Studies have shown that hundreds, perhaps even thousands, of children and teenagers are accidentally killed by guns in the United States each year. Millions of American kids have access to guns in their homes. People use guns all the time in movies and television shows, and the action scenes in these shows make guns look exciting and powerful. What these shows can’t really convey is the massive, painful destruction an exploding bullet causes when it hits a person’s body. While many kids understand that, in real life, guns can be very dangerous and can cause great harm, most still find guns fascinating. If an adult is supervising and your parents have given their approval, it’s okay to look at and even touch an unloaded gun. But if you are alone or with other kids and you come across a gun, remember that it is not a toy and should not be handled. Guns should never be pointed at another person, even if you intend it as a joke.
If you find a gun in your own house, a friend’s house, or elsewhere, as tempting as it might be to play with it, remember the damage that guns can cause and leave it alone. If you’re away from home, leave right away and tell your parents what happened. Your parents may be upset and worried that you found a gun, but they will be very glad that you told them about it because then they can help you stay safe.