Aimee Patton

A pleasantly eccentric take on politics

Update:  Gov. Nixon signed the bill today – 7/12/13.  Please forward this if you are unhappy with this decision.  

In response to the nation’s Sandy Hook school shooting, the Missouri Senate introduced a bill in December 2012 to provide gun safety instructions to Missouri’s first graders.  

SB 75 – This act establishes the Active Shooter and Intruder Response Training for Schools Program (ASIRT). By July 1, 2014, each school district and charter school must train teachers and school employees on how to respond to students with information about a threatening situation and how to address a potentially dangerous or armed intruder or active shooter in the school or on school property. Training must be conducted on an annual basis. Initial training must be eight hours in length and continuing training must be four hours in length. All school personnel must annually participate in a simulated active shooter and intruder response drill conducted by law enforcement professionals, as described in the act. Program instructors must be certified by the Department of Public Safety’s Peace Officers Standards Training Commission. (Section 170.315)


Each school district and charter school must annually teach the Eddie Eagle Gunsafe Program to first grade students, or use a substantially similar or successor program of the same qualifications. The purpose of the program will be to promote safety and protection of children and emphasize how students should respond if they encounter a firearm. School personnel and program instructors must not make value judgments about firearms. Firearms are prohibited from the teaching of the program. Students with disabilities will participate to the extent appropriate. (Section 171.410)


Meet Eddie Eagle and dreamy 90210 heartthrob — Brandon Walsh from 90210 a.k.a. Jason Priestley.

The Eddie Eagle gun safety program is brought to you by none other than the National Rifle Association.

What’s so wrong about teaching 1st graders gun safety?  Nothing if “stop, don’t touch, leave the area and tell an adult” was an effective message.  Turns out that a study done by the National Institute of Medicine in 2004 comparing Eddie Eagle  and another behavior change curriculum on gun safety found that Eddie’s gun safety message didn’t do much more than teach kids to recite the snappy tune:


Both programs were effective for teaching children to reproduce verbally the gun-safety message. The behavioral skills training program but not the Eddie Eagle GunSafe Program was effective for teaching children to perform gun-safety skills during a supervised role play, but the skills were not used when the children were assessed via real-life (in situ) assessments.


Existing programs are insufficient for teaching gun-safety skills to children. Programs that use active learning strategies (modeling, rehearsal, and feedback) are more effective for teaching gun-safety skills as assessed by supervised role plays but still failed to teach the children to use the skills outside the context of the training session. More research is needed to determine the most effective way to promote the use of the skills outside the training session.

To read the entire study click here:

Oops…turns out Eddie Eagle isn’t flying high when it comes to effective gun safety training.

MO Politicians – in a time when vital school programs are being cut due to budget constraints, does it make sense to carry out a program that has no evidence-based results?  If all my child is going to learn from Eddie Eagle is to sing a gun safety song,  how about if you fund better music programs so my child can learn other valuable music lessons and sing other fun songs?

A bill like SB 75 is nothing but a cosmetic fix that adds insult to injury, because it is sponsored by this nation’s most powerful gun lobby.  It embeds the NRA into our Missouri Schools.  This is not a fix, but a PR ploy by the NRA and sponsored by MO lawmakers.

I demand more from our representatives.  I am against teaching about gun safety in our nation’s schools, but I am even more against adding behavior-change curriculum that shows no concrete results for actual change.  Call your MO repesentatives and urge them not to vote for this bill.  Demand that any curriculum added to our children’s schools should only be added when evidence shows it can actually reduce gun accidents in children.  While you are at it, remind them to keep funding our school’s music programs.

Eddie Eagle can buzz off.  Brandon Walsh however…


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