Child shooting prompts more gun safety discussion in the metro

Posted at 5:13 PM, Sep 26, 2017
and last updated 2017-09-26 18:13:27-04

KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Just one accidental shooting involving a child is one too many. 

That’s why the Kansas City Police Department and a nonprofit group, Moms Demand Action, teamed up to present and urge parents to keep their guns locked.

“It just takes a second for a kid to pick up a gun,” Kansas City, Missouri resident Ronald Williams said. “You can't watch kids all the time. Lock them up and be safe.” 

That’s why Williams was at the Bluford library Tuesday morning, where KCPD offered free gun locks. 

Williams doesn’t own a gun but wanted to pick one up for his daughter.

“I'm getting this for my daughter so she can lock her gun up,” he said. 

Williams was also there for a Moms Demand Action presentation, where leaders are urging people in the community to remember the acronym of Be SMART:

  • Secure guns in homes and cars
  • Model responsible behavior
  • Ask about unsecured guns in other homes
  • Recognize the risks of teen suicide
  • Tell your parents to be smart

“This is not a political message by any stretch,” regional Be SMART trainer Andrea Kimball said. “This is how to protect children, first and foremost.”

It was a presentation that struck an unforgettable memory for Williams. At just 13 years old, his friend was accidentally killed by another classmate. 

“They got to wrestling, pulled the trigger and one died,” he said. 

It's a friend Williams still thinks about to this day.

“All the time, you know, thinking about it right now brings tears to my eyes,” Williams said. “Two people’s lives messed up behind one gun. It could've been locked.”

Williams said he hopes more people will take advantage of these free gun locks, so the memory he still holds close to his heart won’t be that of someone else. 

“It could’ve stopped it, yeah, if it was locked up,” he said. “It would've never went off. But it did and I lost a good friend.”

There will be another Be SMART presentation held on Wednesday at 2 p.m. at the North-East Library. Free gun locks will be provided.

If you are unable to make the presentation, ask your local police department about free gun locks.