Willie Burton Suggests Ways to Prevent Accidental Shootings

It was an honor to consult the Detroit News on this important matter.  The full article is available here: http://www.detroitnews.com/story/news/local/detroit-city/2017/03/26/one-week-detroit-area-youth-shot-found-guns/99667558/

Detroit Police Commissioner Willie Burton has taken an interest in gun safety and children after 5-year-old Mariah Davis found a gun last May under a pillow and fatally shot herself.

Burton resolved then that “no child should have access to a gun.”

In the months since, he’s distributed some 300 gun safety locks to Detroit gun owners and has taken on gun safety as a pet issue on the police commission.

“(The) Detroit Police Department cannot police stupidity,” Burton said. “It’s one thing to have a gun ‘put away’ and another thing to have it locked up.”

But gun locks are just one part of Burton’s strategy. Another is starting a dialogue with gun-owners about what to teach children to do when they find a gun, or their friend brings over a gun.

Burton said he’s handed out about 50 pledge cards for parents to give their children in which they sign a pledge not to touch a gun they find, but instead alert an adult or call the authorities.

Just as important as the signed pledge, he said, is that “… families are having this conversation about gun safety.”

“We’ve got to get back to the basics of sitting down and talking with our children,” he said.

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About Willie Burton

Willie Burton is the Police Commissioner for Detroit's Fifth District. He answers to the people in his district. He is an experienced, committed, and compassionate leader who is dedicated to serving his community.
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