Why the course is needed:
American children are often inundated by popular movies, programs, and news coverage with ideas about firearms use that are romanticized and/or which depict their use as exciting and adventuresome. These depictions are also often quite unrealistic. Children in our society, with their wonderful curiosity, imagination, and enthusiasm need training concerning things that can cause harm to themselves and others. As parents and guardians we teach them about not touching hot or sharp items, about not going out into the street, about leaving electrical things alone, etc., but sometimes neglect to teach them properly about not touching any gun until we decide, if ever, that they are ready for that responsibility. Considering the popularity and proliferation of guns in America, we owe it to them to make sure they understand the danger.
What the course is:
This training is intended to teach small children the inherent dangers involved in handling a firearm, and why they should never touch one until their parents decide they are ready for proper training in handling them or until they are adults themselves. It is also intended to give parents a model to follow in continuing to train their children to follow the rules to stay safe. It has been shown that teaching children to follow these rules will not “stick” unless repeated over and over. As parents you know how difficult it can be to get your children to follow the rules you set, and this training is no different. It will be your responsibility to be an observer at the course and to go over the training often with your child in order to set the training in their minds. Materials to help you do so will be provided.
Note: THERE WILL BE NO FIREARMS OR AMMUNITION PRESENT DURING THIS TRAINING! There will be some solid plastic fake “guns” (we stay away from the term “toy gun”) that will be used to do some role playing with the children. You will be asked to examine these items before we use them to: 1) determine that they are, indeed, not guns, 2) tell your children that these are safe for our role play, and, 3) demonstrate to the child that you will keep them safe.
From the Instructor:
Statistically there are very few children each year who are injured or who injure others by careless handling of firearms, but even one is one too many. The answer to the problem is manifold, and starts with parents and guardians. The answer to the problem is EDUCATION and PERSONAL RESPONSIBILITY, applied to gun owners, to parents, and to children. We will be teaching the children that it is THEIR RESPONSIBILITY to NOT TOUCH any gun they find, GO AWAY FROM THE GUN, and TELL AN ADULT. These principles are taught by the NRA Eddie Eagle course, and this is what we will concentrate on. I could teach the course as prescribed by the NRA, but I prefer to teach as I, as both father and grandfather, believe it should be taught; therefore, this is not an NRA-sanctioned course. I strongly urge all parents and/or guardians who have enrolled their child in this class to attend it themselves in order to continue to teach these ideas to the child, because once is never enough.
What the course isn’t:
This course is not intended to indoctrinate any child with either pro-gun or anti-gun views. This course is not training in the use, care, or storage of firearms. We believe that these areas are the responsibility and the right of parents and guardians.