Newspaper article Sarasota Herald Tribune

Gun Safety Programs Provide Kids with Important Education

Newspaper article Sarasota Herald Tribune

Gun Safety Programs Provide Kids with Important Education

Article excerpt

STOP!"

"Don't Touch."

"Leave the Area."

"Tell an Adult."

These four simple rules for children to follow if they find an unattended firearm have been a part of the National Rifle Association's "Eddie Eagle GunSafe Program" since it was first piloted in Florida in 1988.

Then, 62 of Florida's 67 school boards implemented it in all of their elementary schools, and it has reached more than 26 million kids in all 50 states.

The Eddie Eagle program is but one of the ways the firearms industry is trying to protect children from the dangers posed by an unattended gun.

Another, "Project ChildSafe," was designed by the National Shooting Sports Foundation -- the trade association of the firearms industry -- and just signed its 500th corporate sponsor.

Project ChildSafe focuses on the importance of proper firearm storage by providing free cable locks and emphasizing: "Own It? Respect It. Secure It."

The two programs compliment each other very well.

The Eddie Eagle program teaches only the four simple rules that a child should follow if they find a weapon. It does not teach any value judgements about firearms.

Former NRA President Marion Hammer, now the organization's Florida lobbyist, created the Eddie Eagle program with a task force that included teachers, school principals, and safety specialists.

In 1993, the National Safety Council awarded her with their prestigious National Citation for Outstanding Community Service for her work creating the program.

The Eddie Eagle curriculum has been endorsed by the National Sheriffs' Association, the Association of American Educators, the National Safety Council, the U.S. Department of Justice's Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention and more. …

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