That darned NRA — hiding its involvement in gun-safety programs! The Houston Chronicle reports that two schools in the city were shocked, shocked to discover that Eddie Eagle’s child-oriented firearms safety presentation were backed by the NRA, and canceled the program after the NRA had issued a press release noting the presentation:
An elementary school and a preschool in Houston ISD have canceled gun-safety presentations for their young students over concerns that the National Rifle Association crafted the lessons.
A spokesman for the Houston Independent School District said Tuesday that the principals of Peck Elementary and the Martin Luther King Early Childhood Center did not know the NRA was behind the program.
“The principals made a decision they didn’t want to participate in an event that folks could perceive as them taking a position one way or another on the gun control debate or any other debate the NRA is involved in,” HISD spokesman Jason Spencer said.
The NRA sent out a news release touting its safety presentations at the two schools, which were scheduled for Tuesday and Wednesday, in advance of the gun group’s annual meeting in Houston.
So did the NRA deviously hide its sponsorship of Eddie Eagle in order to sandbag Peck and MLKECC? If so, then they’re even more devious than anyone thinks. KTRH in Houston has the audio from a broadcast yesterday in which Peck principal Carlotta Brown appeared on air with an NRA spokesman to express her delight in presenting the program to her students:
When the visit was scheduled, Peck Principal Carlotta Brown told Houston’s Morning News she was excited to have the program talk to the kids.
“We are so elated to have the program in our school,” Brown told KTRH’s Matt Patrick Tuesday on Houston’s Morning News during a discussion with Matt and and NRA Community Outreach Program representative Eric Lipp.
In fact, Patrick explicitly asked her whether the NRA’s involvement was causing her any problems:
Brown was asked by Houston’s Morning News if she was taking heat for inviting the NRA in the first place.
“That’s not been the case in my school. It’s very important that we enlighten the school,” Brown said.
She might have been happy then but a few hours later the school cancelled the visit. An HISD spokesman said the school didn’t know Eddie Eagle was connected to the NRA. Ray Hunt of the Houston Police Officer’s Union told Patrick Brown’s not telling the truth.
“It was clear she knew who was putting it on and she was elated with it. Somebody got in touch with her, I believe, and told her she wasn’t going to do it because it was connected with the NRA,” Hunt said.
It’s also clear that the public school district is being dishonest about the reason for the cancellation. The NRA’s Eddie Eagle program isn’t designed to sell guns, it’s designed to promote awareness and safety for children if they are around guns. It is an example of responsible stewardship by the NRA, and canceling the program does nothing but keep children ignorant of how to act safely.
Is that the core business of public schools — keeping children ignorant?