Parents, officials say ‘gun safety begins at home’ following threat of shooting at WF school
FARGO, ND (Valley News Live) – Students were back in class today at Cheney Middle School after learning virtually Tuesday due to a school shooting threat made on Snapchat.
Police said two people have since been arrested and face felony charges in juvenile court.
The conversation on how to move forward continues tonight as parents, police and gun experts urge families to talk about gun safety and not to ignore any signs before -runner.
“These conversations should be happening at home all the time about gun safety and making sure people are accountable for the things we make accessible in our homes,” the West Fargo Police Chief said, Denis Otterness.
“I can almost guarantee that anyone in their day-to-day life will one day stumble upon a gun. So general training, general safety is a must, ”said Mike Price, general manager of Bill’s Gun Shop & Range.
Price says being a responsible gun owner is all about storing your guns properly and making sure no one else has access to them. He says that while you shouldn’t be hiding your gun, your kids shouldn’t know your safe’s code or where you hide the keys.
“It’s like Christmas presents. You hide it, the kids will look for it because if it’s hidden, it must be something really cool, ”he explained. “You shouldn’t have a problem as long as you remove the novelty and they have the knowledge to handle it safely. “
Erica Thomas says these are already rules that she has implemented in her house.
“(My kids) don’t know where the keys are, they don’t know the safe code, and they don’t have my fingerprint either. We have built-in security on my gun, ”Thomas said.
Thomas says that once her children are a little older, she plans to take them to the shooting range for a more hands-on teaching experience.
Price says he often sees families at the beach, and says the minimum age for a child to be on the beach is 10 while a parent is with them.
“Bring it to them ASAP, that way it gets rid of the novelty sooner and they’re less likely to try and laugh at it,” he said.
Price and Thomas say it’s important to watch for warning signs in your kids both in person and on social media. Thomas insists that your children know not only that they are not alone, but that there are better ways to deal with what they are going through than violence.
“We said to our kids, ‘If you ever feel like you have a moment when you can’t take it anymore, come see us first.’ We have access to mental health places to help our children. Don’t be afraid to seek that help, ”Thomas said.
“You don’t necessarily have to be watching your kids all the time, but there are all kinds of warning signs a person can spot. If you come home and all of a sudden your closet is open and you remember closing it, and if that’s where you keep your gun, absolutely check your gun, ”said Price.
Price says that for parents who fear they won’t have quick access to their guns, but are also looking to protect their kids from their gun, a biometric safe, which only opens with a fingerprint, is the best.
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