Florida Sheriffs teach children gun safety, Everytown reacts

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Using replica firearms, the deputy trainer shows children how to safely hold a firearm. (Photo: Sun-Sentinel)

Using replica firearms, the deputy trainer shows children how to safely hold a firearm. (Photo: Sun-Sentinel)

The Broward Sheriff’s Office taught a group of youngsters in Cooper City, Florida, how to safely handle a firearm this past Tuesday, leaving some to question whether it’s enough to prevent accidental shootings.

Gene Nardi, the training deputy for the department’s second annual gun safety presentation, discussed with his class the proper way to hold, carry and handoff a firearm.

“You have to hold the barrel face down,” he told the group of about 30 students, ranging in ages from 8 to 30 years old, according to The Sun-Sentinel.

The overall purpose of the class is to encourage parents and children to discuss gun safety.

“The interest in firearms with children comes at a young age,” Nardi said, noting that just because your house may be a gun-free zone, your neighbor’s probably isn’t.

“We have to heighten the awareness for parents and children,” Nardi explained. “And if there are guns in the home, how to maintain them safely and appropriately within the state law.”

Yet, for Everytown for Gun Safety, billionaire business magnate Michael Bloomberg’s pro-gun control organization, when it comes to children and guns, the emphasis should be on reminding parents to lock up their firearms.

“More than two million American children live in homes with unsecured guns – 1.7 million of those are in homes with guns that are both loaded and unlocked,” said Everytown in a statement obtained by GunsAmerica.

“We believe the impetus should not be solely on the child to prevent unintentional shootings. Our children’s lives are on the line and its up to all of us – gun owners and non-gun owners alike to do our part to keep curious children safe from guns. If more gun owners keep their guns unloaded and locked, fewer children will be killed,” it continued.

In an ideal world it would be best to do both, remind parents to keep their firearms secured and teach children how to safely and responsibly handle and shoot a firearm, but if there was only one course of action to take one could argue that it’s ultimately best to teach children what to do if they encounter a firearm knowing that not every setting or environment a child will encounter will be like the home they grew up in.

{ 2 comments… add one }
  • Bob April 21, 2017, 5:59 pm

    I grew up in Florida before all of the foolish anti-gun laws were passed. Like the writer, my father gave me a BB gun when I was 6, then a 22 pellet gun, and finally a 22. I was a pretty good shot with the training that my father gave me. The St. Petersburg police department came to our school and gave some lectures about gun safety and offered to allow kids with signed parents’ permission slips to go to the Police Department shooting range for more training. The department gave us a reusable bus ticket and their professional instructors trained us using some very fine 22 rifles that most people could not afford. None of us ever shot at anyone, robbed a gas station, or committed any other crime because we knew that our friends at the Police Department would be mad at us. My dad always said “Don’t ever make the police have to bring you home.”

  • gary February 11, 2017, 4:43 pm

    gun safety and a respect for the weapon and the damage it can cause will a long way in stopping accidental discharges ‘Playing with a weapon’ I would hope. I was always taught if as a child I say a gun out to tell one of my parents and they would secure it as it was not safe to be left out as done so only in error. They taught me safe first. I had a BB gun and 22 when for target shooting under supervision when I was 6. I went hunting when I was 9. I was lucky to a father and uncle that spent time with me. By the time I got to the military I could out shoot my drill sergeant.

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