This article was originally published on OutdoorHub.com and reprinted with permission.
Have you watched the Eddie Eagle videos or storybooks online with kids or shared the program with other adults? Oh, it doesn’t apply to you? Here are eight excuse busters of why it DOES apply to all of us.
Excuse #1 – I’ve already had a long talk with my kids about respecting firearms.
While it’s great you’re talking to your kids, the Eddie Eagle program is memorable; it condenses a what-to-do scenario into a catchy phrase through songs and stories. A child can’t process a “long talk” within a split second, nor can they pass the “long talk” on to a friend. When seconds count, being able to recite, “Stop. Don’t touch. Run away and tell a grown up,” means there’s a far better chance for a safe outcome.
Excuse #2 – My family doesn’t have anything to do with guns.
Kids could find a gun anywhere—at a friend’s or family member’s house or even on a playground or in a park—it isn’t just about what’s in our own homes. Denial or wishing the problem away doesn’t help. “I truly believe this program is the most valid gun safety program out there, no matter what your political stance is on citizens with firearms,” Mason Magouyrk said as Miss Lakes of Northwest Arkansas. “Each side truly wants one thing: to feel safe. Educating children on the proper use of firearms is the first step to creating safe homes across America.” Excuse #3 – All my firearms are in a locked safe or have a lock on the trigger. Kids couldn’t get their hands on a firearm in my house.
Wonderful. It’s awesome you’ve locked up your firearms in your home—but kids visit friends or family members’ homes where others might not be as conscientious. The Eddie Eagle video and storybooks identify scenarios where kids find firearms in various places. If that happens, they need to be ready to talk about it with their friends with a second’s notice
Excuse #4 – I don’t have kids—it doesn’t apply to me.
While you may not have kids of your own, chances are you have nieces, nephews, or kids in the neighborhood. It’s also possible you have a job (or know others) who work with children in schools or daycare. Becoming aware of the Eddie Eagle video and storybooks and sharing them with others impacts children down the line—and they don’t have to be your own. “I used the program to instruct students at McKinley Elementary in Toledo, Ohio on what to do if they found a firearm,” Officer Joe Okos said of the Toledo Police Department. “The program really helped me drive the message of safety home with them and the free materials were a Godsend! We will probably never know for sure but I believe that the information will save one of those children’s lives someday!”
Excuse #5 – No Hablo Inglés
Eddie Eagle video is available in Spanish.
Excuse #6 – My kids (or grandkids) are too little (or too old).
Heck no! Tragically, a three year old found a firearm and accidentally shot himself. All of our hearts break learning of an accident like this and our prayers go out to the young family. Even one- and two-year-old children can watch a colorful animated movie with songs and comprehend the message in the storybooks. Little children enjoy the Eddie Eagle “Stop. Don’t touch. Run away and tell a grown up,” animated messages. It isn’t presented in doom and gloom, and it could save a child’s life if they ever find a firearm. While the video and storybooks are geared for young children, there’s nothing wrong with including pre-teens, too. Kids of all ages enjoy animated videos and storybooks, so they’ll get the message to not handle a found firearm, even if it’s shared in a lighthearted, youthful way.
Excuse #7 – I don’t want to encourage my kids to join the NRA or promote the NRA at our school.
The Eddie Eagle program does not mention the NRA in any way. Yes, it was created by the NRA, but the goal is accident prevention. Period. Who can’t get behind that?
Excuse #8 – My kids have watched this video and read all the online storybooks, there’s nothing else I can do.
Consider sharing the video and the online storybooks through social media to foster even more reach for the Eddie Eagle program. If you tell a few friends (or 300 or 1000) through social media outlets, and then they tell their friends, we execute the mission of the Eddie Eagle program.
We all learned “Stop, drop and roll” if our clothing caught on fire, and we need that same type of message in the case of finding a firearm. “Stop. Don’t touch. Run away and tell a grown up,” is the message of the Eddie Eagle program. Through quality video and storybooks, you’ll find it easy to share.