November 10, 2020
Basic Needs
Family Support
Lock with heart engraved on it.

By Barbara Markley, Co-Chair of the Gun Safety Committee for the League of Women Voters of Broward

Locking up guns in the home prevents accidental shootings, reduces crime, and reduces suicide risk – in short, it saves lives. In the U.S., 4.6 million children live in homes with unsecured guns and over 75% of teens who commit suicide with a gun use a gun from home. In Florida, a child is shot every seventeen hours on average and a gun is stolen every twenty-six minutes and is used to commit crime. Most of those guns are stolen from cars. Shockingly, eighty thousand guns were stolen from Floridians in a three year period, making Florida third in the nation for gun theft. One stolen gun can create a ripple effect of death and destruction for years to come. A recent example occurred in Oklahoma where a man was fatally shot with a gun stolen six years earlier from Louisiana, nine hundred miles away.

Clearly, locking up guns would save lives and reduce crime significantly. In addition, gun violence costs Floridians $14 billion each year in medical costs, lost wages, increased security, etc. It is critical that everyone play a part in reducing gun violence. Like MADD’s “don’t drink and drive” we need to change the narrative and empower everyone to work for gun safety in our

There were 40,000 gun deaths in the U.S. last year, the highest number in almost 50 years, and 2/3 of those deaths were suicides. People purchase guns for protection but having a gun in the home can increase the risk for you and your family. The reason is that, while the level of violent crime is holding steady, suicide is on the rise in the U.S. across all demographics. Easy access to loaded guns is fueling this crisis. Studies show that the decision to commit suicide is frequently an impulsive decision, sometimes made in as little as five minutes. Studies also show that 9 out of 10 people who survive a suicide attempt will never try again – but the use of a gun is the most lethal and most often fatal method. A sobering fact is that a home with a gun in it is three times more likely to have a suicide than a home without a gun.

Finally, the FBI has studied school shootings and concluded that in 7 out of 10 shootings, the perpetrator obtained the gun from home or from a relative’s home.

In conclusion, locking up guns in the home saves lives preventing accidents, suicides, and theft. In addition, guns should never be left in cars without being locked in an appropriate car safe. It’s the responsible thing to do and  the life you save may be your own – or your child’s. 

Barbara Markley is an attorney, an advocate for gun safety, and the Co-Chair of the Gun Safety Committee for the League of Women Voters of Broward. She serves on the Broward Coalition for Prevention of Suicide Lethal Means Task Force and is an ex-oficio member of the Board of Directors for the Florida Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics.

The League of Women Voters is nonpartisan and community-based, working to improve government and engage citizens in the decisions that impact our lives. The League is a grassroots organization, working at the local, state, and national levels and is celebrating its 100th anniversary this year. For more information about the League, please visit www.lwvbroward.org

If you would like information about the Lock it Up! program, or wish to request a presentation, or obtain free gun locks and brochures, please e-mail gunsafety@lwvbroward.org or call 954-546-4484. Check out the Lock it Up! PSA: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N450qjRESBo&feature=youtu.be

Share this post

Learn More About CSC Broward

Accessibility Statement

Our organization provides leadership, advocacy and resources to enhance the lives of the children of Broward County and empower them to become responsible, productive adults.

Stay Connected

Find A Program That Fits Your Needs

Other CSC-Funded Community Initiatives
2-1-1 Broward General Hotline | 2-1-1 Broward

2-1-1 Broward, an information & referral line, provides a 24-hour, comprehensive help line and support service for individuals seeking crisis intervention assistance and/or information and referrals to health and human services in Broward County. An impressive database of information is used to provide community callers with current, relevant information regarding a wide variety of services within the community. All calls are toll-free, confidential and anonymous from anywhere in Broward County.

Other CSC-Funded Community Initiatives
2-1-1 Broward Special Needs and Behavioral Health | 2-1-1 Broward

The 2-1-1 Hotline is Broward’s single source for information and referrals for children with behavioral health needs and disabilities. The hotline’s specialized staff focuses on helping parents, caregivers, agencies, and medical practitioners who serve the needs of children, find programming, support and hope. A case management component is also available for families in need of assistance accessing and navigating the special needs and behavioral health system of care.

Capacity Building
Capacity Building Mini Grants | Children's Services Council of Broward County

Infrastructure building support is provided to local child and family serving nonprofit organizations through our annual Capacity Buildings Mini Grants. Through a competitive grant process, local organizations are awarded funding for capacity building projects, professional business coaching and or fundraising support each year.
Primary POC: Adamma DuCille | aducille@cscbroward.org

Other CSC-Funded Community Initiatives
Community Builders| Children's Services Council of Broward County

Improving Lives Through Collective Impact through the Broward County Children’s Strategic Plan

Health & Safety Initiatives
Cribs for Kids | Broward Healthy Start Coalition, Inc.

In 2003, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) published a report that estimated that the risk of infant suffocation increases 20-fold when infants and adults sleep in the same bed. In 2005, the AAP restated that co-sleeping is a growing concern and recommended that infants not share a bed during sleep.

Capacity Building
CSC Sponsored Trainings | Children's Services Council of Broward County

The CSC offers quality and affordable training workshops for professionals serving children and families in Broward County. Each session is led by instructors that are highly qualified and experienced in their field to provide an optimal learning environment. CEU’s are also offered for many of the completed courses. For a training calendar and to register, please visit our website at training.cscbroward.org.

Primary POC: Adamma DuCille | aducille@cscbroward.org

Health & Safety Initiatives
Drowning Prevention | Florida Department of Health in Broward County

Drowning Prevention is a collaborative community effort driven by the Drowning Prevention Task Force. In 2009, the Children’s Services Council allocated funding to support a full-time coordinator housed at the Broward County Health Department who provides insight and accountability for the implementation of the Drowning Prevention Action Plan.

The Faces of CSC

The impact Future Prep had on Sarah fomented her desire to give back to her community. Today, she is a Counselor for Memorial’s CSC-funded Youth Force program, helping other young people gain confidence and determine their own path for the future.
This program has touched me and made a difference in my life.
Thanks to the Children’s Services Council and the YMCA of Broward County, students have an opportunity to give a voice to issues that are important to them.