Police give away free cable gun locks

A young child is playing hide-and-seek in the closet of his parents’ bedroom and finds a loaded rifle. All of a sudden the sporting firearm has become a threat that could bring injury or death to a family member.

The Hood River City Police Department is trying to prevent this grim scenario from playing out in the homes of county residents. The agency is now giving away free cable locks to help gun owners secure their weapons and prevent a tragic accident. A Project ChildSafe grant from the National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF) has netted the law enforcement agency 1,000 of the safety devices.

“Hundreds of kids get hurt or killed every year by playing with their parent’s gun and this is just a good way to know that the firearms in your house are safe,” said Community Resource Officer Aaron Jubitz.

According to the National Safety Council, accidents involving firearms in the home have decreased significantly over the last 20 years. Jubitz said that good news is credited, in part, for an educational campaign that has been directed toward gunowners by organizations such as the NSSF.

“Owning a firearm is a responsibility and you should take that responsibility very seriously,” Jubitz said.

He said all gun owners are responsible for stowing their handguns or rifles in a safe manner. In addition to using a locking device to make the weapon inoperable, Jubitz said the NSSF also recommends the following “common sense” rules:

Always unload firearms carefully and completely before taking them into the home. Remember to keep the muzzle pointed in a safe direction and never load a gun in the home.

Make absolutely sure that firearms are securely stored out of the reach of children. Place them in a locked cabinet, safe, vault or case.

Keep ammunition in a locked location that is separate from the firearms and out of the reach of children.

Jubitz said all gun owners are encouraged to pick up a lock for each of their firearms at the police station, Second and State streets.

For more information about Project ChildSafe program of free Firearm Safety Kits visit the NSSF website at www.projectchildsafe.org.

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Welcome to your sing-able Christmas gift list. What follows is an emergency rendition of “12 Days of Christmas” – for outfitting your home or car in case of snow storm, earthquake, flood or other emergency. Read it as a simple list, or sing it to the tune of “12 Days” – you know, as in “ … and a partridge in a pear tree…” Not to make light of it, but the song is a familiar framework for a set of gift ideas that you could consider gathering together, even if the recipient already owns items such as a bunch of coats, tire chains and flashlights. Stores throughout the Gorge are stocked up on all these items. Buying all 12 days might be prohibitive, but here are three ideas for checking any of the dozen off your list (notations follow, 1-12.) The gift items needed to stay warm, dry and safe are also coded to suggest items in your abode (A) in your car (C) or both (B). 12 Gallons of Water (A) 11 Family meals (B) 10 Cans of propane (A) 9 Hygiene bags (B) 8 Packs of batteries (A) 7 Spare coats (B) 6 Bright red flares (C) 5 Cozy blankets (B) 4 Tire chains (C) 3 Flashlights (B) 2 cell phone chargers (B) 1 And a crush-proof first aid kit (B) Price ranges? Here’s a few quotes for days Three, Two, Four and Nine: n A family gift of flashlights (three will run $15-30, Hood River Supply, Tum-A-Lum) n Cell phone chargers (two will run $30-60) n Tire chains (basic set, $30, Les Schwab, returnable if unused for the winter) n Family meals ($100 or so should cover the basics for three or four reasonably well-fed days) n The home kit should be kept in a handy place near an exit, and remember that water needs to be replenished every few months. If you have a solid first aid kit already, switch out the gift idea with “and-a-sto-o-u-t- tub-for it-all …” Otherwise, it’s a case of assembling your home or car kits and making sure all members of the family know what the resources are and how to use them (ie flares and propane). Emergency situations are at worst life-threatening, at best deeply uncomfortable if you and your family are left without power for an extended period, or traveling and find yourself in a situation where you need to wait out a storm, lengthy traffic delay, or other crisis. Notes on the 12 gift ideas: 12 – Gallons of water: that’s one per person in a four-member family to last for three days, the recommended minimum to be prepared for utility outages. 11 – Easy-open packaged goods, energy bars, dried food and nuts are good things to include for nutrition. Think of what your family of four needs for three days to stay fortified and hydrated (see number 12). Can-opener also recommended 10 – If you have a propane camping stove, keep extra fuel handy. 9 – Hygiene bags: put packaged moistened towelettes, toilet paper, and plastic ties in large garbage bags (for personal sanitation) Resource list courtesy of Hood River County Emergency Management, Barbara Ayers, manager/ 541-386-1213. The county also reminds residents to Get a Kit, Make A Plan to connect your family if separated, and Stay Informed. See www.co.hood-river.or.us to opt-in for citizen alerts. Enlarge

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