If kids get their hands on weapons, the consequences can be tragic -- a lesson that Jeanne Caroline, of Largo, Florida, learned the hard way. In 2003, her 12-year-old son, Seanne, was killed when a friend decided to show off his dad's unlocked, loaded .357 Magnum. The weapon was "hidden" under the couch in the living room. "I had thought of myself as an overprotective mom," says Caroline. "I always asked the things I was supposed to ask of other parents: Are you going to use a seat belt? Is your dog friendly? I just didn't know to ask about guns. I assumed since my house was safe, my neighbors' homes were too."
Now Caroline has devoted her life to educating the public about gun safety. Through her organization, Seannes Wish Foundation, she's made a film for children, spoken at numerous school assemblies and camps, and organized an annual charity-golf tournament to increase awareness about the issue and to raise funds for gun-education programs.
Above all, Caroline has been urging moms and dads to ask the question she wishes she had asked. Her message is simple: "Never assume that other parents think of safety the same way you do." Always ask about guns -- and make sure you're completely comfortable with the answers -- before you let your child go anywhere to play.