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Chardon Shooting: Do You Worry About Your Kids?

How do you address this news with children?

A student is dead and four students are injured after a shooting at Chardon High School, WKYC reports.

Parents rushed to the schools to make sure their own children were ok, and tearful reunions were broadcast on local TV news reports.

In light of these events, do you worry about your kids safety? Take our poll.

How do you explain these kinds of events to your kids? Tell us in the comments.

Debbie S. February 27, 2012 at 04:54 PM
The required "safety drills" at school horrify me as much as the violence itself. I hate that my kids knew what a lock-down was and why it was needed when they were in kindergarten. I didn't have a choice about explaining it to them, either, because it was required in school. I hope these "safety drills" will go the way of the old air-raid drills of the 1940's. Even knowing that school shootings are a relatively rare occurrence, it is so sad that they occur at all, especially when it's kids shooting kids.
* February 27, 2012 at 09:41 PM
Gun Deaths & Injuries In 2007, guns took the lives of 31,224 Americans in homicides, suicides and unintentional shootings. This is the equivalent of more than 85 deaths each day and more than three deaths each hour. 69,863 Americans were treated in hospital emergency department for non-fatal gunshot wounds in 2007. Firearms were the third-leading cause of injury-related deaths nationwide in 2007, following motor vehicle accidents and poisoning. Between 1955 and 1975, the Vietnam War killed over 58,000 American soldiers – less than the number of civilians killed with guns in the U.S. in an average two-year period. In the first seven years of the U.S.-Iraq War, over 4,400 American soldiers were killed. Almost as many civilians are killed with guns in the U.S., however, every seven weeks. Guns were used in 12,632 homicides in 2007, comprising over 40% of all gun deaths, and nearly 69% of all homicides. On average, 33 gun homicides were committed each day for the years 2002-2007. Regions and states with higher rates of gun ownership have significantly higher rates of homicide than states with lower rates of gun ownership. Where guns are prevalent, there are significantly more homicides, particularly gun homicides.
* February 27, 2012 at 09:43 PM
Over 50% of all suicides are committed with a firearm. On average, 46 gun suicides were committed each day for the years 2001-2007. White males, about 40% of the U.S. population, accounted for over 80% of firearm suicides in 2007. More than 75% of guns used in suicide attempts and unintentional injuries of 0-19 year-olds were stored in the residence of the victim, a relative, or a friend. The risk of suicide increases in homes where guns are kept loaded and/or unlocked. Unintentional Deaths & Injuries In 2007, guns were the cause of the unintentional deaths of 613 people. From 2001 through 2007, over 4,900 people in the United States died from unintentional shootings. Over 1,750 victims of unintentional shootings between 2001 and 2007 were under 25 years of age. People of all age groups are significantly more likely to die from unintentional firearm injuries when they live in states with more guns, relative to states with fewer guns. On average, states with the highest gun levels had nine times the rate of unintentional firearms deaths compared to states with the lowest gun levels. A federal government study of unintentional shootings found that 8% of such shooting deaths resulted from shots fired by children under the age of six. The U.S. General Accounting Office has estimated that 31% of unintentional deaths caused by firearms might be prevented by the addition of two devices: a child-proof safety lock (8%) and a loading indicator (23%).2
* February 27, 2012 at 09:46 PM
Many young children, including children as young as three years old, are strong enough to fire handguns. Guns cause the death of 20 children and young adults (24 years of age and under) each day in the U.S. Children and young adults (24 years of age and under) constitute over 41% of all firearm deaths and non-fatal injuries. In the United States, over 1.69 million kids age 18 and under are living in households with loaded and unlocked firearms.
* February 27, 2012 at 09:48 PM
A U.S. Secret Service study of 37 school shootings in 26 states found that in nearly two-thirds of the incidents, the attacker got the gun from his or her own home or that of a relative. The U.S. has the highest rate of firearm deaths among 25 high-income nations.66 Another study concluded that among 36 high-income and upper-middle-income countries, the U.S. has the highest overall gun mortality rate. The overall firearm-related death rate among U.S. children under the age of 15 is nearly 12 times higher than that among children in 25 other industrialized nations combined. The firearm-related suicide rate for children between the ages of 5 and 14 years old in the United States is nearly 11 times higher than that in 25 other developed countries. Americans own far more civilian firearms – particularly handguns – than people in other industrialized nations and U.S. gun laws are among the most lax in the world.
* February 27, 2012 at 10:02 PM
"If I were writing the Bill of Rights now there wouldn't be any such thing as the Second Amendment... This has been the subject of one of the greatest pieces of fraud, I repeat the word 'fraud', on the American public by special interest groups that I have ever seen in my lifetime. The real purpose of the Second Amendment was to ensure that state armies - the militia - would be maintained for the defense of the state. The very language of the Second Amendment refutes any argument that it was intended to guarantee every citizen an unfettered right to any kink of weapon he or she desires." - Warren Burger, former U.S. Supreme Court Chief Justice, Parade Magazine, 1/14/90 "Mutual protection should be the aim of citizens, not individual self-protection. Until we are willing to outlaw the very existence or manufacture of civilian handguns we have no right to call ourselves citizens or consider our behavior even minimally civil." - Garry Wills
M. Rittenour February 27, 2012 at 11:57 PM
I am sorry you feel the way you do about gun control, but perhaps if you had a close family member (such as myself) who was stabbed multiple times with a screwdriver by an intruder, and who may have been able to protect themselves if a gun had been available to them at the time, you would not be so sure about your stance on gun control. Having guns in the home is a personal choice, granted to us by our founding Fathers. And while you need to excercise caution, and use common sense in regards to their use, I will be forever thankful to them for granting us thie Right.
James Thomas February 28, 2012 at 01:05 AM
K.C., would you deny a victim of human trafficing any possibility of accessing a firearm? Her trafficer's would.
James Thomas February 28, 2012 at 01:16 AM
M. Rittenour, every legal gun owner knew Ms. Creese's litany was coming as soon as this story hit the news. It's just that, a dogmatic litany. It changes no opinions. It's just noise.
Marjie February 28, 2012 at 01:18 AM
The youth who did this was clearly disturbed... who knows if he was bullied or what his motivation was. But this was to be about how we explain tragic events like this to our children, not the politics/opinions of gun control. It's quite possible that he still would have engaged in a violent, potentially lethal act even without access to a gun. He could have used a bomb, or came in swinging with a knife (in fact, I believe I read he had a knife on him as well as the .22 rifle). I don't have children, but I have nephews and plenty of friends with school-age kids who are torn-up about how to discuss this. How honest are you? Do you allow them to watch/read the associated media? Are teachers/school administrators/parents all on the same page as to how much information is being delved out to the students about the incident? It's tough.
Jack Kelly February 28, 2012 at 01:22 AM
Mr. Thomas & M. Rittenour: Please don't feed the troll!
James Thomas February 28, 2012 at 01:35 AM
To use your favorite tactic: "There are three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies and statistics" - Mark Twain
James Thomas February 28, 2012 at 03:23 AM
Jack H., LOL. But trolls are so insistant.
Eulla Khayat February 28, 2012 at 02:23 PM
I agree with Debbie. I also hate that my first grader knows what a lockdown is. Kids should always feel safe at school and I always like to think mine are safe in Avon.It seems the only thing that will guarantee our children's safety is a metal detector,which is ridiculous. What has this world come to?
Debbie S. February 28, 2012 at 02:42 PM
The answer to this question depends on the age and the overall awareness/curiosity. My 12 year old heard about this from a school friend. We will share with her the facts of the case, but ALSO the fact that there is still only a 1 in 1 million chance statistically that a student at school will die from gun violence. Honesty is essential, but that doesn't mean every little graphic detail needs to be shared. We do not watch TV for the most part, and ESPECIALLY not TV "news," but we will help her find appropriate sources of information WITHOUT graphic images or emotional witness descriptions which would add to her stress. She is very empathetic and feels horrible for the kids who were shot and died, and she already has a skewed perception of the dangers of high school after hearing about the Craigslist case involving a Stow HS student. There is definitely a balancing act here between informing, protecting, warning, yet providing perspective.
joe ponikarovsky February 28, 2012 at 03:27 PM
there's nothing wrong with metal detectors. they're inconvenient, yes, but they keep schools safe. not just inner city schools have them, either; many schools in otherwise safe, suburban communities have been using them for 10+ years. not because they think something might happen, but because they want to try and ensure that nothing *will* happen. i actually found it odd that chardon didn't have anything in place and i wonder, how many other schools in the area use preventative measures like metal detectors, disallowing backpacks, random locker searches, etc? just having a lock-down procedure and hoping that nobody's troubled enough to cause a tragedy like this won't keep the tragedy from happening; it just tries to mitigate the damage.
* March 02, 2012 at 03:01 AM
The individual has always had to struggle to keep from being overwhelmed by the tribe. If you try it, you will be lonely often, and sometimes frightened. But no price is too high to pay for the privilege of owning yourself. ~Friedrich Nietzsche
Jack Kelly March 02, 2012 at 01:41 PM
Chardon didn't have a plan? What are you talking about? Chardon DID have a plan and it was put into action on Monday. A school safety plan -- outside of students, staff and emergency/safety personnel -- should NOT be public information (and anyone who thinks it should be REALLY needs to think long and hard why it should NOT be). And their plans are coordinated with local safety forces. Unlike the quaterbackers who have ZERO expertise in this. How do you know Chardon does not do random locker searches? Oh. You don't. Disallowing backpacks? You've got to be joking. Why don't we have the kids turn their pockets inside out before entering the school, too. Good grief. People who suggest that metal detectors should be in every school is flat-out ridiculous (not to mention very expensive). Plus, you seem to be missing the point of lock-downs (and Chardon does them regularly) why they're done and put into place. The purpose IS to mitigate damage, etc. This was ONE instance that happened. A school can take all of the precautions possible, but NONE are 100%. Nor, is it possible to plan for every scenario. If someone is hell-bent on doing something, they'll find a way to do it. People need to cease using a tragedy like this to springboard into their agenda and/or using this as another opportunity to criticize/blame -- even remotely -- the schools (like so many love to do any chance they get).

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