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The question you ASK has the power to save your child’s life

By Penny Okamoto, Executive Director of Ceasefire Oregon

Summer has finally arrived. Playdates and vacations abound. But before you send your child or grandchild to someone’s home, ASK if there is a gun where those children will live or play.

In America, one out of three homes with children has a gun, many kept unlocked or loaded. Every year thousands of kids are killed and injured as a result. In fact, 8 children in America are shot to death every day.

The ASK (Asking Saves Kids) Campaign promotes a simple idea with the potential to help keep kids safe. It encourages parents to ASK if there is an unlocked gun in the homes where their children play. The ASK Campaign was created in collaboration with the American Academy of Pediatrics.

Parents ask all sorts of questions before their children visit other homes. They ask about pets in the house, discuss allergies, and ask questions about supervision. ASK encourages parents to add one more question to this conversation: “Is there an unlocked gun in your house?” It’s a simple question, but it has the power to save a child’s life.

If you are uncomfortable about ASKing, then tell. Tell parents that you have a firearm and keep it secured (in a gun safe, etc.) or that you do not have firearms in your home. That can making ASKing easier.

This year, Governor Brown, Portland Mayor Hales and Eugene Mayor Piercy have all proclaimed today as ASK Day in Oregon because they understand that preventing gun violence can be as simple as ensuring that firearms and ammunition are properly stored.

For more than a decade, the ASK Campaign has partnered with over 400 grassroots organizations to spread its message in neighborhoods nationwide. It has successfully inspired an estimated 19 million households to ask if there are guns where their children play. Join these parents and pledge to ASK this life-saving question at You can also learn about more ways to get involved in ASK, and how you can spread the ASK message in your community.

Please, before your children go to someone else’s home ASK if there is a gun. If so, make sure the gun is securely locked away.