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We must do more to end gun-related violence. Promoting the use of gun lock safety is a way to achieve that end.

The 21-member Oakland County Board of Commissioners has created a public service announcement (PSA) stressing the importance of gun safety as a way to end violence. In partnership with the Oakland County Sheriff’s Office and the National Project Child Safe organization, we will unveil the PSA during a June 2 news conference. In addition, we are joining 25 local enforcement agencies in a free safety lock giveaway on June 5 to celebrate and promote Gun Safety Awareness Day.

National statistics are as sobering as the acts are senseless: In 2010, 15,576 children and teenagers were injured by firearms. About 85 Americans are fatally shot each day. Fifty-three of those shot dead each day are suicides. Every day one of those killed by firearms is a 14-year-old or younger. Metro Detroit isn’t immune from such unfortunate acts and instances. Far too many of us have been personally affected. A 9-year-old Metro Detroit boy died last November after accidentally shooting himself in the chest in his home. According to police, several children were home alone when the tragic incident occurred. It was the third case in a month where a child had been hurt when playing with a weapon.

That’s why the commission adopted resolution No. 13017 in early 2013. It charged our public services committee to “meet to examine issues germane to gun violence in Oakland County and the role of the Board of Commissioners, departments and agencies in combating it.”

The resolution further requested our “Public Services Committee to meet to examine issues germane to gun violence in Oakland County and the role of the Board of Commissioners, departments and agencies in combating it.”

Armed with that task, the committee held five televised hearings focusing on several different fields of expertise and facets of gun violence prevention. It was fortunate to have input from many significant speakers who work in and around these issues on a day-to-day basis. In addition, Oakland County government gave out 2,000 gun locks for free, and without questions asked.

My colleagues and I on the Oakland County Board of Commissioners won an achievement award from the National Association of Counties for our effort. We’re excited and eager to repeat our action-oriented campaign again this year.

Together we can stop senseless violence.

Nancy Quarles, D-Southfield, represents the 17th District on the Oakland County Board of Commissioners.

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