If that sentence elicited strong negative emotions, please read all the way through before reaching final judgment.
America’s accidental firearm death and injury rate is much higher than other “industrialized” nations, and independent of any international comparisons, programs with low cost and a good chance of reducing those rates seem like an extremely worthwhile investment.
One hour a year would be sufficient: firearm safety is not particularly complicated nor time-intensive to learn. It is a skill, and all skills improve significantly with practice, but knowing the basics would be more than sufficient for the portion of the population with no intent on owning or using firearms.
For people on the “ban firearms” spectrum: no matter your current desire, we need to address issues within our current reality. And present-day America has a *lot* of firearms, and constitutional rulings as well as political will make it extremely unlikely that firearms will be going away anytime soon.
And while there are a variety of measures that can be taken to increase safety around firearms, education is a great way to get people to reduce accidents.
Not only will it help children and other individuals to know how to not harm someone when they encounter a firearm, but it will also help cultivate a level of public awareness about firearm safety, and hopefully a more honest and open culture regarding safe handling of firearms.
This isn’t a panacea which is going to make firearm accidents go away. But I’m confident its a reasonable step to reducing injuries and fatalities without ending up mired in discussions about rights, utility, militias, and that whole rabbit hole.
(On that topic: please refrain from all 2nd amendment/firearm prohibition discussions. I don’t have the energy to moderate them, and I don’t want them distracting from the discussion of this issue. I will be heavy-handed; I also promise that we’ll get to that topic, but when I have time, energy, and extremely well sourced and written pieces on it)