S-1295.1  _______________________________________________


                    SENATE JOINT MEMORIAL 8009



State of Washington      55th Legislature     1997 Regular Session


By Senators Rasmussen, Roach, Hochstatter, Hargrove, Stevens, Wood, Long, Loveland, Winsley and Kohl


Read first time 02/07/97.  Referred to Committee on Education.

Promoting the use of the Eddie Eagle Gun Safety Program in our schools.


    We, your Memorialists, the Senate and House of Representatives of the State of Washington, in legislative session assembled, respectfully represent and petition as follows:

    WHEREAS, The loss of a child as the result of a firearms accident is a tragic event made even more so because it is often preventable; and

    WHEREAS, Currently, our nation has approximately sixty to seventy million gun owners and an estimated two hundred million or more firearms in private ownership that are potential accidents waiting to happen in the hands of an unsuspecting child; and

    WHEREAS, In addition, many children play with toy guns that closely resemble real weapons and watch television programs and movies that routinely portray the irresponsible and unsafe handling of guns, factors that tend to blur the distinction between make-believe and reality, and encourage unsafe behavior; and

    WHEREAS, Fortunately, the National Rifle Association, education professionals, urban housing safety officials, clinical psychologists, and firearms safety experts working together have developed a gun safety program designed for children in prekindergarten through sixth grade; and

    WHEREAS, The Eddie Eagle Gun Safety Program teaches the fundamentals of firearms safety to children in an effective and enjoyable way, emphasizing the correct safety procedure through numerous activities and materials that include workbooks, games, a video, class discussion, and role-playing scenarios; and

    WHEREAS, Participating children receive certificates of merit and stickers and posters of Eddie Eagle, the program's lovable feathered mascot, in addition to invaluable safety training that could save a life; and

    WHEREAS, Available free or at nominal cost, this worthwhile program is gaining popularity in many of our state's school districts and police departments; and

    WHEREAS, Teaching children to act safely around firearms is a critical step in the effort to reduce the number of firearms accidents among children;

    NOW, THEREFORE, Your Memorialists respectfully pray that the school districts of the State of Washington promote the use of the National Rifle Association's Eddie Eagle Gun Safety Program in our schools to help prevent firearms accidents among children.

    BE IT RESOLVED, That copies of this Memorial be immediately transmitted to the Honorable Terry Bergeson, Superintendent of Public Instruction, and to the Superintendent of each public school district in Washington State.


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