to get them to pass a resolution that would encourage these SMART materials to be sent home or posted on their websites for every family to access. We’re figuring that if we can normalize the conversation and get the message out between those two means, it would be a start.”

To register for Saturday’s Be SMART presentation, visit: http://bit.ly/Mercer2-20-21

To learn more about Be SMART and Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America, visit: https://momsdemandaction.org/work/be-smart-for-kids/

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