“Stop. Don’t touch. Run away. Tell a grown-up.”
It’s not often a democratic Arizona lawmaker joins forces with the National Rifle Association.
But Saturday, Rep. Diego Espinoza, D-Tolleson, and the NRA joined West Valley law enforcement in a nonpartisan effort to teach children about gun safety.
The event, held at Pot of Gold Estate auction house in downtown Avondale, utilized the NRA’s Eddie Eagle gun safety program to teach kids from kindergarten through fifth grade.
About 40 kids and their parents attended.
Participants watched the Eddie Eagle video, a cartoon about a group of kids that find a gun at the park and don’t know what to do. A catchy song and dance remind the kids how they should handle the situation: “Stop. Don’t touch. Run away. Tell a grown-up.”
After the video, the group did interactive activities to help the kids narrow down who qualifies as a grown-up they can tell about guns; they sang the song and danced with Eddie Eagle.
Free gun locks were handed out to parents as well, courtesy of the Goodyear Police Department.
Espinoza said he thought the event was “phenomenal,” and he plans to work with other communities to put on more events like this in the future.
“I’ve been speaking to parents, and they are extremely excited about the program and, when asking their children, they did learn something,” Espinoza said. “Thanks to the NRA and everyone else that partnered up, it was a very successful event.”
Irene Hernandez said this was the first gun safety event she’d brought her kids to, despite having guns in the house. Her kids are 5, 7 and 8, and she said she was excited to find a way to teach them about gun safety in a way they would understand.
“It was really good,” Hernandez said. “If I had known this program existed, I would have gotten involved with it years ago.”
Cheryl and Dan Todd, the owners of Pot of Gold Estate, said this is not the…