Anti-gunners are quick to say they know and understand firearm safety. Their idea of firearm “safety” is to keep firearms out of a home where children reside and act as though guns don’t exist or bad people don't want to cause you harm. While gun control advocates want to paint the firearms industry as monsters who hate children, the truth is the firearms industry is leading the fight on gun safety.
These are three programs that are currently making a difference yet are rarely talked about when discussing gun safety:
The National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF), the firearm industry’s trade association, launched Project ChildSafe in 1999 with the goal of distributing free gun safety locks to gun owners across the nation. The organization partners with more than 15,000 law enforcement agencies throughout the country to make distribution possible.
In the past 20 years, Project ChildSafe has provided more than 38-million gun safety kits – a combination of cable-style gun locks, lock installment instructions and a safety booklet. Locks have been distributed through all 50 states and five U.S. territories.
The United States Department of Justice’s Bureau of Justice Assistance awarded NSSF and Project ChildSafe a $2.4 million grant as a means of providing gun owners with safety locks.
Those wanting to obtain a free gun lock can find a partner organization here.
The National Rifle Association (NRA) launched the Eddie Eagle GunSafe program to teach children what to do if they find a gun.
"The Eddie Eagle gun accident prevention program has been taught to nearly 30 million children over the past 30 years. It teaches youngsters what to do if they ever see a firearm: Stop, Don’t Touch, Run Away, Tell a Grown-up," NRA Spokeswoman Amy Hunter told Townhall. "Developed by a task force of experts, the program is straightforward and simple for kids to understand. Since its inception, the number of fatal gun accidents by kids under 14 has decreased by 87.5 percent.”
There are four steps for kids to remember:
This first step is crucial. Stopping first allows your child the time he or she needs to remember the rest of the safety instructions.
A firearm that is not touched or disturbed is unlikely to be fired and otherwise endanger your child or other people.
This removes the temptation to touch the firearm as well as the danger that another person may negligently cause it to fire.
Tell a Grown-Up.
Children should seek a trustworthy adult, neighbor, relative or teacher – if a parent or guardian is not available.
The program, designed with kindergarten through 4th graders in mind, includes a video for kids to get a visual of what to do if they ever find a firearm.
The NRA School Shield program was designed to increase public safety at K-12 schools. Law enforcement officers assess a school to see what vulnerabilities the school has to a potential threat.
“NRA School Shield is about the NRA’s larger commitment to public safety overall. Our program creates vital relationships between schools and their local law enforcement agencies, and facilitates training that teaches designated officials how to conduct vulnerability assessments and identify potential areas requiring improvement on K-12 campuses," NRA Spokeswoman Amy Hunt told Townhall.
The program recognizes that a one-size-fits-all approach does not work at every school. Allowing for assessments of each individual campus allows law enforcement officials to identify the best practices in security infrastructure, technology, personnel, training and policy.
After training, participants will leave with the ability to:
- Understand the role and responsibilities of a school security assessor
- Understand the difference between threat, vulnerability and risk assessments
- Identify potential threats and common vulnerabilities in the school environment
- Conduct a school vulnerability assessment based on industry best practices
- Discuss advantages of security personnel and SROs in the school environment
- Identify and communicate emerging best practices in school security
Based on a school safety survey, only 24 percent of those schools that responded had conducted a school safety assessment, making those campuses a target for a would-be attacker.
The NRA's School Shield program offers grants for schools to complete projects and activities focused on improving safety. The funds can be used for a wide range of purposes, from armed school guards to placing buzz-in locks on doors to putting protective film on windows and glass doors.
"Additionally, through the NSS grant program, NRA has awarded more than $1 million in school security grants in just this year alone," Hunt said. "The men and women of the NRA wholeheartedly believe there is nothing more critical to our nation’s well-being than our children’s safety, and our NRA School Shield program is our commitment to that effort.”