Republican Senator Dan Brown of Missouri would like all first graders to be familiarized with firearms by taking the National Rifle Association’s Eddie Eagle Gunsafe Program. Teachers would have to take a course on dealing with an armed intruder.
While this bill may seem to be a reaction to the Sandy Hook tragedy, that is not the case. Brown submitted the bill on December 13, the day before the Connecticut shooting that left 26 people dead, 20 of whom were first graders.
Some Missouri schools are already using the Eddie Eagle program but Senator Brown says that’s not enough. Speaking after the Sandy Hook tragedy Brown said, “I hate mandates as much as anyone, but some concerns and conditions rise to the level of needing a mandate.”
According to CBS, school districts would not have to pay for any teaching materials as Missouri already qualifies for an NRA grant. However, the bill would cost Missouri schools over $16 million in teacher training costs.
Critics of Brown’s bill, like Democratic Senator Jamilah Nasheed, have said the Eddie Eagle program would take too much time from regular school activities.
“I think we should be teaching kids to read, write, and do math,” said Nasheed.
Brown has outlined the bill before a Missouri Senate committee but a vote has not yet been cast or scheduled.
Image by Matt Kozlowski via the Wikimedia Commons