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By Lee Williams

More than 33 million children have learned about gun safety through the National Rifle Association’s Eddie Eagle GunSafe® program. The exact figures, current as of last month, show that 33,198,060 kids have participated since the program was started in 1988, and 41,325 children have been reached so far this year.

Even the NRA’s staunchest critics have acknowledged that the Eddie Eagle program is something special. It works because its message is simple and easy for kids to remember when they encounter a firearm: “STOP! DON’T TOUCH. RUN AWAY. TELL A GROWN-UP.”

Of course, like everything the nation’s oldest civil rights organization does, the Eddie Eagle program is not immune from criticism. The latest salvo came from the Daily Beast, titled: “The NRA’s Gun Safety Program for Kids has Imploded.” Its author certainly didn’t let the facts get in the way of his anti-gun narrative.

The Beast story claims Eddie Eagle has “essentially fallen apart.” The author bases this claim on documents he said he received from Everytown for Gun Safety, which is one of former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s astro-turf (not grassroots) anti-gun groups.

The author claims “a mere 32,000 children were reached by the Eddie Eagle program in 2020, a drop of nearly 95 percent compared to 2019.”

While that’s certainly a steep decline, I seem to recall there was something of significance that occurred during 2020 that may have caused the drop – like, the entire country was shut down because of COVID-19.

The Beast, of course, sees it differently. “The documents show the steep slide wasn’t due to last year’s COVID-19 lockdowns, either: In 2019, Eddie Eagle reached 35 percent fewer children than in 2018. In all, participation dropped 96 percent in 24 months, as the NRA cut funding on “safety, training & education” by $14 million, or more than a third.”

NRA spokesman Lars Dalseide told the Beast the Eddie Eagle program is “thriving.” He also pointed out that despite all their blather, Bloomberg’s groups spend zero dollars educating kids about gun safety.

Shannon Watts

Shannon Watts, who runs Bloomberg’s Moms Demand Action, called Eddie Eagle “a thinly veiled ad campaign intended to create future firearms buyers.”

“For a really long time, the NRA has pretended that Eddie Eagle is a responsible way to teach kids about gun safety,” Watts told the Beast. “But it’s actually more like a marketing or a propaganda tool, similar to Joe Camel in marketing cigarettes to kids. And thankfully, Eddie Eagle is going by the wayside, much like Joe Camel did.”

This is pure gibberish. The Eddie Eagle program is about as far from a marketing campaign as you can get. It makes no value judgements about firearms, and does not endorse any of the shooting sports. In fact, in none of the cartoons, books, pamphlets or videos does Eddie ever touch a gun. It is Watts, herself, who is a “marketing or a propaganda tool.”

About the only thing the Beast story got right was a comment about former NRA president and current board member, Marion Hammer, who created the Eddie Eagle program in 1988. It was Hammer who assembled the multi-disciplinary task force that designed and implemented the curriculum.

“Contacted on her personal cell phone by The Daily Beast, Hammer hung up,” the story states.

I know Marion. She doesn’t suffer fools. She definitely hung up.


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This story is part of the Second Amendment Foundation’s Investigative Journalism Project and is published here with their permission.



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  1. The theme song would also be good for instructing kids about what to do if they come across Joe Biden meandering in the park near the playground.

      • Since we are living in a clown world (with a pedo clown in the White House),
        only the Benny Hill Show theme will do.

        Apologies now, if the song becomes logged in your mind.

        • we filled up one time in menomonee. of course, i unleashed that earwurm upon my fellow riders. at the next fill up all the helmets were thrown at me.

  2. Yeah well all the anti-gunners aside, everthing the NRA does or should do is at risk so long as Don Wayne-Corleone remains in power. Boot out WLP and his cronies, get the NRA back and track and I’ll rejoin. Until then, not one cent more for the NRA!

    And I have taught the Eddie Eagle program by the way. It’s fine, makes good sense.

    The complete opposite of both the anti-gun crowd and Wayne GimmeeMoney! Pierre.

  3. Personally, I’ve never approved of the Eddie the Eagle slogan, or the way it’s been handled over the years.

    “Stop! Run away!”

    While I understand this sentiment if I look through a certain lens, I nevertheless see it as instilling fear instead of a healthy respect. When my own children were young, I taught them to shoot a .22LR rifle, with the very first target being an apple so they could see the destructive power as it blew up upon impact. Next step involved shooting vermin that had invaded our property such as gophers, ground squirrels, or rabbits. Knowing that their action (pulling the trigger and shooting a projectile) had just ended a life was a powerful and lifelong lesson about the permanent consequences some of our decisions can leave. Not just on us, but on others as well.

    Parents matter.

    • its made to appeal to the kid with no adult around to supervise and/or keep them out of trouble and in that case its best to “Stop! Run away!” (and tell an adult).

    • “Personally, I’ve never approved of the Eddie the Eagle slogan, or the way it’s been handled over the years.” “Stop! Run away!”

      You are incorrect in the messages, which are:


      Don’t touch!

      Leave the area!

      Tell an adult!

      You’ve conveniently left out the rest…

      And you obviously don’t understand how young kids think, either.

      “In the beginning”, it is important to instill some sort of abolute value into them. As they grow, experience and mature, they are able to then mold that value to their own life, situation and learned system.

      Good for you to teach your own kids about guns- that’s what parents are supposed to do. To believe, however, that your child, in a group with several others who come across a firearm on their own will not pick it up and do the obvious- squeeze the trigger, is a “leap of faith” that will get most people injured, killed, or destroy someone else’s property. Your kid may be on the trigger end of the firearm, or the muzzle end. Oh, and the shooting will be accdidental, of course…

  4. Shannon Watts is “a thinly veiled” wanna be person desperate for attention who pimps her self out to Bloomberg.

    • If Shannon Twatts believes the Eddie Eagle Program is a thinly veiled Joe Camel cartoon and not a real gun safety program, then what in the hell has Twatts’ organization done to teach gun safety to children? I’ll answer it- NOT A DAMN THING! She just wants to ban ’em, and that’s how they’ll keep them evil guns out of those little rugrats hands. Besides, ‘It’s for the children!’

  5. well, Eddie Eagle is not going by the wayside. But judging from the signs of age on Shannon she is going by the way side.

    You know what the difference is between Shannon Watts and Eddie Eagle?

    In 10 years Eddie Eagle will still look young and will still not have Bloomberg’s hand up his ass.

  6. I have never been against educational programs nor am I against Eddie Eagle but lets face facts it is like locking the barn door after the horse escapes, something the Far Right do as their favorite pastime.

    U.S. stats show on average 1,300 children are killed each year by loaded guns being left around the house by lazy, shiftless and of course irresponsible parents who say , “Hell it will not happen to my family”. Famous last words of course. And lets not forget that for every fatality we have at least 3 times that many kids getting crippled for life costing the Nation millions in medical bills that often goes on for decades with treatments and therapy both painful and expensive, especially with our uncivilized “medical care based on blind greed and profit” which no other civilized country on earth permits as they put human life above blind greed and profit.

    The famous line from a Dirty Harry movie comes to mind “Do you fell lucky punk”??? What happened to the punk happens all to frequently to the Far Right Neanderthals.

    Safe storage laws have been adopted by every civilized industrialized nation on earth to both prevent accidents and smash and grab break-ins. Until we Socialists can succeed in civilizing the U.S. child deaths will not cease they will only grow larger. Teenage suicide is now becoming epidemic in the U.S. and the gun makes it all too easy for them to kill themselves with.

    A first responder said “I have saved kids that have tried to hang themselves, drown themselves, deliberately overdose on medication, slash their wrists etc, etc, but I have never saved a child who blew his brains out”.

    There is zero excuse for leaving loaded guns laying around the house. A person if he is under immediate threat can carry a gun on his person. A person can use a variety of safety devices including trigger locks, desk safes placed by your bedside, or even full size safes. Any of these methods allow access to a gun and often in only a second or two. I know because in the distant past when I raised kids I used them all.

    • Kids are given the same advice if they meet you damien;

      “Stop! Run away!”

      Even if you are in your standard “tie the arms in the back” jacket.

      • Most young people are now voting Socialist. In case you did not guess we are winning the hearts and minds and did so in the last election. 7 million more voted on our side. Its called “civilizing” Capitalvania.

        • As not for whom the helicopter comes; it comes for you.
          Hop aboard, ahole!
          [I am Augusto Pinochet and I approve this message.]

      • Fascists and Communists did consider themselves civilized. They would attend opera, ballet, and classical music after executing undesirables.

        • Pinochet did the same and he was a rabid Capitalist. It proves you confuse an economic system with a dictatorship which can happen with any economic system. To bad you never studied economics or political science.

          And Truman murdered 200,000 people in the totally unnecessary atom bomb attacks.

        • If you had studied SA-Mann dacian you wouldn’t have dropped out of Kent state. You could have a real life and job and not be running around playing dress up with your other fascist friends.

        • Dacian says, “…totally unnecessary atom bomb attacks.”
          Dude, you don’t know anything about history. Dropping the bombs in Hiroshima and Nagasaki were absolutely necessary to end the war in the Pacific. But, hey, you’re free to believe whatever you want…like the Earth being flat. Or that Stalin was a totally benevolent dictator. Keep drinking that Socialism kool-aid. I’m sure it’ll keep getting better as long as you keep waiting in the breadline.

        • quote————Dude, you don’t know anything about history. Dropping the bombs in Hiroshima and Nagasaki were absolutely necessary to end the war in the Pacific. ————quote

          No Julio you are an ignorant hill jack who flunked history classes.

          The bomb was dropped for the following reasons.

          Japan offered to surrender unconditionally 3 months before the bomb was ever dropped. The U.S. Government has never denied this fact not even from day one. The Russians had informed us because the Japanese had sent an emissary to them and we had broken the Japanese secret codes giving us two sources of Japan’s wishes.

          1. Truman wanted to stop the Russians from invading the main Islands of Japan. Remember they had already seized two smaller islands and remain there to this very day.

          2. Truman to be re-elected had to justify spending the several billion that it cost to develop and produce the bombs.

          3. Truman needed to be re-elected and he knew that the public wanted revenge for the attack on Pearl Harbor even though it was caused by the U.S. attacking Japan first during the China/Japanese war with U.S. supplied advanced fighter planes and a U.S. trained Chinese Air Force.

          4. Truman was a racist and believed the Japanese people were sub-human and he would never have dropped the bombs on Germany because the people were white.

          I might add the “save the Emperor excuse” was not used by the U.S. until after it became known that Japan had offered to surrender 3 months before the bombs were dropped. And the U.S. new from day one that was off the table anyway if they wanted to avoid a prolonged guerilla war.

          The U.S. to this very day is known as the greatest terrorist nation on earth because of the dropping of the bombs. The U.S. succeeded even in terrorizing its own citizens for decades after the dropping of the bombs because people built useless and ineffective fall out shelters thinking they would save them from an atom bomb attack.

    • Nope. Homicides are included in your numbers and suicides.

      Unintentional injuries have declined overall in the last 100 years. Mostly due to education and familiarity with firearms.

      I don’t see Everytown or other like groups promoting education. Just bans. Bans create demand, always has and always will be that way.

      Homicides of children are higher in urban areas and suicides in rural areas are higher than the other. Suicides overall seem to be higher in rural areas for the last 50 years.

      Teach children the important things in life in life, things like ethics, getting an education, being safe in all activities and teach them critical thought. Teach them to socialize offline, value the worth of others and allow them to be children. Only then will they value their own worth.

  7. At the age of 1 my son was watching R Lee Emery’s LocknLoad where RLE would unload of water melons and concrete bricks.

    A few years later when he was going to the range with me, I noticed he NEVER misbehaved and always did what he was told. I asked why and he said “if I don’t I could be shot and killed”. A decade later and he is still known for his impeccable behavior and takes the responsibility to teach other children the safety rules. The parents tell me their children listen because the advice is coming from someone their own age. I think he liked having the respect of adults who also treated him as an equal.

  8. Many years ago, 5 decades ago in fact I met Marion Hammer at fund raiser for Unified Sportsman of Florida in Ft Lauderdale Fla. She was a tiny woman but a fireball of energy. Say what you want about her but she was the driver for CCW in Florida. But I wonder what happened to that fireball as Wayne was robbing the piggybank.

  9. Well, Eddie is white and male, so it’s no wonder Communists despise him.

    Bloombag is also white and male, but if there’s one thing that the Everyclown Communists love, it’s money. — and Bloombag has tons of it.

    • This is true, commies love other peoples’ money (OPM) and free stuff. Therefore, I have instituted FREE excursion rides for commies on my fleet of helicopters. At the end of the ride, they get a FREE skydiving lesson (parachutes not included).

  10. Yes Eddie Eagle participation dropped locally last year. Why? Because Colorado Health Department shut all public ranges down for 9 months. We couldn’t offer services when we can’t open the door.
    Not the NRA’s fault, nor our local ranges fault. I had to stop teaching Basic Gun Safety, Basic Pistol, RSO, and Reloading 101 classes too. Yet I still had emails and phone calls asking when the next class would start.
    Entirely the Arse Spelunker Poli’s fault.

  11. This is exactly the type of article we excoriate the anti-gun mafia for doing: attacking the character, ignoring the facts.

    The author does not dispute the claimed magnitude of decline of Eddie Eagle, nor does he offer stats that disprove the claims of program decline. The thrust of the story is that we should ignore any claims by the anti-gun mob, and just accept that the data is wrong because the messengers are disreputable. This is not good messaging.

  12. The Eddie Eagle program is 1 of the few educational programs about firearms that actually seems to work. So, if something besides confiscation is working, of course the Everytown dopes and Bloomberg are against it. Can’t have people acting responsible or doing anything to actually prevent kids from being harmed.
    Funny, go to the CDC website and check the numbers. More kids are injured or killed in swimming pool accidents than by accidental gunfire. So why no outrage over swimming pools? And since the left also want to save the planet from us wasteful humans, shouldn’t they be against the waste of water?
    What the fools forget, is a firearm, of any type, is nothing but a tool. An inanimate object. It has always taken human interaction to make the firearm dangerous. Same as a crow bar, knife, Bow and arrow, or any other object that can cause harm.
    Lastly, the majority of murders, unintended shootings, etc. are by criminals shooting at other criminals, or using a firearm to commit a crime. Robbery, etc. Suicides, while tragic for many reasons, are just as common in countries with harsh gun restrictions as they are here in the US. Different methods, but same outcome. It isn’t the hardware, but the person using it. Fix the problem by arresting and prosecuting criminals, and educating the rest of the populace.


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