ONTD Political

Missouri Bill Would Require All First Graders To Take NRA-Sponsored Gun Class

10:43 am - 01/30/2013
Missouri Bill Would Require All First Graders To Take NRA-Sponsored Gun Class

Students in Missouri have no sexual education requirement, so there’s a good chance they don’t know how to properly protect themselves from STIs or unintended pregnancy. Soon, though, they may be able to protect themselves from guns.

Missouri state Senate is considering a bill that would require all first graders in the state to take a gun safety training course. Using a grant provided by the National Rifle Association, it would put a “National Rifle Association’s Eddie Eagle Gunsafe Program” instructor in every first grade classroom.

The irony that there’s no requirement for students to learn about their bodies — but that there is one for deadly weapons — seems lost on the legislators proposing the measure, one of whom lamented, “I hate mandates as much as anyone, but some concerns and conditions rise to the level of needing a mandate”:pushing for its passage:

Sen. Dan Brown, R-Rolla, told the Senate General Laws Committee Tuesday that his bill was an effort to teach young children what to do if they come across an unsecured weapon.[...]

“I hate mandates as much as anyone, but some concerns and conditions rise to the level of needing a mandate,” Brown said.

Senators watched a brief segment of the training video during the hearing. The segment featured a cartoon eagle telling children to step away from an unsecured gun and immediately report it to an adult.

The measure would also require teachers to spend eight hours in a training course for how to respond to an armed assailant in the school. But the NRA will not foot the bill for the cost of substitute teachers on those days — despite the organizations stated focus on protecting the classroom.

And if the legislature is truly worried about protecting their students, sex education is a good place to start. Missouri’s young people suffer some of the highest rates of sexually transmitted diseases in the country. Many of the schools run abstinence-only education, which is proven ineffective and likely to lead to more STIs and unintended pregnancies. It may not be as terrifying to a parent to imagine their child pregnant instead of shot, but it’s a much more likely possibility: In Missouri, 51 out of every 1,000 women have an unintended pregnancy, while there are 12.3 gun deaths per 100,00 people.


OP: Priorities... Missouri has them.
ultraelectric 30th-Jan-2013 09:34 pm (UTC)
Maybe I'm out there with my ideas, but I don't think this is necessarily a bad thing. Kids should be taught about gun and weapon safety. Teaching kids if they come across a gun to go get an adult is a GOOD THING. I mean, it's not an uncommon thing for kids to come across a gun and accidentally shoot themselves or others.

Don't get me wrong, sex education should be a priority, but so is teaching kids safety with weapons especially around that age. Although, I do hope in their teaching they give out pamphlets to parents about keeping guns in safe areas away from small hands.
eveofrevolution 30th-Jan-2013 10:19 pm (UTC)
This is what I thought too. Not a fan of it being sponsored by the NRA, but as long as guns are going to be such an ~Amurrkan right~ and so prevalent in our culture, at least more kids will be exposed to gun safety when their idiot parents leave their loaded handgun on the coffee table.
zinnia_rose 30th-Jan-2013 10:24 pm (UTC)
I would be down with having my child take a gun safety class, but I wouldn't trust the NRA to put on a decent one.
darlahood 31st-Jan-2013 12:01 am (UTC)
The Eddie Eagle program is actually pretty good. NRA educational courses are run by certified trainers.
tabaqui 30th-Jan-2013 10:32 pm (UTC)
I have no issues with a gun safety class...that you take your kid to because you want them to learn.

'Gun Safety' (ie: NRA propaganda class) should *not* be part of a school's curriculum, and should *not* be mandatory, especially in friggin' first grade.

What actual learning will this stupid class bump so as to have time for it?

teacup_werewolf 31st-Jan-2013 12:35 am (UTC)
I agree, I am not against gun safety at all. I think having kids be aware and educated is highly important. My dad had several rifles growing up and was incredibly severe and prudent when I walked into the office and watched him clean his guns. I knew how bullets worked how a gun fires and how to properly take care of one. I knew what to do if I found a gun and who to get. I was 10 when my dad gave me these lessons. He never taught me how to fire one or encouraged me to use one. My dad may be pretty nutso and Tea Partier but he was pretty prudent when it came to gun safety.

On the other hand I don't like the idea of the government teaching kids about gun or making it mandatory.
kyra_neko_rei 31st-Jan-2013 08:26 am (UTC)
I'm kinda wondering what they consider "a gun safety class" for this purpose.

I saw the Eddie Eagle video that was current 20 years ago, and it was about seven minutes of an animated eagle in a tracksuit telling kids what to do if they encountered a gun sitting around on the playground or whatever ("stop, don't touch, leave the area, tell an adult"). Which is reasonably good information and not that much time to take up.

Nowadays, I don't trust either the NRA or the Republicans to not pad it with Heaven knows what propaganda.
furrygreen 31st-Jan-2013 09:22 am (UTC)
Twenty years ago that may've worked but today? I don't think it would. I mean, all of this is sorta in the league of "don't play with fire." The difference is that guns are so much more ... feared? I'm not certain if that's the right term. They're just so much more emphasis on them. Most kids -- especially first graders who can't understand concepts as life and death -- will instinctively want to see what's the deal with guns.
elialshadowpine 31st-Jan-2013 04:51 pm (UTC)
I don't trust the NRA, but I'm not sure I agree re: school. Every so often, I'll read a news article about a kid whose parents owned guns and were horribly irresponsible with them, in which the kid didn't know anything about guns, and someone got hurt/killed. No, I don't trust that gun owner parents are going to adequately teach their kids about safety, and I'd rather that the school teach.

Again, I don't trust the NRA, and I think they should be the last people doing this, but the basic idea is not IMO a bad one.
zaure 31st-Jan-2013 02:39 am (UTC)
I have to agree. I grew up in a community where the schools were closed on the first day of hunting season (even the elementary school) so kids could go hunting with their parents. I also remember being taught gun safety when I was very young even though my parents didn't own any. There are plenty of places where guns are still seen as tools, and hunting your own food is still a part of the culture. To me it's not much different than other safety lessons (what to do if you get lost, learning how to act around hot stoves/irons, etc.)
furrygreen 31st-Jan-2013 07:45 am (UTC)
My problem with this is that it's being taught by the NRA to first graders. Most schools still have that "zero tolerance" crap to guns. As in, make your fingers into a gun and risk getting expelled. I just don't trust the NRA enough -- this is like a wet dream to the NRA -- and the idea that this is teaching kids about guns at such an early age!

Do we really need kids to know how to use it? Cause that has to be taught as well and kids have no idea the consequences of their actions. "This'll make Mommy go away foreva because I hate vegies?"
fluteaphrael 31st-Jan-2013 08:26 am (UTC)
They've done tests, and even kids given proper gun safety courses have been shown to NOT ignore guns found and to pick them up and handle them dangerously. I suppose a proper course given by the police department or something, my problem is I don't think any course like this should be branded. Unless the materials are neutral as to source, which I doubt they would be, I have a problem with it. But then I have a problem with the trend towards branded business partnerships below the High School level. Kids should not be forced to participate in advertising.
crossfire 30th-Jan-2013 09:38 pm (UTC)
Great way to get more money into the NRA's coffers, there, senators. Well played.

Here's the program in question: http://eddieeagle.nra.org/ I like the idea of teaching kids what to do if they come across a gun, but this is more boondoggle than education.
kitanabychoice 30th-Jan-2013 09:48 pm (UTC)
It's okay to talk about guns, but not sex in any capacity. I'm not surprised.
vulturoso 30th-Jan-2013 10:12 pm (UTC)
alexvdl 31st-Jan-2013 01:32 am (UTC)
Yup. Bullet riddled bodies? Fine for primetime. A breast? That's a multimillion dollar fine and a 7 second tape delay on all future events.
kyra_neko_rei 31st-Jan-2013 08:28 am (UTC)
I was about to say, have the Democrats call for a compromise: the NRA can teach gun safety in elementary schools if Planned Parenthood can teach sex education in high schools.

Be worth it for the expressions on the Republicans' faces.
agentsculder 31st-Jan-2013 12:06 pm (UTC)
Using that icon, I read your comment with Dean's voice in my head.
girly123 30th-Jan-2013 10:23 pm (UTC)

Senators watched a brief segment of the training video during the hearing. The segment featured a cartoon eagle telling children to step away from an unsecured gun and immediately report it to an adult.

I feel increasingly like I'm living in a caricature of of the U.S with every passing day, for real. That sounds like a Tumblr joke.
girly123 31st-Jan-2013 05:49 am (UTC)
"And then, behind the broom, I saw a gun. At just that moment, the kids saw it too! I didn't wait; I knew what to do:"

Omg this is so hilariously awful.
maenads_dance 31st-Jan-2013 09:28 am (UTC)
Seventh grade sex ed in RI featured rapping condoms. It was an exercise in humiliation, I think - maybe the point was to make us feel so embarrassed by the man dancing around in a condom suit rapping about STDs that we would never want to have sex. IDEK.

(also - I thought awkward education rapping went out in, like, 1992?)
girly123 1st-Feb-2013 12:02 am (UTC)
(also - I thought awkward education rapping went out in, like, 1992?)

Man I hope so, because I weep for the youth of today if it hasn't.
furrygreen 31st-Jan-2013 09:51 am (UTC)
Could they have tried to make that any more racist? I mean, naturally it's only brown people who have this problem of leaving guns around, am I right?
moonshaz 1st-Feb-2013 10:02 am (UTC)
Ikr? It's pretty gross.
ohmiya_sg 31st-Jan-2013 04:05 am (UTC)
bowl_of_glow 31st-Jan-2013 09:33 am (UTC)

I admit I'm flabbergasted. I'm Italian, and while my country is far from being perfect (so SO far sometimes) I cannot understand why a kid should go anywhere near a gun. I literally CANNOT understand.
America, it's like we live in two different parts of the universe sometimes.
furrygreen 31st-Jan-2013 09:48 am (UTC)
It's less a should and more an inevitability. Fucking morons leave them in places where kids might find them, like this tool who left his gun in the bathroom of a school.

It comes down to those crying that GUNS ARE A HUMAN RIGHT and THE GOV'T WILL KILL GRAMMIE IF YOU BAN ASSAULT WEAPONS and LIMITING GUNS IN ANY WAY TURNS US INTO COMMIE SOCIALISTS bullshit. God forbid we do anything to limit them, am I right? Thus we have "programs" like this. It's like applying a band-aid to a broken arm.
furrygreen 31st-Jan-2013 09:48 am (UTC)
I love that gif!
wrestlingdog 31st-Jan-2013 05:00 pm (UTC)
That's beautiful.
tabaqui 30th-Jan-2013 10:30 pm (UTC)
Fuck my state. God's *teeth*. So sick of this shite.
amyura 30th-Jan-2013 10:42 pm (UTC)
I think those numbers at the end would be a lot more compelling if the reporter used the same order of magnitude. For every 200,000 people in Missouri, assuming an exact 50-50 split between men and women, there are 25 gun deaths and 10,200 unintended pregnancies.
kyra_neko_rei 31st-Jan-2013 08:31 am (UTC)
Call for a compromise. Let the NRA teach gun safety if Planned Parenthood gets to teach sex ed.
dagnirovanaliel 30th-Jan-2013 10:58 pm (UTC)
Oh, Missouri. Totally unsurprised.

Thing is, I think this could be a decent thing if it were part of, say, the health class curriculum rather than having someone from the NRA come in. Because boy do I not trust them. Children absolutely need to know proper gun safety if America's going to continue refusing to reform the laws and people are going to continue to have guns. Also, Missouri is pretty damn rural and loads of people here hunt. Well, not HERE here, because I live in St. Louis, though the subdivision next to us recently approved bow hunting in their little wooded area that backs up to my neighbor's house.

tl;dr: gun safety would be a great thing for kids to learn, just not from the fucking NRA, also the sex ed policy needs to change and SERIOUSLY MISSOURI THESE ARE YOUR PRIORITIES?!
blackjedii 30th-Jan-2013 11:54 pm (UTC)
The NRA will offer tips and other informational materials for a low price to any and all interested schools
blackjedii 30th-Jan-2013 11:54 pm (UTC)
lolcatielol 30th-Jan-2013 11:59 pm (UTC)
I was educated about gun safety super young by my father who was a police officer. But even though I knew there were guns in the house, I had no idea where they were. The first time I saw one of his guns (state-issued or personal), I was 15.

Rather than spending money telling kids what to do if they find a gun just laying around, maybe they should spend that money on gun reform so dumbasses who would leave a gun, loaded or not, just lying around a child wouldn't be allowed to own that gun.
nicosian 31st-Jan-2013 12:55 am (UTC)
Sex ed bad.
Gun ed good.

Oh, so charmingly, horrifyingly narrow in vision and ever so backwards. To use sex ed protest logic, won't teaching kids gun safety mean they want to run out and try it? Oh, wait, no? Or its ok because its money in the NRA pocket I guess.

Missouri's a land where logic has clearly left for saner shores.
yeats 31st-Jan-2013 01:35 am (UTC)
nope nope nope nope nope

none of the hypothetical children i have with ryan gosling will ever go anywhere NEAR a gun, thank you very much.
maenads_dance 31st-Jan-2013 09:30 am (UTC)
But what if your kid is over on a playdate at a friend's house, and someone in their friend's family owns a firearm?

I think gun safety education in grade school is a great idea, equivalent to DARE and sex ed. I am not a fan of places that do gun safety/DARE and not sex ed, but I've wondered for a while why gun safety isn't a regular thing.
yeats 31st-Jan-2013 09:37 am (UTC)
i feel like that already exists, though? i mean, at least growing up in the early nineties, i got a ton of information about not playing with guns everywhere. maybe it was just the era of after-school specials. also, i don't trust the NRA's involvement in this.

and put plainly, i would be deeply uncomfortable with Beyoncé Yeats-Gosling being in a home with firearms to begin with. obviously, there's no way to stop it from happening, since there's no way to politely ask someone if they own a gun, but it's something that i wouldn't be cool with if i knew about it.
thelilyqueen 31st-Jan-2013 06:41 pm (UTC)
I would not allow them to go to a friend's house if I knew there was a gun present, personally, but would be perfectly happy to have the friend over to our home. Hardline opinion, yes, but one I feel I'd have a right to act on.
lovedforaday 31st-Jan-2013 02:15 am (UTC)
This is a state where everyone who runs for office here in rural MO proudly proclaims they're members of the NRA. Of course this bill was proposed
wikilobbying 31st-Jan-2013 03:26 am (UTC)
gun safety as taught by the nra? that might be one of the funniest goddamn jokes i've ever heard.
et_tu_lulu 31st-Jan-2013 08:56 am (UTC)
In theory, I don't mind the idea of a class on gun safety. But a gun safety class run by the NRA? Hell no.

And seriously, Missouri, get your head out of your ass when it comes to sex ed.
lady_grace 31st-Jan-2013 05:08 pm (UTC)
This state, Jesus. I blame Roy Blunt.
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