“Guns lead to thousands of deaths and injuries among children every year. More American homes have guns than dogs, and nearly 1,500 children younger than 18 years of age die from shootings every year. The onus of these innocent lives lost are not on the children; they are on the irresponsible adults who are leaving loose firearms in their homes. Of course, it is important to educate children on what to do when they come across dangerous situations, such as unsupervised firearms. But why put the blame and pressure on children to handle dangerous firearms correctly?” Wait, does your head hurt after reading that, too? Good, I thought it was only me. What passes for logic in Anna Eskamani’s green-skied world evidently means lamenting the deaths of children who find unsecured firearms while decrying attempts to teach them what to do if they find an unsecured firearm . . .
Poor Anna. There she was “tabling” (I’m not sure either) at the youth-oriented Seminole County Day of Unity when up saunters someone handing out Eddie Eagle coloring books. Really, are there no depths to which the nefarious National Rifle Association won’t sink?
As I flipped through the pages of this children’s activity book, my innocent curiosity quickly shifted to annoyance and then disgust. This was a book written for preschoolers to first graders with the intent of teaching kids not to play with the guns that they find through the hero-like advice of a large talking bird. This alone is an unlikely scenario; and the crux of the story revolved around a rifle in a grandmother’s basement — another falsity in modern life because in reality, millions of children live in homes with guns and more than half of parents do not keep their guns locked and unloaded.
Yes, Anna. It’s highly unlikely that a large talking bird will really be there to intervene if little Sammy and Suzy run across grandpa’s forgotten old .22 in granny’s basement. Which is kinda the point, no?
But the NRA’s perfidy gets worse. Much worse.
What made my heart even heavier was the fact that I was given this book in Sanford, the very city where Trayvon Martin, a young unarmed African American boy with Skittles in one hand and iced tea in the other, was shot to death in 2012 via Florida’s Stand Your Ground law. What an insensitive piece of literature to pass out to a community hurt by gun violence in such a horrific way.
You know, she has a point. Given the fact that a teenager was shot to death under questionable circumstances there, Sanford really should be designated a firearms safety education-free zone for the next decade. At least. For the children.
So as an NRA member, I’d like to apologize on behalf on the entire organization, Anna. It’s obvious — or should be — that efforts to teach children who may find a gun to stop, don’t touch, leave the area and tell an adult are terribly inappropriate and unforgivably insensitive. And I’ll do my best to contact the NRA brass and see to it that if you ever have children of your own, Eddie keeps his distance so they’re never burdened in this way with the kind of knowledge that may one day save their lives.