A teenager’s accidental death now has US lawmakers calling for a national gun storage law.
WASHINGTON (Gray DC) – On Jan. 31, 2018, Kristin Song celebrated at breakfast with her 15-year-old son, Ethan, who had just gotten his braces off. They spoke about his hopes and dreams of joining the army, one day attending Rice University, and getting married and having children. It’s a future Ethan would never see. He died later that day in an accidental shooting at a friends house.
“Within the hour I saw two police officers walking across my front lawn,” Kristin Song said, “…and when we were going into the E.R., there was a collective hush that fell over the air. They were waiting for the parents of the dead child.”
Ethan, of Guilford, Conn., accidentally shot himself. Song says it happened with an unsecured gun in the neighbor’s home. Kristin and Mike Song call Ethan’s death their ‘life sentence.’ Now, the tragedy has become their life work as they have advocated for ‘Ethan’s Law’ which requires the safe storage of guns in any place where minors may have access to the weapons. U.S. lawmakers are working to make ‘Ethan’s Law’ the law of the land by introducing federal legislation that would set a standard for all 50 states and create penalties for violations.
“There’s a hole in their heart that never, ever will be repaired. But what they have done is to take that pain, that anguish. And again, Kristin said, she gets up every morning and it’s the pain that drives her to what she’s doing. And this is not someone who has said, well, maybe you know, this month, this week, this year I will champion the cause of gun storage. No, it’s out of her heart. It’s out of her persona. It’s out of the physical pain that she and Mike are in,” DeLauro said.
The federal legislation for ‘Ethan’s Law’ is also supported by Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) and Sen. Chris Murphy (D-Conn.). The trio of Connecticut lawmakers are leading a nine member group in Congress to introduce the bill. They claim an estimated 4.6 million American minors live in a household with at least one loaded and unlocked gun and that every day, an estimated eight children and teens are injured or killed due to an unsafely stored firearm.