I talk with many gun owners and shooting enthusiasts about gun safety. The conversation is rather typical and very predictable;
“My family knows how to use guns; my kids know about guns; I can’t believe that tragedy happened to someone else.” I am certainly guilty.
Gun safety goes far beyond my own house though. When I travel to visit extended family, I am amazed at how little they know about guns and how many myths they are only too eager to offer as facts. Although they do not own any firearms, their children certainly frequent friend’s homes with firearms.
The National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF) has created a new, first-of-its-kind resource that encourages open conversations between parents and children about firearm safety. If your family has already had the talk or regularly discuss firearm safety, then great! This will just be a refresher or a new take on the subject. If you haven’t, the NSSF has the primer you are looking for. Either way, the link is easy enough to forward to a non-shooting or non-gun owning family member or friend.
The National Rifle Association does a great job with its Eddie Eagle program and defending our rights. Along with that comes a negative association due to misinformation from the media and a resistance from those who have never looked at the facts. The National Shooting Sports Foundation is neutral ground and eliminates any stereotypes and preconceived biases. Getting positive messages about gun safety in the hands of those who need it most is too important for politics. Let us all help the NSSF start the gun safety conversation in our own home and at least one other.
The following is the official press release from the NSSF:
The National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF) released a new, first-of-its-kind educational resource, the “How to Talk to Your Kids about Firearm Safety” video. The video, starring champion shooter and mother Julie Golob, encourages parents to have “the talk” about firearm safety with their kids sooner rather than later, and provides tips for how to have a helpful discussion.
“Too often, children don’t know what to do when they find a gun,” said Steve Sanetti, President and CEO of NSSF, which developed and sponsors the Project ChildSafe firearm safety education program. “This video opens a door for honest conversation and empowers parents to be the authority on gun safety for their kids, whether they have guns in their homes or not.” The “How to Talk to Your Kids about Firearm Safety” video was created as a resource to start positive and constructive conversations by encouraging discussion rather than lecture, and helps parents responsibly demystify the subject of guns.
“As a mother, I know full well how challenging this conversation can be,” Golob said. “It’s crucial that parents set an example and teach their kids about firearm safety so children don’t learn about guns solely from what their friends say, or what they see on video games and TV.” The video features Golob expressing the importance of adults having gun safety discussions with young people, emphasizing that education on responsible safety and storage is the number one way to prevent firearm accidents in the home. The video has two sections, one for talking with younger children, the other for talking to older kids and teens.
“How to Talk to Your Kids about Gun Safety” is available-and shareable-online at projectchildsafe.org and on the NSSF YouTube page. NSSF is also promoting the video with its members, law enforcement partners, local communities, conservation groups and other supporters, starting with a national launch in partnership with Sportsman’s Warehouse, which streamed the video in all of its stores across the country.
“Talking to kids about gun safety is not something to be put off or ignored-it’s an essential part of responsible gun ownership,” Sanetti added. “This video supports our industry’s “Own It? Respect It. Secure It” initiative, and we hope firearms owners everywhere watch it and share it with their communities.” The video expands Project ChildSafe’s safety education resources that encourage safe firearms handling and secure storage by gun owners and their families. The video complements such program resources as the Safe Storage Options Infographic and the Parent-Child Safety Pledge. Since 1999, Project ChildSafe has worked with more than 15,000 law enforcement departments throughout the United States to distribute educational resources and free firearm safety kits, which include a gunlock, to their communities. To date, the program has given away more than 36 million safety kits and gun locks in all fifty states and the five U.S. territories.
Project ChildSafe’s public commitment to firearms education and making our communities safer is supported by Project ChildSafe, Inc., a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt charity. To learn more about Project ChildSafe, visit projectchildsafe.org.
How can spread the message for gun safety? How will you? Share your ideas in the comment section.