10/16/2014 11:49 am ET

Brady Center President Dan Gross Explains How Parents Can Keep Kids Safe In A Home With A Gun

Each day, eight children and teens under the age of 20 die from gun violence in the U.S. These deaths -- from school shootings, guns being fired at home and even suicide -- are oftentimes preventable.

While politics and mental health issues are crucial in the conversation about gun violence, parents can have a huge impact in preventing children from gaining unsafe access to guns. Dan Gross, president of The Brady Center To Prevent Gun Violence, emphasized the importance of common sense rules and practices when it comes to guns in the home during a HuffPost Live conversation on Tuesday.

“Too rarely do we talk about the role that the gun played, and most often it was a gun that a parent or a relative or somebody brought into a home, certainly without the intention that it was going to result in a tragedy,” he told host Caroline Modarressay-Tehrani.

Gross urged parents to put politics aside and take a serious role in their child’s safety by treating a gun like any other item that “poses health risks.”

“One thing that it turns out that every parent can do to keep their child safe is to ask if there are guns in the homes where their kids play,” he said. “It may be the most important question you ever ask.”

Dan Wheeler, whose son was killed in the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting, echoed Gross’ sentiment during the segment and pushed for a broader conversation around gun violence.

“This is a problem that is so enormous and so multifaceted and so pervasive that I think that the kind of social discourse and the kind of social change that Dan is talking about is the only way that this problem is going to be addressed,” Wheeler said.

Watch the full HuffPost Live conversation about children and gun violence here.

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