After La Salle High School student attempts suicide in class, reminder to parents to lock up guns

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On Monday, a student at La Salle High School pulled out a gun in his first-period class in front of 22 other students and shot himself in the head in an apparent suicide attempt.

The student is now reportedly fighting for his life.

The student, whose name has not been released, completed more than 80 hours of community service and is an honor student working to become an Eagle Scout.

I agree with what Greg Tankersley, the director of the all boys Catholic school said — "Our message is to parents out there take the time to tell your kids that you love them."

To me, this serves as a strong reminder to parents. Lock up your guns. Lock up your medications. And don't be afraid to check your child's backpack. This is not an invasion of privacy. If you don't take the precautions to ensure that your child is safe, no one else will.

Don't think, "Oh, my child would never attempt suicide." Suicide is the 10th leading cause of death — which doesn't account for the attempts. And studies show that one in 12 teens have attempted suicide. That means, in an average classroom, at least two of the students have attempted to take their own lives. That's a lot.

A study by the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill analyzed 94 people who owned guns and had children under the age of 7. Of those interviewed, 36 percent said they kept their firearms loaded, and 57 percent said they did not keep their guns in a locked compartment.

These same adults said they had a smoke alarm, capped their electrical outlets and kept poisonous substances out of a child's reach. But the one thing that could kill their children in one blow — that was kept readily available for their child to get to.

For those who are considering suicide, having the means to end their life right in their midst makes it that much harder. Those who take their lives are not in their right minds. Having a gun within reach does not help. It's not like a teenager can go apply for a gun license by him or herself. And I feel if these same teens did not have this access, I wonder how many lives would be saved?

Dr. Tamera Coyne-Beasley, a pediatrician at UNC-Chapel Hill School of Medicine, told ABC News, "If you must keep a gun [at home], the safest thing to do is to unload [it] and keep it locked up. Then keep the ammunition locked up … and stored separately from the gun."

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