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In a story making national news right now, a Manchester, Tenn., teen died by gun suicide last month after being “outed” online. While most of the media coverage has focused on the role of cyberbullying in the death, no one is talking about how he accessed the gun he used to end his life.

Just like we see in this family’s tragedy, when American teens die by gun suicide, they overwhelmingly do so with a gun found in their home. I point this out not to shame or blame the gun owners, but instead to emphasize the real risk that unsecured firearms pose, especially in households with teens.

The CDC estimates that 17 percent of American high schoolers report they’ve seriously considered suicide, and when they have easy access to a gun at home, those teens’ temporary moment of crisis can quickly turn into a lifetime of sorrow for their loved ones.

Please keep all guns stored safely away from your teens— locked and unloaded— to help prevent more senseless death.

Jessie McKinney,

Hendersonville

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