Okla. Juvenile Affairs Video Aims to Promote Gun Safety

February 26, 2008

The Oklahoma Office of Juvenile Affairs aims to promote gun safety in a video focusing on two boys who died in accidental shootings.

“We want to begin the debate and begin discussion so it doesn’t happen again,” Juvenile Affairs Director Gene Christian said.

His agency plans to distribute the video to civic organizations and produce posters, magnets and brochures to go along with the safety campaign.

Both accidents occurred the same summer in Caddo County, where Christian was district attorney before coming to the youth agency.

During his first year leading the agency, Christian was unsuccessful in pushing for legal reforms that would penalize the owners of guns involved in accidental shootings.

In April 2006, Dalton Dorsey, 15, was camping when a boy accidentally fired a .22 caliber rifle, striking Dalton in the head. He died as his father, James Dorsey, drove him to the hospital.

“He had been hunting with me and saw me fire a gun. He knew if I pull the trigger, something is going to lose its life,” Dorsey says in the film.

Dorsey, a gun owner, thought he had taught his son how to safely handle a gun. Unfortunately, the other boy’s father hadn’t, he said.

About two months later, another boy, 14-year-old Patrick Bowen, died in another accidental shooting. Bowen and a 10-year-old boy were playing a game of “cowboys and Indians” with a loaded .357 Magnum when the gun discharged.

“You never expect it to happen to you. It always happens to someone else,” said Geoff Bowen, the boy’s father.

“There’s all sorts of people who are going to say it (the video) is anti-gun,” Bowen said. “It’s not trying to get rid of guns. It’s about taking care of them properly.”

Information from: The Oklahoman, http://www.newsok.com

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