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Teaching Gun Safety in Elementary School?

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Along with learning their ABC's, students in Virginia will now be getting schooled in gun safety.

Who knew? The NRA has a fun, kid-friendly mascot just like Smokey Bear and McGruff the Crime DogEddie Eagle is the kiddie spokesbird deployed by the NRA to teach elementary-school children gun safety.

Eddie Eagle

The new program is the result of a law that allows Virginia's education department to implement a gun-safety curriculum for public elementary schools. The only rule is that the program must incorporate the gun-safety guidelines from the NRA.

And who better to teach firearm safety than an eagle named Eddie, the NRA's spokesbird? Of course, not all parents are charmed by Eddie's arrival ....

"I personally don't think firearm safety has a place in the schools," Lori Haas, spokeswoman for the Virginia Center for Public Safety, told "That's up to the parents to teach that at home."

Eddie Eagle's message is simple: "If you see a gun, STOP! Don't touch. Leave the area. Tell an adult." The NRA's website claims that their gun-safety lesson isn't treated differently from that of any other child dangers. "With firearms [being] found in about half of all American households, it's a stance that makes sense," it says.

Would you feel comfortable with the NRA teaching YOUR kid gun safety?

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19 comments so far | Post a comment now
Raine April 26, 2010, 3:27 PM

I think it’s a very good program. It’s not new though, maybe in VA schools, but the Eddie Eagle program has been around since at least the 90s. I think most people who have problems with it are reacting to the NRA connection, not to the idea of teaching gun safety in schools.

The program’s emphasis is on teaching kids not to play with guns and to stay away, “don’t touch”, and “tell a grown-up” if they do find one. It’s not like they are teaching children to shoot or encouraging gun ownership through the program, which I could see many parents having a problem with.

Pamala April 26, 2010, 4:22 PM

I think it’s a great program. Many parents don’t teach a thing. I think it’s good of the NRA to provide something to students since parents fail to do what needs to do a lot of the time.

Sara April 26, 2010, 5:13 PM

Sounds good to me. It’s not like they’re giving the kids guns when they’re teaching them.

LizKS April 26, 2010, 8:04 PM

Great idea! This should be taught in every school in the nation.

Allen April 26, 2010, 8:34 PM

As a long time member of The NRA, i think this is another great idea and wish more states would follow. with guns in over 50% of the households in America there is no one better to teach children that Guns in the wrong hands can be dangerous and should be left alone. they are just re-enforcing what the parents and schools should already be teaching them. KUDOS NRA ONCE AGAIN

Art April 26, 2010, 9:23 PM

When you need to have your car repaired you go to a mechanic, not a baker. The NRA is an excellent source for gun safety tips.

Kudos to Virgina for understanding that children’s safety comes before all the political BS surrounding firearms.

Jenna April 26, 2010, 10:25 PM

How could this be a bad idea? I know, those loonies at the Virginia Center for Public Safety aren’t actually interested in safety at all. They simply want to argue against anything that the NRA might like, even if it’s a good idea.

Cheryl April 27, 2010, 4:56 AM

I think this is an excellent idea. I have no guns in my home, but I would welcome this program in my kids’ schools. Kudos to the NRA for this idea.

Laurie Spencer April 27, 2010, 7:12 AM

“Who knew?” The Eddie Eagle program is only about twenty years old, after all. :-(

How ironic is it that a “spokeswoman for the Virginia Center for Public Safety” thinks firearm safety “has no place in the schools” and “should be taught at home.” I wonder if she feels the same way about teaching kids how to use contraceptives? Is she ready to give that back to the parents yet?

The purpose of school is to teach kids how to handle all their adult rights and responsibilities. We teach them how to balance checkbooks, write their representatives, write letters to the editor, even hold mock trials. But people like Lori Haas still treat the Second Amendment as the “n-word” of the Bill of Rights. That’s too bad.

Mike Ebel April 27, 2010, 7:20 AM

Knowledge is power if you want to make your children powerless than don’t allow the program. My son knows how to and when it is okay to handle a firearm safely. If a child has no information on guns then they will be curious, if they are curious and don’t know better then they will play with a firearm not knowing how dangerous it is if they find one unsupervised. That is the groundwork for a tragic situation.So you want children whose parents don’t believe in teaching about firearms to be walking home from school one day see a pistol disposed of by a criminal improperly to instead of following the Eddie Eagle training of Stop, leave the area and tell an adult to be curious and pick up the firearm and wouldn’t that be great.

David Loeffler April 27, 2010, 9:04 AM

We raised our girls with the principles of Eddie Eagle before the program existed. Our grandchildren are fortunate that they will have it.

Christian Petermann Sr. April 27, 2010, 5:20 PM

As a Life member of the NRA and Range Safety Officer, I can’t think of a more qualified group to educate our youth. There are more households with firearms in this country than there are with swimming pools yet more children die from accidental drownings than they they do from accidental shootings. Apparently we can’t count on parents to teach our young about water safety but we should let them teach firearms safety? Who will educate the misinformed parents? What message could be better than Stop! Don’t touch! Leave the area! Tell an Adult!? Maybe Ms. Haas should consider another line of work.

cna training April 28, 2010, 8:24 PM

nice post. thanks.

Caroline Stender May 1, 2010, 7:15 PM

The program is simple and doesn’t even mention the NRA. Why can’t we treat firearms education like we do sex education? We need video and live instruction. Instead of putting a condom on a bannana, the children could learn something that could save their life someday,like to safely handle and load a handgun in an emergency situation: instead of dawning a condom in the heat of the moment!

Ross May 29, 2010, 8:07 AM

My kids are involved in shooting programs through 4-H in Virginia and the NRA is our major sponsor. I’m NOT a “Virginia Conservative” either… more of a New England independent, and I have nothing but good things to say about the NRA’s gun safety program. I think it’s a great idea to teach in schools. In fact, other best-of-breed private programs should be considered as well. I know Weight Watchers educational materials are excellent for teaching “eating management” (portion control, caloric intake vs activity, etc), which is far, far more important to kids than the food pyramid and other government propaganda.

Bryan May 29, 2010, 8:12 PM

Sure thing! My kids took a NRA gun safety class (along with me and my wife) to utilize the pistol range at the club. They were in elementary school at the time. Like them or not the NRA has a vested interest in teaching firearm safety and promoting responsible firearms ownership. And at that they do an excellent job.

Chuck September 12, 2010, 8:48 AM

I feel safer with the NRA teaching my children about gun safety than I do with Obama, et al, in charge of our government.

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