By Kyle Jillson | April 20 2013 14:42

Meet Eddie Eagle and learn his important safety message at NRA Annual Meeting in Houston

Eddie Eagle swooping into Houston for NRA Annual Meeting

Fairfax, Virginia - Although tens of thousands of people will converge on Houston from May 3-5 for the 2013 NRA Annual Meeting, one person will easily stand out - rather, one bird.

Eddie Eagle is the mascot of the NRA's Eddie Eagle GunSafe Program, a likable eagle who has a very important message for youngsters. Eddie doesn't teach whether guns are good or bad, but promotes the protection and safety of children. He travels around the country to make sure kids know:

“If you see a gun: STOP! Don’t Touch. Leave the Area. Tell an Adult."

No firearms are ever used in the program and are merely treated as facts of life like swimming pools, electrical outlets, matchbooks and household poison.

The program was created in 1988 by past NRA President Marion P. Hammer with help from elementary school teachers, law enforcement officers, and child psychologists. It provides pre-K through third grade children easy-to-follow rules should they ever encounter a firearm while unsupervised.

In 2012 Eddie Eagle reached his 26,000,000th child - wow.

Eddie Eagle GunSafe is run through the community. Schools, law enforcement agencies, hospitals, daycare centers and libraries may all be eligible to receive grant funding to defray program costs.

Eddie Eagle at the NRA Annual Meeting in Charlotte, North Carolina on NRAblog

In addition to Eddie not promoting firearm ownership or use and never being shown touching a firearm, mascots are prohibited from being anywhere that guns are present. The Eddie Eagle GunSafe Program has no agenda other than accident prevention - ensuring that children stay safe should they encounter a gun.

The program neither mentions the NRA, nor does it encourage children to buy guns or to become NRA members. The NRA does not receive any appropriations from Congress and is not a trade organization. It is not affiliated with any firearm or ammunition manufacturers or with any businesses that deal in guns and ammunition. We're doing this all on our own with the sole mission of teaching safety.

So if you see him walking around the George R. Brown Convention Center in Houston this May, and there's a good chance you will, say 'hi.' And if you're with a child, don't forget to pose for a picture!

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