According to the Washington Post, American children are nine times more likely to die from a gun accident compared to children in other countries. Gun safety is a hot topic that is debated in the media between opposing viewpoints. However, raising gun safety awareness among children is something that every parent and responsible citizen can agree upon. Here are three reasons why children should learn firearm safety.
Education is Important
According to the National Rifle Association (NRA), gun safety is important as teaching children about fire drills and stranger danger. The NRA is a staunch supporter of the right to bear arms, but they recognize the critical importance of educating children about gun safety. The NRA, together with educators, safety officials and law enforcement officers, has created the Eddie Eagle Gunsafe Program. The star of the program is a kid-friendly Eagle mascot who, together with friends, use creative ways to raise gun awareness. The purpose is to educate young children about what they should do if they find a gun. In essence: stop, don’t touch, run away and tell a grown-up.
Guns and Children are a Deadly Combination
The Harvard Injury Control Research Center has conducted in-depth research that reveals the dangers of children having access to firearms. For example, children who live in states with more guns are statistically more likely to die from unintentional firearm deaths or suicide. In fact, child suicide rates are higher among non-suicidal children who have access to guns. Other research has revealed that over one-third of parents erroneously believe that their children have never handled a gun before. Many parents even believe that it is offensive to ask other parents regarding firearms in their home. Finally, it has been found that when teens handle guns without adult supervision, there is also drinking involved.
Benefits of a Gun Safety Course
The first step in firearm education is learning how deadly guns are and why they must be handled with extreme caution. A gun safety course will educate children about the proper way to handle a firearm. That is, children will be educated to never touch a gun without adult supervision. As a result of firearm education, children will develop self-control and self-discipline. There are many unintentional deaths from unsupervised children playing with firearms every year. However, an educated child will be able to keep their peers and themselves safe if they see others playing with guns.
In the end, guns are an excellent tool for personal security and home safety. However, guns in the home drastically raise the risk of unintended child fatalities. This risk can be reduced through a gun safety course for children.