On Your Side Investigation: Kids and guns, Part II
A gun left in a children's classroom? On purpose? It's all part of an experiment the On Your Side Investigators conducted with a daycare and police.
Parents secretly watched as their children discovered the gun and quickly told an adult.
"I didn't touch it because it was real," Gabriel Beamish said.
"I run away from it when I first saw it, and then I fell, but I got up and went away," said Corriana Brassfield.
Naturally, parents were proud.
"I was almost certain that he was gonna grab it and start aiming it at people, but he remembered what I told him," Frank Fiveash said.
"It's good for them to know that no matter where they go, you do not touch it," said Lacy Brassfield.
But that's not what really happened. After the parents and kids left the daycare, we checked footage from a camera hidden next to the gun and discovered the shocking truth.
5-year-old Preston picked up the gun, looked at it and put it down.
"I'm guessing that he's thinking, okay this must just be a gun that I can play with," Fiveash said. "Then he realized that this wasn't his gun. Because I told him that there is a distinction between a 'mommy and daddy gun' and a 'Preston' gun, so he knows the difference between the two."
There's quite a different story from 4-year-old Corianna, who after the experiment told everyone, including her mother, that she never touched the gun.
"If you see a gun, you just walk away and tell a parent," Corianna said. But hidden cameras show she touched it not only once, but three times. She even pulled the trigger twice.
"I didn't think that she would ever touch one and the thing that shocks me the most is that she said, 'This is real,' and she still put her finger dead on that trigger like it didn't matter," said her mom, Lacy.
Next, Corianna was shown the hidden camera video.
"What did you do when you seen that gun?" Lacy asked her daughter.
"I didn't touch it," she answered.
"You didn't?" asked Lacy. "Are you sure?"
To which Corianna replied, "Yes."
While watching the video with her daughter, Lacy asked, "Did you hear what that little boy just said?"
Corianna replied, "Gabriel thought it would kill him."
"He didn't think ... it will," said Lacy.
"I didn't know it was a gun," whispered Corianna.
"You said, 'This is a gun.' You knew what it was, yes you did. I'm very disappointed," Lacy responded. "Save it."
After watching the video, Lacy used the opportunity to teach her daughter a powerful lesson.
"Why did you lie to mommy and tell me that you didn't touch it?" she asked.
"I thought you'd be mad at me," answered Corianna.
"I'd be 10 times more mad if you would have shot yourself or somebody else. I wouldn't even have been able to be mad. I'd have been heartbroken," added Lacy. "What if it would have shot you ... You think you would have lived, huh? You don't? You don't know where you would have went? You would have gone to Heaven with papa. You can't play with guns, Corianna. At all. Ever."
Lacy continued, "The only reason I want you to know to never touch a gun is because it can kill you, and then I won't have you. I won't be with you every day. OK? Promise me that you won't touch no more guns."
But do not forget about 4-year-old Gabriel, who was the first to find the gun. He told his classmates over and over again to stay away from it.
"I'm glad he didn't touch it, maybe I wish he would have ran out of the room and gotten a teacher, but he didn't touch it," said his dad, David. "So, I'm proud of him for that."
Three different reactions, three life long lessons.
"That only reason I want you to know to never touch a gun is because it can kill you. And then I won't have you, I won't be with you every day. Okay? Promise me that you won't touch no more guns," Corianna's mother pleaded.
Every year, 7,000 kids across the nation end up in the ER with a gunshot wound. According to that study by the American Academy of Pediatrics, in most cases the gunshot was accidental.
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