Here’s an inconvenient truth: firearm safety education saves lives. However, some people fear guns and don’t want anything to do with teaching their kids gun safety.
At the same time, other parents 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 (safety, and later, how to shoot). When, though?
The simplest answer I’ve heard comes from a retired FBI agent in my circle of friends. “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, completely apolitical concepts:
Leave the area
Tell an adult
This easy-to-learn, potentially life-saving protocol leaves politics at the door with one goal in mind: to 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.
Helmke wrote his anti-Eddy jeremiad shortly before leaving his job with Handgun Control, Inc.
Unlike the NRA (and Second Amendment Foundation and the National Shooting Sports Foundation), gun control groups have no gun safety education program for children – or adults. Aside from their “guns are icky” point of view.
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.