View Full Version : Teaching Groups about Gun Safety...

March 5, 2009, 06:34 PM
I am a student at a University and am taking a course on effective teaching. One of the activities is to teach a class on a topic I am familiar with. I have chosen gun safety. The class will consist of Pro, Anti, and Don't care gunners. I am not for or againts. I simply am stating the facts. I have taken many NRA classes and have great resources for the course content. What I do not have is a group activitys that will first, get people (adults from 25 years old to 55years old) interested and participating as a group, and second, relate to the topic being presented. Again, I am not looking for information about gun safety. I am looking for examples of group activities that can be related to the topic. The activity does not need to be gun related. For example: have students reach into a paper sack with out looking inside first. To the students surprise, about half find a mouse trap or whatever. The moral of the story…whether or not you want it to happen, whether you are pro-gun or anti-gun, there is a good chance that you or someone you know will come in contact with a gun and it would be a good idea for you to know how to safely deal with the situation. Any help with examples or activities would be greatly appreciated. The activities do not need to involve guns, only the idea that, being prepared is better than the alternative.

March 5, 2009, 06:49 PM
It's tough to get people that want to learn about guns together but keeping a class of non gunners and teaching them is going to be a tough challenge.

The first thing I can imagine is the whole argument against guns - the anti gunners in the room and even the middle of the road folks. Just a nightmare.

I guess I would tell you first to get the folks in the right frame of mind before you start your lecture. Postulate: that they are new to gun and they want to learn gun safety. Take the, "well I'm against guns" etc out of the teaching equation.

So, to focus on what activity for a group. I guess you can get them thinking.... for a small groups to focus on what ways would be best to teach gun safety for elementary, middle and high school. What approaches would be used and what kind of training material would be needed.

NRA has the Eddie Eagle Program and there are other programs geared for older children. I believe the Emergency Nurses Association (ENA) has a gun safety program and I'm sure there are plenty more out there so you can compare with what your small groups comes with compared to what's out there now.

Hope this helps!

March 5, 2009, 07:02 PM
Well, a lot depends on exactly where the class is being held. In most states you can't bring a gun onto university property. There's lots of stuff you could do though. Some I have seen done or thought of are as follows:

1. Explain that we tech kids not to get in a car with strangers before the kid knows what rape/murder/kidnapping are. In the same way we should teach kids about gun safety long before they can understand the concept of bullet wounds and death.

2. Bring up some stats about gun ownership and how prevalent it is and do the old "look to your right, look to your left. X number of people you have just looked at (statistically speaking) own at least one gun".

3. Even if you don't drive/own a car and don't have any desire to drive/own a car you still look both ways before crossing a busy street. Same thing with guns. Even if you are an anti, gun safety is sill a must, it has nothing to do with politics.

4. Bring some sort of food item (lets take doughnuts for example) to class. Make sure that about 1/3 (or whatever the latest numbers are) of the doughnuts (about the same % of Americans who own guns/have one in their home) are cherry filled or some other distinguishable flavor. After everybody has one ask everybody who has a cherry filled doughnut to stand up. Explain that this is a visual representation of firearm ownership in the US. With this many people owing guns, firearm safety is a must.

5. I would try to emphasize that gun safety is as much a political issue as teaching kids not to play with matches and looking both ways before you cross the road.

March 5, 2009, 07:22 PM
How about a sheet of paper that has an association drill. On the left would be statements with blanks such as...

"There are _________ legally owned firearms in the U.S."

On the right side you would have the answers, but not in the same order as the statements...

"250+ million"

They could work on it as a group to match up the correct statement/answer pairs.

Or how about true/false questions...

"If you are SURE the firearm is unloaded, it is acceptable to point it at whatever you want."

You could give this "quiz" cold turkey to see where they are at the beginning of the class, then do another one at the end to see how much they have improved.


March 5, 2009, 08:19 PM
Hey Brack ;) I really like the donut idea, please bring some to the office after your class!!

March 5, 2009, 08:57 PM
Someplace there is a National Safety Foundation stat that 5 gal buckets kill more kids than guns do.

This is kind of a joke,but on an old Canadian Comedy they played beerhunter.Shake up one can in a sixpack then shuffle.Everybody holds a beer by their ear and pops.

Just maybe use sparkling water in class.

I understand John Lott's book has a lot of footnoted ,verifiable info.

A multiple guess pretest might be enlightening.

Given that you have a diversity in class,for those who don't want to contact guns,Eddy Eagle might be it.

For those who will handle firearms,the more usual course,like hunter safety seems right.

If I may put in a plug for safe storage,was at a University Dept Christmas party with wife and preschool daughter.All of the sudden a roughly 6 year old boy runs up to my daughter,points a very real cap and ball revolver at her head and drops the hammer.I saw it happen.It was stored in the dean of the college's clothes closet.This kid found it.
The kid's father said,"It's OK,it wasn't loaded."

He was a professor.

Best I could do was tell my wife,"Come on,we have to go,now!"

Rifleman 173
March 5, 2009, 11:11 PM
You might check out some YouTube videos about gun safety and use humor to explain gun safety in some way... Such as the one with Plaxico Burress. He's just too funny to explain...


March 5, 2009, 11:30 PM
I think the OP is looking for specific analogous activities as a medium for the message, which is gun safety, about which he is very knowledgeable.

He will be graded on the means by which he engages the group in learning about the material, and not on the subject matter.

Extra credit will be bringing me one of the cherry filled donuts.

March 6, 2009, 03:47 PM
I have suggested to imagine a laser death ray is coming out of the muzzle at all times.Sweeping it across someone cuts them in two.
Some laser pointers might then be something to play with.Even flashlights.

Evan Thomas
March 6, 2009, 05:10 PM
Some laser pointers might then be something to play with.Even flashlights.

Flashlights seem like a great idea. Laser pointers, not so much, unless you're sure they're low-powered. The higher-powered ones (over 5 milliwatt) for sale online do have the potential to damage someone's eyesight with relatively short exposures...

March 6, 2009, 05:47 PM
I am involved with Hunter Safety programs and we use group activities as a teaching aid. They do not promote guns or hunting but Gun Safety. Some activities deal with ethics or other related subjects. Do not know where you live but contact your local DNR and they should be able to assist. The states are always sending us such information. Are you going to include M/L safety as well as breech loaders? There are also conservation groups that present such information. I could mail you a copy of one of our manuals or information I have. Also contact the these folks; http://www.ihea.com/
There are many resources available on the web.
Hope this helps and hats off to you and know you will present us well !! :)

Be Safe !!!

March 6, 2009, 06:30 PM
I appreciate the feedback and suggestions. The topic has really been a great one to research. I am also looking for “group” activities that teach the principal of having the right tools for the job can really improve job performance. This can also relate to gun safety in many ways. Again, the activity does not have to involve guns in any way shape or form. I would actually prefer that the activities do not involve guns, as the class will be taught in a facility that does not like the idea of guns being brought to class.

Greg with a Glock®
March 6, 2009, 08:20 PM
I hope you're not in Connecticut: Professor Takes Heat for Calling Cops on Student Who Discussed Guns in Class (http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,504524,00.html)