Altus Police Department is giving away free Gun Safety workbooks for kids. Entitled “Learn Gun Safety with Eddie Eagle”, they come in level one for Pre-K through first grades, and level two for second and third grades. These booklets approach the subject just the way it could happen in real life, said APD Lt. Mike Munn. They show children playing and accidentally finding a gun.
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Altus Police Department’s Lt. Mike Munn shows the two types of Gun Safety workbooks the department is offering for free. The workbooks help promote the basics of gun safety. If a child finds a gun, they should stop and they shouldn’t touch the gun. They should leave the area and tell an adult. Lt. Munn adds, “Never point a gun at anyone. Every gun should be considered as loaded.”
According to Lt. Munn, the semi-auto pistol on the left has the gunlock placed securely through the slide and the magazine well, thereby preventing the weapon from being loaded or allowing the slide to be released. The revolver on the right has the gunlock placed securely through the cylinder housing and the cylinder, thus preventing a round being loaded and placed into the cylinder and the cylinder being able to be closed back to a firing position.
This is the time of year when children and youth are left unattended or may be visiting at friends’ houses. Parents may tell children they are not allowed in certain areas of a home, Munn explained, but kids are curious. Also, Munn said, parents may say “this is what we do at our home…” but then the youth may visit a friend’s house and forget the rules.
APD officers teach the same basic gun safety rules as those shown in these workbooks. The booklets teach that if a child sees a gun, he or she should: “stop, don’t touch it, leave the area and tell an adult”. Lt. Munn, who has taught hunter safety courses for years, said that now so many guns have been modified by their owners that APD advises that even adults shouldn’t touch guns they find somewhere. Even bumping them could set them off. Every gun should be considered loaded from the start, Munn said. Never point a gun at anyone.
Finding a gun, or any other potentially dangerous situation should be grounds for a child calling 9-1-1, according to Munn. When children or youth are under peer pressure, it makes the situation even more dangerous. It may not be just the younger children that would be in such danger from a discovered gun. Teens may try to be cool and end up shooting someone.
Children and youth emulate their parents, Munn said. If the youth sees the parent waving a weapon around, they may do so, especially when the parent is absent. Some parents want guns out for easy access, but kids will find them. With all the violent video games and television shows, kids just think they’re all toys. “It’s best to keep guns out of sight, out of mind and locked up out of reach.” Lt. Munn said, that the best way to keep guns away from kids is for the parents to keep guns and ammo locked up in separate locations, using gun safes or at the least, by using gun locks. Munn said gun locks can be purchased at sporting goods stores. There are several different types, including trigger locks, and cable locks going around the parts of the gun.
The workbooks are published and provided by the National Rifle Association of America. For more information, see their web site on gun safety for kids at “www.nrahq.org/safety/eddie”.
story created on Thursday 5/31/2012 at 4:35:15 pm by Paula Peterson
story modified on Thursday 5/31/2012 at 4:52:18 pm by Paula Peterson