Gun safety resources available
“Stop, don’t touch, run away, tell a grown-up.”
That’s the message children are taught for when they find a gun anywhere in an Eddie the Eagle video. The video is available for free on the NRA website.
The 8-minute, 20-second video is taught in some schools in the country, and locally it has been shown in some churches. I was encouraged to check out the video back in November by the manager of Oxford’s Farm Bureau when I wrote a column about hunting and expressed concerns with super young children hunting with large rifles.
We live in Mississippi, where guns are readily available and most likely in a majority of homes. Hunting is often a tradition for families, and children start hunting and being exposed at an early age to firearms. It’s up to parents to teach firearm safety while in the home and while out in the woods.
If you have struggled with things to say to your youngster that stick, check out the Eddie the Eagle video. Whether you care for the NRA or not doesn’t really matter. It’s a resource.
It’s a free, educational video that has a catchy tune for children. In my opinion, children under age 12 will most likely relate to it since it has a boy playing video games, a team playing basketball, girls getting dolled up and more.
It also puts everything in a singsong manner. We all remember in grade school when things were put in song how we still remember it to this day. I’d bet some people still sing the ABCs in their head to remember what letter comes after another letter. Remember those foreign language classes in high school and college? I had a teacher in college who made a song to some words and made hand movements. To this day I still sing it out loud and make the motions when trying to remember right, left, backwards, forwards, around and more in Spanish.
But, back to guns. The gun culture in America likely isn’t going to change. It might get worse or get better, but guns will always be here. Whatever the government does or doesn’t do about the gun violence situation, let’s at least teach children what to do if they see a gun, and that’s exactly what Eddie the Eagle is doing: “stop, don’t touch, run away, tell a grown-up.”
And when they are mature enough to handle the concepts of a gun, that’s when they should learn how they work, and there are resources for that too.
Stephanie Rebman is editor of The Oxford Eagle. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.