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Eddie Eagle Turns 20!

The National Rifle Association’s gun accident prevention program Eddie Eagle GunSafe is celebrating its twentieth anniversary this month. Developed in 1988 with input from law enforcement, elementary school teachers, and child psychologists, the program has a simple message for children between kindergarten and third grade: “If you see a gun: STOP! Don’t Touch. Leave the Area. Tell an Adult.” This program reaches a million children each year and has been lauded by governors across the United States as well as by several government agencies.

While known for its Second Amendment lobbying efforts, the NRA is also committed to gun safety. NRA Past President Marion P. Hammer once said “Eddie Eagle has taught, tens of millions of children what to do if they see or find a firearm when they are not under the supervision of an adult. No other organization, and certainly no government can match that accomplishment.”

Congratulations to Eddie Eagle on his birthday! This is clearly an accomplishment that even the most liberal gun haters among us can acknowledge. I have been in and around firearms my entire life. I love seeing different types of guns, I enjoy clay target shooting, and I appreciate the friendships I have made through this sport. What I have noticed about shooters is that the vast majority are seriously dedicated to gun safety. Anyone who handles firearms recognizes their destructive potential, but also how simple it is to prevent firearm accidents. An unloaded gun is no threat to anyone. Guns also have safeties and can only shoot people at whom they are pointed. I think that some gun safety course should be taught in all schools. If we include sex, gang, and drug education, then a simple gun safety course could not hurt. Eliminating gun accidents is a noble goal and one that is realisable. Perhaps local governments could focus on this small step as an alternative to ineffective gun control legislation pursued on the federal level.

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