ph panelI had the chance to present the Be SMART gun safety message to members of the communities of MidCoast Maine at a public forum held in Brunswick yesterday. Richard J. Rizzo, Brunswick Chief of Police, and Shamera Simpson, Area Director for the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, were also on the panel. The event was put together by the MidCoast chapter of Maine Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America.  I’m very appreciative of the work done by Moms: A huge shout-out to Lorry Fleming, Lisa Ledwidge, Melissa Frans, Ruth Mlotek, Nacole Palmer, and Vicki Farsaci from MDA! And a special thanks to the Unitarian Universalist Church for hosting.

We talked about safe storage of firearms, recognizing the signs of depression in teens, and how to talk to other parents and relatives about the presence of unsecured guns when children will be in the home. One statistic that jumped out at me was shared by Ms. Wilson:  2/3 of all firearm deaths in the U.S. are suicides. We hear a lot about mass shootings and homicides — and they are awful and unacceptable — but the majority of deaths by firearms are by suicide, which is a major problem in sue repko_edited-1

This gathering was the first of its kind sponsored by Maine MDA. Looking forward to many more collaborations like this one.