PHOENIX — One in three homes that have kids living in them in America also have guns. Many of them are loaded and unlocked.
That can be dangerous.
Fourteen-year-old Ethan Younger found out the hard way when he was spending the night at a friend’s house.
“I was shot by a 12-gauge shotgun,” Younger said.
He was wounded in the leg when the gun went off as a friend was handling it.
Ethan’s mom, Kristine, remembers getting to the hospital.
“That’s when they told me that it had hit a femoral artery, and that they were trying to stop the bleeding, but they hadn’t yet,” she recalled. “The doctors were literally on top of him, and they said ‘We’re going to wheel him out to surgery.”
Ethan spent 40 days at Phoenix Children’s Hospital and has recovered. He now encourages parents to ask a question before they let their kids go to a friend’s house: “Are there any guns in the house? If so, are they locked up?Where are they?”
Those are the same questions that the Asking Saves Kids campaign wants parents to ask. The campaign believes that getting the answer to that simple question could save your kid’s life.
Kristine agrees with ASK’s message.
“I would not wish this experience on our worst enemy,” she said. “It’s something that is so avoidable. A simple question could save a lifetime of hurt.”
The ASK Campaign is giving out free information and free gun locks at three Valley locations this week:
- On Monday, from 3-6 p.m. at the Desert West Community Center, 6501 W. Virginia Ave., Phoenix.
- Wednesday, from 9:30-11:30 a.m. at the Maryvale Community Center, 4420 N. 51st Ave., Phoenix.
- Saturday, from 10 a.m.-1 p.m. at the Sunnyslope Community Center, 802 E. Vogel Ave., Phoenix.
For more information, call 602-933-3393.