Be SMART Lakewood

Be SMART Lakewood is a grassroots organization developed under the Moms Demand Action organization. Its focus is a non-political message about gun storage not based on opinions, but based on facts. The Be SMART framework is designed to help parents and adults normalize conversations about gun safety and take responsible actions that can prevent child gun deaths and injuries. Our goal is to remove the stigma associated with talking about gun safety.

Our small group met with Mayor George and Capt. William Albrecht last spring and after our meeting, the police department purchased 200 gun locks that are available to Lakewood residents free of charge.  

As we build our team and resources in this hyper-local endeavor we hope to bring our presentation and messaging materials to local schools, PTA & PTO meetings, and tabling at various city-wide events.

Superintendent Maggie Niedzwiecki and Asst. Superintendent Dr. Christine Palumbo were also gracious enough to meet with us at the end of the school year last year in an effort to make a partnership to get the word out to our schools. This past fall Stacie Ross and I presented at the Lakewood Council of PTA’s meeting and in front of the Board of Education.

I will never forget when my now junior at LHS came home to tell me about his first ALICE experience. ALICE is an acronym for active shooter response. Our children are being taught to survive an active shooter in our schools. If these children can endure this very scary and jarring drill, then we as adults in the community can have an open conversation about safe gun storage.

Secure firearm storage is an essential part of home safety. With more guns in more homes due to an unprecedented surge in gun sales over the past two years, it’s more important than ever for parents and caregivers to know how secure storage protects children. During the COVID-19 pandemic, there has been a rise in unintentional shootings by children and gunfire on school grounds. And in 2020, gun suicide among children ages 17 and under reached the highest rate in more than 20 years and firearms became the leading cause of death among children in the United States. Storing firearms securely can help prevent these tragedies and keep kids safe.  (BeSMART.org)

The recently completed Lakewood Community Health Needs Assessment indicates that 27% of gun owners in Lakewood do not have their guns in locked storage.  Seventy-five percent of school shooters acquired their firearms from the home of a parent or close relative. Participating in Be SMART is one thing we can do to prevent gun violence in Lakewood. 

If you are interested in getting involved please email me at 

patricia.momsdemand@gmail.com and/or join us on Tuesday, January 10th at 7 pm at the main library in Lakewood in the multipurpose room. 

Patricia Barley is a long-time resident of Lakewood with 3 boys in Lakewood City Schools. She has volunteered for many different organizations in Lakewood throughout the years. Her goal is to help build a safe, healthy and stable community for her family and neighbors.

   

Patricia Neligan Barley

Patricia is a long-time resident of Lakewood with 3 boys in Lakewood City Schools. She has volunteered for many different organizations in Lakewood throughout the years. Her goal is to help build a safe, healthy and stable community for her family and neighbors.

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Volume 18, Issue 24, Posted 7:26 PM, 12.21.2022