Most school shooters get their guns from home – and during the pandemic, the number of firearms in households with teenagers went up

Paco Dennis

Senior Member
Location
Mid-Missouri
"Four days before a 15-year-old sophomore killed four students and wounded others at a high school shooting in Michigan, his father purchased the firearm used in the attack.

That the teenager used a weapon from home during the Nov. 30 attack is not unusual. Most school shooters obtain the firearm from home. And the number of guns within reach of high school-age teenagers has increased during the pandemic – highlighting the importance of locking firearms and keeping them unloaded in the home.

Since the onset of the public health crisis, firearm sales have spiked. Many of these firearms have ended up in households with teenage children, increasing the risk of accidental or intentional injury or fatalities, or death by suicide.

As experts on firearm violence and firearm injury prevention, we know that active shooter events within school settings in the U.S. have increased substantially in the years running up to the pandemic. Meanwhile, our research indicates that in the early months of the public health crisis, more families with teenage children purchased firearms – increasing the potential risk that a teen could gain unsupervised access to a firearm.

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Access to unsecured firearms around the house

While school shootings represent a small fraction of the total number of firearm injuries and deaths that occur each year, as seen in the shooting at Oxford High School in Oxford Township, Michigan, they can devastate a community.

Around half of school shootings are carried out by current or past students.

In around 74% of incidents, the firearm used was obtained from the student’s home or from that of a friend or relative.

While firearm purchases have been increasing for decades, they have accelerated during the pandemic. In the three months from March through May 2021, an estimated 2.1 million firearms were purchased – a 64.3% increase in the expected volume.

To understand how this affected firearm access among high school-age teens, investigators from the University of Michigan Institute for Firearm Injury Prevention conducted a national survey of nearly 3,000 parents and their teenage children.

We found that 10% of households with teens reported purchasing additional firearms between March and July 2020. Around 3% were first-time buyers. This means that more teenagers were being exposed to firearms around the home, and also that the number of firearms in households with teenage children increased. In all, it is estimated that one-third of all households with children up to age 18 contain at least one firearm.

While many firearm owners look after their guns responsibly by maintaining them locked, unloaded and inaccessible to teens, access to unsecured firearms remains the single biggest contributor to teen firearm injury and death. Our survey indicated that in the midst of the increased firearm purchasing during COVID, more firearms were being kept unsecured within homes with teenagers.

Some 5% of firearm-owning parents reported making changes to their firearm storage methods since the beginning of the pandemic to make them more accessible. Firearm-owning parents we spoke to reported leaving them in unlocked cabinets or within easier reach – say, in a bedside cabinet – and with the firearm loaded.

Households that already kept firearms unlocked and loaded were also those that were more likely to purchase firearms during the pandemic, we found. Parents said they were largely motivated to make firearms easier to access by fear and a need for greater protection.

Yet this also means that others may also have easy access to the firearms. During the pandemic, many people, especially youths, have experienced stress and isolation – which increases the potential risk of violence against others or oneself. This further emphasizes the importance of securing firearms in a locked safe and storing ammunition separately in the home to prevent unsupervised access during a moment of crisis.

The investigation into the shooting at Oxford high School has only just begun, and it would be premature to speculate on any motive or on how the shooter obtained access to the firearm recently purchased by his father.

However, one clear action that parents can take to help reduce the likelihood of future tragic school shootings and to keep their teens safe is to ensure any firearms present in the home are secured safely, locked up and unloaded, and out of the reach of teens."


https://theconversation.com/most-sc...s-in-households-with-teenagers-went-up-172951
 

win231

SF VIP
Location
CA
As I have stated previously, it is not necessary to keep a defensive firearm unloaded in order to keep it secure.
These lock boxes allow access to a loaded firearm in 1-2 seconds, while preventing access to unauthorized persons:
The problem? Many gun owners don't want to spend the money on them. I've heard some use the excuse, "I can't afford a lock box; they're too expensive." Yeah....but they spent $1,000.00 on the gun........
https://www.deansafe.com/collections/vehicle-safes
 

Don M.

Well-known Member
Location
central Missouri
I think most parents would agree that the Teen Age/"Puberty" years are the Most Difficult for Both the kids And the parents. During those years most kids are trying to "transition" between childish behavior and adult responsibilities. Allowing access to guns...especially pistols....is just asking for trouble, in so many cases. Many youngsters, especially in rural areas, learn to Hunt....with good training and adult supervision...and few of them ever have any firearm related problems. However, kids who are exposed to any number of issues in school,...bullying, etc., should Never have access to a firearm...especially a pistol that they can easily conceal.

In the past couple of years, with all the stress of this pandemic, and the disruptions it has created in so many families, it is Doubly Important that parents closely monitor the behavior in their households, and take extra precautions to insure their kids don't go over the edge.
 

win231

SF VIP
Location
CA
Go to YouTube, they have tons of videos showing how to get into lock boxes, without keys, and codes.
ttps://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=How+to+get+into+lock+boxes+without+keys%2C+or+codes
Yes, I've seen them. The cheap ones with electronic locks are easier to get into. None of mine are in those videos. I don't use those.
 

Irwin

Senior Member
I have my gun hidden but not locked up. If somebody tries to break in, I don't want to have to fumble around trying to open a lock box — especially if it's a combination lock box. I can get at mine quickly and easy. It's loaded and in a position where I can grab it, release the safety and fire within five seconds if I had to. That's from the bedroom or living room.

I live in a safe neighborhood where there is little violence, but it's somewhat comforting that I could defend the house if it came to that. I also have a baseball bat in the coat closet next to the front door.
 

win231

SF VIP
Location
CA
I have my gun hidden but not locked up. If somebody tries to break in, I don't want to have to fumble around trying to open a lock box — especially if it's a combination lock box. I can get at mine quickly and easy. It's loaded and in a position where I can grab it, release the safety and fire within five seconds if I had to. That's from the bedroom or living room.

I live in a safe neighborhood where there is little violence, but it's somewhat comforting that I could defend the house if it came to that. I also have a baseball bat in the coat closet next to the front door.
There is fumbling with a key-operated lock box. Not with these.
Fort Knox FTK-PB Pistol Box Handgun Safe
 

win231

SF VIP
Location
CA
How big is that box and how may firearms can it contain?
Do you need one for each gun you intend to keep loaded?
They are 12" x 10".
There is enough room for 2 handguns plus extra magazines (or speed loaders for revolvers) and a powerful flashlight.
How many you need depends on the size of your house, since we don't get to choose where we are in the house when something happens.
They make them for rifles/shotguns also.
No key & no batteries. You set the combination - anywhere from 3 buttons to 5 in any order you want.
Most brands have hardware included if you want to bolt it to the floor.
The good ones (like the one pictured) have a gas-assisted piston to prevent the heavy lid from falling on your hand.
 
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WhatInThe

Well-known Member
The best thing do with guns in the house is take the children shooting as early as possible. Give them safety lessons including don't point at others, always make sure the weapon isn't loaded or rounds are not chambered. More important when a child hears the noise(with hearing protection) they hopefully get a better sense of the potential power and/or safety issues.

The kid in the most recent shooting seemed fascinated by his gift showing it off. I'd be curious how much range time or what his dad owned prior. The trick I guess is to take the mystic or lure off the guns. And teach them the serious nature of owning a firearm. Same for other stuff like power tools, knives, electrical wires etc. The younger the better.
 

Don M.

Well-known Member
Location
central Missouri
The best thing do with guns in the house is take the children shooting as early as possible. And teach them the serious nature of owning a firearm.
That's right. When our kids were growing up, I took them to a local firing range, where they could practice safely, then took them deer hunting. When they shot their first deer, and saw the damage the bullet did to the deer, they quickly recognized that a firearm is NOT something to play with.
 

win231

SF VIP
Location
CA
That's right. When our kids were growing up, I took them to a local firing range, where they could practice safely, then took them deer hunting. When they shot their first deer, and saw the damage the bullet did to the deer, they quickly recognized that a firearm is NOT something to play with.
That's all well & good - for normal children.
A child with a mental illness that can lead to bloodshed will be encouraged & reassured by seeing the damage a bullet does to an animal.
 

Della

Member
Location
Minnesota

There is fumbling with a key-operated lock box. Not with these.
Fort Knox FTK-PB Pistol Box Handgun Safe
That is pretty slick. I just think it should have a small light by the combination strip so you can see it in the dark and the man should have turned the box 90 degrees before he bolted it to his nightstand so he could pick up the gun without twisting his wrist so much. As it is now it would be good for a left handed man.
 

win231

SF VIP
Location
CA
That is pretty slick. I just think it should have a small light by the combination strip so you can see it in the dark and the man should have turned the box 90 degrees before he bolted it to his nightstand so he could pick up the gun without twisting his wrist so much. As it is now it would be good for a left handed man.
One of the advantages of that design is that it can be used in the dark. Once you set your combination & practice opening it a few times without looking, it will be very easy in the dark.
As for twisting the wrist, the gun can be in the box in different positions, depending on which hand is used. At my bedside, I have the barrel of the gun pointed at the back of the box so the grip is presented to me just by reaching into the front of it.
 

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