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Mandatory Gun Class For First Graders? Senator Dan Brown On His Misunderstood Bill

NRA cartoon.jpg
via YouTube
Video below: "Stop, don't touch, leave the area, tell an adult!"
State Senator Dan Brown is not trying to teach all Missouri first-graders how to use guns. But a lot of people think he is.

A frustrated Brown tells Daily RFT that his proposed school safety and training bill, which was introduced exactly one day before the tragic Sandy Hook massacre, would mandate that first-graders across the state go through the "Eddie Eagle Gunsafe Program," which is a lesson that comes from the National Rifle Association.

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"It doesn't do anything to train kids to shoot guns," says Brown, a Republican. "I'm getting all kinds of hell for that."

So what would the bill do?

Senate Bill 75 is legislation to "require school districts and charter schools to provide training and education about firearms safety and addressing potentially dangerous or armed intruders."

It's a package deal that includes a so-called Active Shooter and Intruder Response Training for Schools, which covers how teachers and school employees must respond to students with information about a threatening situation -- and what to do when a dangerous or armed intruder is in the building.

Part of that program includes a simulated active shooter and intruder-response drill.

And then each school district and charter school must annually teach the Eddie Eagle Gunsafe Program -- the aspect of his proposal that is sparking a lot of controversy. It includes this short video:

"If you see a firearm, stop what you're doing, don't touch it, and get out of the area. Report to an adult," says Brown, explaining the message of the video. "It's pretty simple stuff."

Brown says most people are slamming the proposal, simply because it happens to be a video tied to the NRA.

"Nowhere in the video does it refer to the NRA," he says, adding, "they actually do things other than promote guns!"

Brown's frustration with negative feedback likely comes from the fact that the bill has gotten him national attention, some explicitly negative.

"It has nothing to do with guns except avoiding them," he says of the class.

Brown says he was motivated to create this bill, in part because he has five grandchildren in public schools and a daughter and daughter-in-law who are both teachers.

"It is important to me," he says. "I don't want anyone else to get killed."

School safety is so significant to him, that he put this bill forward even though it contradicts his normal politics, he says: "I'll be very honest. I don't like mandates. I don't like more government."

He continues, "Schoolchildren train for fire drills, train for tornadoes. Teachers need to know what appears to be the best thing to do."

Continue for more of our interview with Dan Brown and the full draft bill.


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23 comments
jumpinjezebel
jumpinjezebel

Let's see if he's as interested in having an age appropriate level of sex education in our schools. The girls are more in danger from an unprotected penis than a gun. "JUST SAY NO HAS TO GO!!"

fwddodge
fwddodge

i guess no one here has actually gone to school in rural missouri?

back in grade school the missouri conservation dept had a very similar class that was required for all 6th graders in my school. the class focused on safety around firearms. they taught us things like - when carrying a gun always point the barrel at the ground or sky. never point a gun at anything you dont want to shoot. never trust that a gun wont fire because the safety is on. always treat a gun as though it is loaded.  a firearm with a cockable hammer can fire when dropped even if its not cocked so it should always be carried at half-cock. lot of the same basic stuff that is being taught by the NRA sponsored program except when the MO conservation dept did the class taxpayers paid for it, the NRA is paying for this class. the program does work- the rate for accidental firearm death in rural missouri is EXTREMELY low as a result.  now when you get into kansas city and st louis city where they dont have those programs for kids in school that figure is a lot higher.

Mark Lodes
Mark Lodes

That isn't freedom, its fascism.

Mark Lodes
Mark Lodes

That isn't freedom, its fascism.

Catherine Claire
Catherine Claire

There is no reason not to give this message to children. The message is literally "Stop. Don't Touch. Leave the area. Tell an adult." The bill also requires teachers to attend a 4 hour training course taught by law enforcement on what to do if they encounter an armed shooter. Read past the title, people.

DelmarPoop
DelmarPoop

Yeah, instead of buying school supplies or raising teacher salaries, let's funnel more government money to the cash-strapped NRA for something these lazy ass parents should be teaching their stupid kids, just like sex education.

Daniel Knoll
Daniel Knoll

google and read the CDC facts on gun issues in the US...disturbing. The NRA won't be happy until they get a gun in the hand of every man, woman and child in America. I'd imagine they'd be quite happy with a vending machine in every school, dispensing candy-colored hand guns.

12judges
12judges

A classic example of how the polarizing factor is the NRA and not common sense gun safety programs.  ABSOLUTELY NO ONE should have an opposition to teaching children to leave a firearm alone and get the attention of an adult when one is present and teaching as much at all grade levels in all public and private schools should be law.  The NRA is one of the few organizations (almost all of them pro-gun or hunting safety related) that actually offers such a program aimed directly at children.  I know of no anti-gun or pro-gun control organizations that do so because there are tons of people that believe the best education is none at all lest children actually take an interest in firearms or decide it is a right they want to exercise.  Firearms are a reality of existence and there are 310 million of them in the US.  We should teach children how to be safe around them in the same way we teach children to hold hands and look both ways for cars before crossing a street.

Rhiannon Gurley
Rhiannon Gurley

why not teach them how to recycle, not smoke, stay away from junk food first

Rhiannon Gurley
Rhiannon Gurley

why not teach them how to recycle, not smoke, stay away from junk food first

Ashley Osterhagen
Ashley Osterhagen

No and if they enforce this bs that guns are normal and we need classes instead of getting rid of the guns themselves my children will not be in school, I will homeschool.

Ashley Osterhagen
Ashley Osterhagen

No and if they enforce this bs that guns are normal and we need classes instead of getting rid of the guns themselves my children will not be in school, I will homeschool.

Ashley Osterhagen
Ashley Osterhagen

No and if they enforce this bs that guns are normal and we need classes instead of getting rid of the guns themselves my children will not be in school, I will homeschool.

Christine O'Neill
Christine O'Neill

It's a shame that people don't bother reading past the headline before forming their opinions. But on the other hand, his bill came out in the same breath as other members of his party suggesting that we arm kindergarten teachers, so perhaps it's understandable that people jumped to the wrong conclusion.

Christopher Harrison
Christopher Harrison

Yes, absolutely. For thouse who don't know, the "Eddy Eagle" class for first graders does not include any firearms in the classroom. No one is suggesting teaching six-year-olds to shoot.

Christopher Harrison
Christopher Harrison

Yes, absolutely. For thouse who don't know, the "Eddy Eagle" class for first graders does not include any firearms in the classroom. No one is suggesting teaching six-year-olds to shoot.

Josh Goodman
Josh Goodman

My daughter who is in first grade already has, a refresher course wouldn't hurt.

Peggy Keller
Peggy Keller

Because DARE worked so well to keep them away from drugs, right?

Kevin Cook
Kevin Cook

That should make them curious around the house. I'm a gun owner. I'm not a proud gun owner. My gun hasn't made me proud. I'm proud of my kids.

12judges
12judges

Who said anything about funneling money to the NRA?  Last time I checked the NRA makes the Eddie Eagle program and materials available to anyone through grant funding PROVIDED BY NRA MEMBERS http://eddieeagle.nra.org/grant-funding.aspx.  In a perfect world we could hope that all parents would take the responsibility of educating their children on real world dangers but that won't happen.  Many schools if not most teach children the dangers of crossing the street, talking to strangers, and natural disasters.  I'm not saying that the NRA program is perfect, but surely we as a society can come to some compromise on a basic level of education for young children on what to do in the presence of an unclaimed firearm.

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