I am not saying I am in favor of industry standards for training, but if the NRA and the Gun makers decided to do this, I would not object. Our side needs to have enough votes in the Senate and the House to kill any new gun legislation. If we have the votes, GREAT. But we may need to buy some of those votes. If the price for those votes is an industry-led training program for new-gun purchases, I can live with that. It sure as Hell beats a ban on magazines larger than 10 rounds. If the NRA needs to offer up this kind of proposal, I will not hold it against them.
No I don't have any evidence that safety training courses would reduce accidents. Maybe it would help, maybe it would not. It would not hurt for a person to have to hear "The Four Rules" before buying a gun, and it would not hurt to have an expert tell them how to keep their gun from being stolen, or how to keep a gun safely stored in a house with children. But in the end, responsible people tend to be responsible, and idiots tend to be idiots, regardless of training.
Industry Standards Organizations have been really effective in many areas of US Business. Rather than some heavy-handed Government regulations (which usually carry criminal penalties), the Standards organizations issue guidelines and standards which reflect the real-world knowledge and experience of the industry.
I don't like Government regulation, there is too much of it running over all aspects of our businesses and our lives. There is less regulation of industries which have an effective standards organization. This is good. This is the free market at work. Free market solutions such as standards organizations are usually better than a top-down government regulation approach.
An effective standards organization depends on voluntary compliance, in other words, the standards do not carry the force of law. But often times it is very hard to violate the standards. For example, it is not illegal for me to build a toaster without the UL listing and sell it to my neighbor. But you can't go into any store and buy a toaster that does not have the UL stamp of approval. They don't exist, no one will build one, and no store will sell one.
So in the end, voluntary standards can become virtually mandatory. But remember that a standards organization is funded by, and responds to, its own industry.