South Florida family takes a proactive approach to gun safety * Florida

MIAMI – A local South Florida family has taken a proactive approach to gun safety.

Mother Kadion Jamieson and her husband own firearms. “My kids need to be knowledgeable because we have them at home, and I don’t want accidents to happen,” Jamieson said. “As simple as that.”

Her son Ethan is 10, the youngest just four years old. Ethan learned how to use and shoot a gun two years ago.

CBS4 accepted an invitation to a local shooting range for mother-son bonding time as the youngest child was staying at grandma’s.

“He realizes this is a big deal,” Jamieson said.

Mom tells CBS4 she’s worried about exposing her child to guns and teaching him to shoot. She is aware of a recent CDC report revealing that gun violence is the leading cause of child deaths in the United States. However, she believes a more proactive, hands-on approach with guns in the home is safest.

“Less worry if I take that curiosity away from them by making sure they’re knowledgeable about gun safety,” Jamieson said.

Nexus Shooting’s manager and instructor agrees with mom’s opinion.

“They want to sneak into Mom and Dad’s closet and touch the gun,” said store manager Tommy Ferrara. “You want to touch that gun. Exposing children to guns steals their curiosity.”

On Monday at the shooting range with Ethan and his mother, Ferrara shares safety tips with the child, emphasizing the dangers and proper technique of handling a loaded gun.

“Basic rules of gun safety are that we always assume the gun is loaded,” explains Ferrara, while also teaching proper posture and other important instructions before firing at the target in front of him.

The most important piece of advice is for parents. Ferrara stresses that securing the gun at home should always be a top priority.

“If you don’t lock up your firearms, that’s not the fault of your child, it’s the fault of the parents, and the parents have to take responsibility for that,” Ferrara said.

“We have a routine at night,” Jamieson explained, sharing concerns about not doing this properly.

Jamieson says that if her family didn’t know anything about guns, they would probably wait until Ethan was much older before taking him to the shooting range. But since they own one, her relatives who work in law enforcement advised her to teach her children how to use one safely.

Only some consider the practical approach to be best. Former Congresswoman Debbie Mucarsel-Powell is a Senior Advisor at Giffords, a gun violence prevention organization. She acknowledges that parents can make the best choices for their families, but says we need to focus on changing the law and educating people about the dates.

“We shouldn’t demystify an extremely dangerous weapon,” Mucarsel-Powell said. “Just like you wouldn’t give a car to a kid who is 11 or 12 years old. We should not give them guns to touch or touch.”

“70-90% of suicides and accidental firearm deaths occur in homes where children have access to loaded guns,” she continued. “So we know that if we enact legislation like the Safe Storage Act, which requires adults and responsible gun owners to keep their firearms safe, we can prevent and reduce suicide rates by up to 50 percent.”