Eagle is "Joe Camel with Feathers"
NRA's Eddie Eagle program falls far short of its stated goal of teaching
gun safety. The primary goal of Eddie Eagle is not to teach gun safety,
but instead to lure children at a young age into the gun culture in
order to protect the interests of the NRA and the firearms industry.
To do this, the NRA uses an appealing cartoon character that aims
to put a friendly face on a hazardous product.
of firearms, ammunition, and related products directly contribute
hundreds of thousands of tax-deductible dollars to the NRA through
its "affiliate," The NRA Foundation. In turn, The Foundation then
makes "grants" to the NRA to fund the Eddie Eagle program. Financial
contributors to the NRA Foundation include Saturday Night Special
or "junk gun" manufacturers, rifle and shotgun manufacturers, and
manufacturers of ammunition and reloading equipment.
of the marketing problems confronting the NRA and the firearms industry
today are in fact similar to those faced in the past by the cigarette
and smokeless tobacco industries. Facing declines in its primary market,
the gun industry and the NRA, like the tobacco industry before them,
have expanded their market to include women and children—even though
guns, like tobacco, cannot legally be sold to children or youths.
Yet, while the tobacco industry denies that it is working to entice
children to use its product, the NRA and the gun industry openly acknowledge
it. At the NRA's 1996 annual meeting, Marion Hammer, then President
of the NRA said: I pledge to you to dedicate my term in office to
two demanding missions. One is building an NRA bridge to America's
youth....It will be an old-fashioned wrestling match for the hearts
and minds of our children, and we'd better engage our adversaries
with no holds barred....If we do not successfully reach out to the
next generation, then the freedom and liberty that we've lived for—and
that many of our ancestors have died for—will not live beyond us.
Eddie Eagle program fails to warn children of the consequences of
handling firearms. Its "Smokey the Bear," but without the forest fire.
public health researchers have found that "gun safety" programs like
Eddie Eagle are ineffective in preventing unintentional death and
injury from firearms. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends
that "[b]ecause even the most well-behaved children are curious by
nature and will eagerly explore their environment, the safest thing
is not to keep a gun at home."