Here’s an inconvenient truth: firearm safety education saves lives. However, some people fear them and don’t want anything to do with teaching their kids gun safety. At the same time, others agonize over when to start teaching firearm safety in their home. What’s the right time to start teaching your kids to respect firearms?
Yes, prudent parents teach their kids gun safety (safey, not how to shoot). When, though. The simplest answer I’ve heard comes from a retired FBI agent. “When do you teach kids about guns? About the same time you teach them about hot stoves, electricity and fire.” In other words, when you drown-proof your kiddos, gun proof them, too.
The National Rifle Association’s Eddie Eagle program distills firearm safety for kids down to a few simple concepts:
- Don’t touch
- Leave the area
- Tell an adult
This easy-to-learn, potentially life-saving protocol leaves politics at the door with one goal in mind: save lives.
The Eddie Eagle program has achieved proven results since its introduction in 1988, helping to educate over 29 million kids in firearm safety. It came about from the efforts of “educators, school administrators, curriculum specialists, urban housing safety officials, clinical psychologists, law enforcement officials and National Rifle Association firearm safety experts.”
However, that doesn’t stop gun-hating civilian disarmament activists from despising the NRA’s safety program…and actively working against its common sense goal. Former Brady Campaign honcho Paul Helmke took a shot at it in “NRA’s ‘Eddie Eagle’ Doesn’t Fly or Protect” in the Huffington Post:
[I]t would be wise to stop this misguided excuse for gun safety education in its tracks. The NRA dresses up its gun safety course in the guise of a colorful cartoon character named Eddie Eagle. Yet there is absolutely no evidence directly linking the use of the Eddie Eagle program to a decline in children’s deaths by guns.
Helmke quotes from a Violence Policy Center “study” in his Huffpo screed:
“The primary goal of the National Rifle Association’s Eddie Eagle program is not to safeguard children, but to protect the interests of the NRA and the firearms industry by making guns more acceptable to children and youth… The hoped-for result is new customers for the industry and new members for the NRA.”
Helmke wrote his anti-Eddy jeremiad shortly before leaving his job with
Handgun Control, Inc the Brady Campaign, a group that, unlike the NRA (and NSSF), has no gun safety education program for children or adults.
With or without the Eddie Eagle program, in the end, it’s up to good-guy gun owners to teach our children gun safety.
2. Don’t touch
3. Leave the area
4. Tell an adult
Make sure your kids know it.