Presentations on gun safety offered

Presentations on gun safety offered

After recent incidents of gun violence in our community, including a shooting at Central High School, I am glad to see the planned Unit 4 PTA council town hall on gun violence scheduled for Jan. 17.

As part of this community discussion on how to better prevent gun violence, I hope the PTA and the school district will consider replacing the NRA-sponsored Eddie Eagle "firearm injury prevention" curriculum from the district's risk watch program.

Just as Joe Camel was a marketing tool used by the tobacco industry to sell more cigarettes to children, the Eddie Eagle cartoon character and his "gun safety" message should have no place in the public schools. Research has found the NRA curriculum to be ineffective at teaching children gun safety.

Instead of subjecting our children to gun industry propaganda, we should focus on educating parents to ensure that guns are properly secured in their own homes as well as in the homes that their children may visit. A catchy cartoon video will not stop a curious child from picking up a gun, but a gun lock will.

I encourage our local school districts to incorporate gun safety education into their outreach to parents. The local chapter of Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America offers "Be SMART" gun safety presentations free of charge to any interested PTA or community group. To request a presentation, contact cubesmart01@gmail.com.

ELLY HANAUER

Champaign