OAKLAND (KPIX 5) — A father who lost a son after an accidental shooting wants other parents to ask a simple question this summer.
It’s one that could save a life.
With school out, kids are concentrating on play and sometimes that means going over to someone else’s house.
But the Alameda County District Attorney’s office says before they allow that, parents should ask some important questions.
Alameda County Assistant District Attorney Teresa Drenick said, “Is there a gun in the home? Is that gun locked and is it unloaded? Is it in a place where kids could accidentally find it or access it?”
Statistics show one in three homes have guns, and eight children are accidentally shot every day in this country.
In 1994, 15-year-old Kenzo Dix was at a friend’s house in Berkeley when his parents were called to the hospital.
His father Griffin Dix said, “An emergency room technician came in and told us my son had been shot and they had not been able to save his life.”
He says he never knew the friend’s house contained a gun. Now, he’s promoting the ASK campaign, short for Asking Saves Kids.
But while it’s an important question, it can also be an uncomfortable one to ask.
Oakland resident James Crayton said, “It’s kind of like…touchy. Because you don’t want to offend the person by saying that they are not good parents.”
Patricia Calloway, a public health nurse in Alameda County said, “That’s a question I would definitely ask any parent and I would expect them to ask that of me also.”
Griffin Dix never thought to ask, but he’s encouraging others to do it now. Because, even though it has been 23 years since his son was killed, it never gets any easier.
“Something like this…it’s devastating and you want to avoid it,” Griffin Dix said.
The DA says the law requires guns be safely stored around kids. If a child is accidentally injured or killed, the gun’s owner could be charged with a felony and face three years in prison.