I would like to go to the NRA annual meeting this year, if only to meet and greet many old friends. But the show’s being held in Texas, and I’m not crazy about going to a state which has once again become one of the ‘hot spots’ for Covid-19.

              If I did go, however, because I am a Benefactor Life Member, I can sit in a private lounge, have a free coffee and a snack.  I’ll also be reminded by one of the NRA staff members to increase the size of my endowment but that comes as no big surprise.

              Some of my readers may be a little put off by the fact that I am an NRA member, and have been a member of America’s ’first civil rights organization’ (not really true) since 1954. But I’m also a member of AARP, The Wilderness Fund, the National Parks Conservancy and Triple-A. To be honest, it’s a matter of habit and I’m too old to change.

              At some point Wayne-o will come into the lounge, say hello to all the Benefactor members and even sit down with several of them for a brief chat. If I get a couple of minutes alone with the Executive Vice President, I’m not going to talk to him about that stupid bankruptcy petition that never should have been filed and was thrown out of court. I’m not going to thanks him for protecting my 2nd-Amendment ‘rights.’

              I’m going to tell him that the NRA needs to get rid of the Eddie Eagle program. Why? Because the program is useless, stupid, and dumb. If the NRA wants to convince people that it’s really concerned about the 125,000 (or more) fatal and non-fatal gun injuries that Americans suffer every year, they won’t do it by promoting Eddie Eagle, that’s for sure.

              The Eddie Eagle program was started by the NRA’s Florida lobbyist, Granny Hammer, in 1988.  In 2015, the program’s messaging was revised by the NRA’s then-advertising agency, Ackerman-McQueen. That’s the bunch that the NRA fired in 2019 when it turned out they were cooking the books on the number of people who were tuning into NRA-TV.

              Now here’s the real kicker. The program is designed to be used in schools so that children can be taught how to behave safely around guns. Its messaging is allegedly to be understood by kids in Grade 1 to 3. In other words, kids between the ages of 6 and 9.

              How many kids of those ages were accidentally killed by guns in 2019?  The CDC says it may have been 8, but it could have been a few more or a few less. Now I know that every life is precious but if you’re going to develop a teaching program to get kids to better understand the risk of guns, what have you really accomplished when your audience accounts for 7% of all the children in America whose lives are cut tragically short because they or one of their friends did something stupid with a gun?

              If the NRA wants to become believable in their claims to be so concerned about how pre-adults handle guns, why don’t they develop a program whose audience are the kids in middle school, i.e., 12 to 14 years of age? Because that’s when kids start getting interested in guns, and it’s those kids who wind up being the victims and perpetrators of most gun violence between the ages of 16 and 34. 

              In 2019, 38,850 Americans died from gun violence, which is the intentional use of a gun to harm yourself or someone else. Of that number, 14,934 were victims of gun violence who were shot by someone else. Know how many of those victims were 16 to 34 years old? Try 8,958, i.e., 60 percent.

              And the NRA is trying to make you believe that the Eddie Eagle program really works?