LTE: Gun-safety program should be mandatory

March 29, 2005
Columbus Dispatch

It’s only a matter of time before we hear anti-gun pundits thumping their chests over the second-grader who found a handgun and brought it to school.

Instead of answers to the problem, they’ll use this incident to further their agenda to ban more guns, as if that is prevention. What we need is statewide prevention through mandatory education.

We will never be able to guarantee that a child will never find a firearm, as in this case. What is important is the fact that at least three children saw the firearm and not one of them did anything to prevent this tragedy, likely because they didn’t know better.

Ohio’s lawmakers approved funding for schools to offer the National Rifle Association’s Eddie Eagle Program to kids of this age. The program should be implemented immediately as mandatory education statewide. The program never shows a firearm or pushes firearm ownership. It teaches children who find a firearm a very simple mantra: STOP! Don’t touch. Leave the area. Tell an adult. We teach children to stop, drop and roll if they catch on fire, so why not this? The Eddie Eagle program has been adopted by other states as mandated statewide education, and it should be in Ohio, too. As the antigun pundits would say: If it saves just one child...

Jeff Garvas
President, Ohioans For Concealed Carry

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