by Rick Fairchild
Ever heard of Eddie Eagle? He's a cartoon character used by the National
Rifle Association over the last 12 years to teach kids about gun safety. The program's central message teaches children who find a firearm to "Stop!
Don't touch. Leave the area. Tell an adult."
Pretty innocuous words, right? Twenty-four governors have passed resolutions calling for the "Eddie Eagle Gunsafe Program" to be implemented in their
states' public schools. The program has met with near-universal approval wherever it's been used to teach kids how to handle guns safely.
One of the notable exceptions is the state of New York. Last December, Governor George Pataki rejected a plan to introduce Eddie Eagle to New York
elementary schoolers. State Senator Eric Schneiderman calls Eddie Eagle "Joe Camel with feathers." New York City Public Advocate Mark Green said, "I
think they [the NRA] are morally and legally responsible for thousands of deaths a year, in a sense, in our city and country, and they should not be
anywhere near our kids talking about guns. State and city officials were outraged after a New York City police youth officer showed the NRA's Eddie
Eagle videotape to several fourth-grade classes in Brooklyn.
Let's see. Joe Camel was designed to sell cigarettes to children. That's bad. Eddie Eagle tells kids not to touch any guns they may find and to tell
an adult what they've found. That's good. There's absolutely no comparison here. Eddie Eagle doesn't tell kids to buy guns. He doesn't glamorize guns
in any way.
But then again, this silly argument is coming from a bunch of liberals who don't think straight.
It's absolutely clear. Gun safety isn't a goal. Teaching children about the danger of guns isn't a goal. The ONLY goal is a total and complete disarming
of the American public. Teaching children responsible attitudes toward guns would certainly save lives --- but it doesn't further the goal of citizen
Children's Training Tool as an Option
Thank you, Rick, for contributing your thoughts
on Eddie Eagle and the true nature of the push against it. The only (for
lack of a better word) "concern" we have about Eddie Eagle is that it
tells kids to tell adults when they see guns. While on one hand this of course
makes sense, knowing how the anti-self-defense
community distorts things to their own agenda, this could easily be construed as
a "tell on your neighbors" situation. It could also be used to program children
that gun are "never" to be touched, and young people tend to carry
their early programming for a very long time.
Montana Shooting Sports Association has a great
little two-page gun safety program for children that has been taught to a few
thousand kids in Montana. Take a look at their program as another
alternative for use with children, as well. The children are our future,
we definitely need to teach them gun safety, and it's great to have different
options including those that parents can teach their kids at home. MSSA's
program written by President Gary Marbut is called Be
Safe - Gun Safety for Boys and Girls. Gary has offered the program to any
who care to put it to use, and all he asks for is a mention of his organization.
Over 3,000 children in Montana have been through the presentation thus far, and
results are overwhelmingly positive.