Thursday, June 4, 2009

The Importance of Gun Safety

Mary Davies

Created in 1988, the Eddie Eagle GunSafe Program has been a learning service for more than 21 million children all across the country. The program was developed by many qualified professionals such as: clinical psychologists, reading specialists, teachers, curriculum specialists, urban housing safety officials, and law enforcement personnel.

Athens County Sheriff Pat Kelly talks about the Eddie Eagle GunSafe Program

Anyone can teach the program and NRA membership is not required. Athens Sheriff Pat Kelly says that parents’ working with their children is a great way to promote household safety.

Athens County Sheriff Pat Kelly talks about gun safety.

The program can be incorporated into school curriculum and taught in one day or over a period of up to five days. Schools, law enforcement agencies, hospitals, daycare centers, and libraries may be eligible to receive grant funding for the program. The Athens County Sheriff’s Department received $2000 worth of materials.

The purpose of the program is not to support or reject guns, but to promote the protection and safety of children. The program does not make a judgment about firearm use and no firearms are ever used in the program. Eddie Eagle is never shown touching a firearm and does not support the use or ownership of weapons. The Eddie Eagle mascot is prohibited where guns are present, according to the program.

The program teaches gun safety in four simple steps.
“If You See A Gun”:
-Don’t Touch.
-Leave the Area.
-Tell an Adult.

Gun Safety Tips

With as many as 40% of American homes with children containing some form of gun or firearm, teaching gun safety to children is important. According to, there are many ways that parents can keep firearms safely in their households.

Always store guns appropriately and safely. Keep guns unloaded and locked up. It is also a good idea to lock guns and ammunition in separate locations. Finally, always hide keys to firearm safes, so that children cannot find them.

Real Life Stories

Teaching children gun safety can help to prevent incidents like the one in New Orleans last year. A 14-year-old boy fired a round into a 10-year-old’s hip as he played with his father’s gun. The child survived but the incident could have been prevented.

More recently, a 2-year-old child in Indianapolis shot himself while his mother was out on a date. There were two other children in the house and no adult supervision. The children said that their mother kept the gun under her mattress.

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