To Teach or not to teach Gun Safety In School


The argument of gun control has brought people on both sides of the issue together.

Proponents and foes of gun control say they want gun education and avoidance programs taught in public schools from kindergarten through middle school or even high school.

One of the arguments with gun education is deciding what needs to be taught  or whether these programs are effective at all, says Heidi Cifelli, manager of National Rifle Association’s.  Some gun education advocates state “gun education is the best way to save young lives”.

The Centers for Disease control state the rate of firearms death among children younger than 13 remains 25 times that of the other top 25 industrialized nations combined.

The National Riffle Association has a program called “Eddie Eagle” and it teaches kids in grades K-6 “Stop. Don’t Touch. Leave the Area. Tell an Adult,” when they see a gun.  This program uses the bald eagle as the main character sometimes as a live mascot.  This programs is typically taught by local police departments.   The program includes coloring books, a video and often a visit from a local police officer dressed in an Eddie Eagle costume, has reached 13 million kids since 1988.

In the past we didn’t have to educate young children on guns and most children didn’t go around shooting others.  Why should we start teaching kids about guns now in school?

Opponents of gun education argue the Eddie Eagle program glamorizes guns by making them seem like they are something you can do only as an adult.

Center to Prevent Handgun Violence has a different program which offers its own gun safety education  called STAR.  STAR includes a video about role playing activities to teach people about anger management, conflict resolution, and consequences in using a gun to resolve a conflict.

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Picture by Jacq_Kellie




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