Blood stains the driveway outside an Alabama home where a 15-year-old was shot and killed.
Tommy Dawson is the Chief of Police for the Auburn Police Department. He remembers the day this tragic shooting occurred.
"We were flagged down by another vehicle on the way over there, and inside the car, we found Jamon Baker suffering from a single gunshot wound to the chest," Dawson recalls.
Investigators said Jamon was accidentally shot by his cousin.
Two boys in Savannah, Georgia, were playing video games when police said one of the boys grabbed his parents' gun and pulled the trigger, killing his 10-year-old neighbor.
What these terrible shootings have in common is that children managed to get their hands on loaded guns at home.
According to the Children's Defense Fund, more than 280 million guns are owned by people in the United States.
More than 100 children and teens in the U.S. die from accidents involving guns each year, and thousands more end up emergency rooms with serious injuries because they were able to get their hands on someone else's gun too easily.
Sergeant Irwin Carmichael has spent most of his 26-year career in law enforcement teaching children and parents about the importance of gun safety.
"If you have guns in your home, you need to discuss it with your kids," Carmichael says. "You need to educate them on what to do. At a certain age, they need to know to never touch it."
Carmichael believes that simply hiding an unsecured gun in your home from a child is not a viable solution.
"It is not a good idea to hide it with no lock. It's ok to hide the gun, but at least have a gun lock on it, and have it in a lock box," Carmichael says.
By the time a child celebrates their first birthday, they can squeeze your finger with seven pounds of pressure. That's approximately the same amount of pressure necessary to squeeze the trigger of a gun.
Roger Ayscue is a gun dealer at Hyatt's Guns in Charlotte, N.C., and he's also a father of three. Besides a frank discussion about guns, he says parents also need to occasionally pull out their guns and show them to their kids.
"Eliminate the natural curiosity by saying if you want to see the gun, just ask me," Ayscue advises. "That way, if my children want to see the guns—if my son wants to clean his hunting rifle—he'll ask and then, I will get it out, and he and I will sit there together and we take that time."
One of the biggest mistakes Ayscue says a parent can make is letting a child learn all they know about guns from playing video games.
"A lot of the problem parents have with firearms is that they try to hide it away from their child. Now, these are the same parents who will allow their kids to play video games where you scroll through selections of weapons, but they don't expose them to firing a real one," Ayscue says.
If there are guns in your home, keep all weapons unloaded and uncocked in a secure container.
Gun safes are the best place to store a weapon. Some smaller gun safes require you to enter a six-digit combination before it will open.
Most gun dealers will give you a free gun lock, or you can get one at most sheriff's offices. By feeding the cable through the gun, it prevents the cylinder from closing. If a child pulls the trigger, it won't fire.
"You have to instill in kids what this gun will do, and you only have one chance. Only one chance," Carmichael says.
Whether you own a gun or not, consider this: If you allow your children to go to a friend, relative or babysitter's house, find out if they have guns and if they are properly secured.
Remember, guns and ammunition should always be kept in separate, locked locations.
If you are locking your guns in a lock box with a key, make sure the key is well hidden from children.
Copyright 2012 America Now. All rights reserved.