Got kids? No doubt you’re already working with them about the guns your family owns and how to be safe around them, but there’s nothing wrong with a little extra help…especially for those kids who learn visually. That’s part of why the news that the National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF) has partnered with the National Crime Prevention Council (NCPC) to produce two new gun-safety videos starring McGruff The Crime Dog and his nephew Scruff is so welcome. The other part of why it’s welcome news is that, in these contentious times, it’s nice to see that the gun industry is continuing to demonstrate their commitment to firearms safety.
The main message of the McGruff Gun Safety series is very similar to that of the NRA’s Eddie Eagle program, in that it’s about what children should do if they come across an unattended gun or one being misused. It’s a simple, easy-to-remember message that kids will grasp instantly: “Stop! Don’t touch! Get away! Tell an adult!” However, there are (sadly) adults out there who might reject a message that comes from the NRA before their kids ever get to see it, no matter its content. The presence of the beloved McGruff (and his nephew, naturally) should make reaching those families with this important message much easier.
The videos, created by Danger Pigeon Studios, use animated characters to hold the interest of young children. They deliver their important gun safety messages in approximately 120 seconds. The video titled “Molly’s Mischief” is designed for viewing by children in kindergarten through 2nd grades, and “Not Cool, Kyle” is for students in grades 2 through 6.
McGruff is joined in both videos by his nephew, Scruff, and some new friends. Together, Scruff and his friends apply the “4 Steps of Gun Safety” from McGruff that help them make the best decisions around a potentially troublesome situation. They are shown in scenarios that make it easy for children to understand how to be safe around unsecured firearms and to recognize that toy guns are very different from real guns.
“NCPC is thrilled to partner once again with NSSF on the important issue of gun safety,” said Ann Harkins, President and CEO of the National Crime Prevention Council. “The videos are informative and an entertaining way for kids to learn about McGruff’s 4 Steps to Gun Safety. This is a crucial time in today’s society to educate the public and get people engaged in talking about what to do to prevent tragedies from occurring in our communities.”
An accompanying discussion guide, activity sheet for each video, and McGruff’s Gun Safety Pledge will provide opportunities for teachers and parents to review the firearm safety lessons provided by each video, encourage repeat viewings, and reinforce how children should safely react if they see a firearm when adults are not around.
“Molly’s Mischief” and “Not Cool, Kyle” can be streamed on NCPC’s YouTube Channel, on NCPC.org and at ProjectChildSafe.org. Additional firearm safety materials are also available at ProjectChildSafe.org. The McGruff titles also are included on the NSSF Firearms Safety DVD along with five other firearms safety videos. Educators can access the complete classroom program, including lesson plans for each video, on this site.
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