Secure, Model, Ask, Recognize and Tell; the steps of the BeSMART program are simple and memorable. They also save lives. By properly securing weapons, modeling responsible behavior, asking friends and family about gun storage in their homes, recognizing risk factors and telling our peers, we can reduce unintentional shootings, suicides and even homicides.

Conversations about gun safety can be divisive. As a BeSMART presenter, I facilitate a conversation where gun owners and non-gun owners, hunters, police officers, teachers, parents, grandparents and babysitters find common ground.

BeSMART recognizes that law-abiding citizens have the right to own a gun and offers guidelines for deciding if having a gun in your home is the right decision for your family.

BeSMART explains practices for safe storage and handling. Perhaps your children play at the home of a friend who is a gun owner. BeSMART encourages parents to have a conversation with those friends about gun storage.

Access to a gun during a period of crisis is often the difference between life and death. Approximately 90 percent of people who attempt suicide with a gun will die. BeSMART discusses how to recognize the risk of suicide.

Every year there are nearly 300 reports of a child unintentionally discharging a gun and killing or injuring themselves or someone else. These statistics and headlines are overwhelming. They leave us feeling powerless. BeSMART gives that power back to us; the power to save lives.

To request a BeSMART presentation, or for more information, email, or visit


Mary Markle,