GALLIPOLIS — A lesson in gun safety was on Thursday’s agenda for the school-age class at the French City Child Care Center.
“Eddie Eagle,” the Gallia County Sheriff’s Office’s mascot for gun safety, was on hand to teach the students what they should do if they find a gun.
The program, presented by community liaison officer Corporal Jimmy Spears and Gallia County Sheriff Joe Browning, was a big hit with the older children at the child care center.
Spears, who asked the children if they had learned about bike safety, fire safety, electrical safety and how to cross the street safely, also asked if they had been taught gun safety by their parents or in school; and while many had not, guy safety may be one of the most important safety topics to discuss with children, according to Spears.
“You know how important all of those things are. Today, what we’re going to do is talk about gun safety and what you should do if you come across a gun,” Spears said.
Spears and Browning introduced “Eddie Eagle” whose slogan is to “stop, don’t touch, leave the area, and tell and adult” if a gun is seen by a child.
“What could happen if someone gets a gun and it’s loaded and they accidentally fire it? They are going to get hurt, right? Or worse,” Browning said. “We don’t want that at all. We don’t want it for kids, we don’t want it for adults, we don’t want it for anyone.”
The procedure to not touch firearms and alert an adult if a gun is found was chanted by the children along with their teachers during Thursday’s lesson.
Browning also advised the children to follow Eddie’s advice even when they are not at home, but, especially, when they are playing with their peers.
“If you are out playing with a friend and your friend finds a gun, you do the same thing. Don’t you touch it. You leave the area and go tell an adult. Tell your friend to put that gun down,” Browning told the students. “Make sure if you’re ever playing or out with other people and you find a gun, don’t touch it.”