Dawn Colclasure's Blog

Author and poet Dawn Colclasure

Monday, June 14, 2021

You wouldn't give a child a loaded gun, would you?


Guns don’t belong in the curious hands of small children who could hurt themselves with it. Especially if it’s loaded. But that’s exactly what’s going on for every child who finds a loaded gun that was thoughtlessly left out. There might as well have been a giant sign right over the gun reading, “Take Me!”

In most cases, the child who finds that gun turns into a victim of gun negligence.

According to a 2019 survey by Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, there are an estimated 1.9 million children living in homes with loaded AND unlocked firearms. Of these children, 85% are likely to die due to gun-related violence or misuse. And then there are cases of adults suffering from mental illness easily getting hold of a loaded weapon kept in the home and using it on their loved ones, even themselves. Countless stories have appeared in news media of children younger than 10 finding a loaded firearm in their home and accidentally discharging the weapon.

That’s exactly what happened to 2-year-old Sunny, a child who lost her life after she found her father’s loaded handgun in his bedroom. Without an adult around, the unthinkable happened — just as it has for so many other children and teenagers.

Remembering Sunny by Dawn Colclasure brings to light how tragedy strikes due to gun negligence. June is Gun Violence Awareness Month, and it’s time to bring the issue of gun negligence into the spotlight. Too many young lives have been lost due to irresponsible gun owners leaving loaded guns where children can have easy access to them. With any loaded weapon left lying around where a child could easily get to it, or a person suffering from a mental illness experiencing a psychotic episode, someone’s life is suddenly at stake. And in most cases, that life meets a tragic end.

Sunny’s mother finds a way to turn her loss into a movement against gun negligence, hoping to save the lives of other children. With such innocent lives at stake, it is a story meant to show just how important it is to be more responsible gun owners and give our children every chance they have of even having the ability to live to adulthood.

Check out Remembering Sunny here
Read an excerpt

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Review copy available upon request.

Dawn Colclasure is the author and co-author of over two dozen books. She has been published in regional and national publications. Remembering Sunny is her latest release from Gypsy Shadow Publishing. She lives with her husband and children in Eugene, Oregon.



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