As we mark the anniversary of the Parkland school shooting, we’d like to remind parents of the importance of firearm safety. In 80% of the school shootings since 1999, the child shooter obtained an unsecured firearm from their own home or the home of a friend or relative. In addition to school shootings, there has been an increase in youth suicides with the number one risk factor for suicide being the presence of an unsecured firearm in the home. Suicide is currently the 2nd leading cause of death for youths in the state of Indiana.
BeSMART is a firearm safety program intended to remind gun owners and non-gun owners alike that adults are responsible for keeping firearms away from children and teens. This program has been endorsed by the American Academy of Pediatrics, the Indiana PTA, the National Shooting Sports Foundation, and several gun violence prevention programs.
The “SMART” in BeSMART is an acronym for:
S — SECURE gun storage. UNLOADED, LOCKED, and ammunition LOCKED
M – MODEL safe gun behavior.
A – ASK adults in homes where children visit about how firearms are stored.
R – RECOGNIZE the signs of teen suicide. Consider removing firearms from homes during crisis periods.
T – TELL others about the BeSMART principles.
We all want to keep our children safe at home, at school, and when they visit family and friends. Please take time to visit the BeSMART website at and pledge to start the conversation about gun safety in our community.
Jennifer Haan did a presentation for the teachers and PTO earlier in the year and shares this information for us again.