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Section: children, grief-and-loss

Dear Ann Landers,
Yesterday, we buried our only son. He was 9 years old. Apparently, he found the loaded gun my husband kept in the drawer of his nightstand, and well -- you can guess the rest. Please tell your readers NEVER to leave a loaded gun where a child can reach it. Even better advice, don't have a gun in the house. It won't protect you. The invader is more experienced at shooting, and he will get you before you get him. It is too late for us to protect our son from our carelessness, Ann, but maybe my letter will save someone else's child. -- Grieving in the Midwest

Dear Midwest,
You have written a powerful letter, and I thank you. I hope my readers will give it the attention it deserves.

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A Note from Margo:
Hi! It's Margo here. I'd love to know what you think of the letters -- and the answers!

Also, any additional thoughts you might have. Thanks!

Tammy's Comment
So I shouldn’t keep a gun in my house for protection because your husband was ignorant? Hmmm seems typical these days. The intruder is not “more experienced at shooting” then responsible gun owners because we practice and follow safety guidelines. I’m sorry about her son and I place the blame where it belongs, not on an inanimate object. We have raised 5 kids and had various other kids in an out of our home throughout the years and have never even had a child so much as touch one of our firearms without permission. We also have a lock on our bedroom door and a safe for long guns. A gun, a dog, a knife, the stove……none of these are different. A child should NEVER be left in the room alone with any of these items.

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Debra's Comment
My 3 siblings and I were raised in a home with a gun and also a Grandparents house with a gun. NEVER a problem. The answer is educating your children!!!!!!!!!! We knew never to touch the guns. Sure we would open the drawer and look but not touch.

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Melisa Ortega's Comment

Reader Comment
Sorry for your loss, but you shouldn't try to take the rights of others because you guys didn't practice good gun safety. You are trying to punish everyone else for your mistake. Take some responsibility instead of blaming others for your mistakes.
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Our Reader to Reader Question of the Week:

Dear Readers,
, whatever they needed I provided. What really hurt my son and I the most was the obituary - we were not mentioned at all. Our friends (mine and hers) were appalled. I was embarrassed and upset for not just me, but for my son-who loved her also. I never been so upset. Her x-husband put his wife and kids and their grandchildren in the obituary, who my girlfriend barely knew. They live an hour away from us. I know its silly to be mad over a little section of the newspaper, but it still hurts. Will time let this devastating loss of her and this article ever go away? I am so angry at this whole situation, its not like we can go and rewrite an obituary notice.

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"Expect trouble as an inevitable part of life and repeat to yourself, the most comforting words of all; this, too, shall pass."
-Ann Landers