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Carthage Coalition to Create Gun Safety Program - KOAM TV 7

Carthage Coalition to Create Gun Safety Program

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Gun safety education becomes the focus of the Carthage Caring Communities Coalition after at least two local deaths of minors in the past three months. 

The Alliance of Southwest Missouri currently uses a puppet show to tell  kids what to do in a fire and why not to touch matches or lighters. But there's no gun safety taught in schools right now to kids.
The Carthage Caring Communities Coalition wants to change that  after  the accidental shooting deaths of a ten year old Carthage girl and  a Joplin high teen.

Jonathan Roberts, the  coalition president said, "The first thing is to identify the problem and bring in people that have the passion to address those problems."

A coalition subcommittee brought in gun experts from Liberty Tree Gun Shop to collaborate on a possible curriculum and it will review  the National Rifle Association
s Eddie the Eagle gun safety program.

Eli Bruton, the owner of Liberty Tree said, "
If a child is old enough to comprehend anything, they're hold enough to start  having these lessons. If they can toddle around and they can talk, you could start differentiating  between things they are not allowed to touch that would  be dangerous and can hurt them. Its never too early."

Folks at Liberty Tree are in the process of building a mobile display to teach gun safety education.They hope to take it to safety fairs and into schools.  But those in the coalition realize the gun safety  is a controversial topic and that could be a challenge.

Jen Black, executive director at the Alliance of Southwest Missouri explained,
We're gonna have to prove ourselves and prove the program that we create to educate kids, for them to see the value and the reality,  that we are pushing safety and education versus an agenda."

Bruton said at his store, they discuss gun storage and where adults will put guns at home when they purchase them and how to use one safely.
The gun safety education goal is to bridge the gap between those  kids who respect guns and for those whom it
s an unknown and curiosity could be dangerous.

Bruton said,  "We want to help, that at such an early age there's no risk. No one
s misusing a firearm. No ones storing it improperly."

Alliance members say part of the challenge will be winning over parents.

Black added, "Even if they don't feel guns are important or they have a fear of them, I think the education piece is key. So, whether they agree  with owning guns or not owning guns, the reality is they need to protect their babies."
    
The coalition plans to work with non-profit organizations like the YMCA, Boys and Girls club and even 4H as options for adding gun safety education.



 

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