Podcast: Can a Short Video Stop Accidental Shootings Among Kids? (With OSU’s Sophie Kjaervik)

This week, we’re taking a close look at a new study that suggests showing kids a minute-long video stops them from handling a gun while unsupervised.

We are lucky enough to have Ohio State University PHD student, and lead author of the study, Sophie Kjaervik with us for this episode. She explained that kids in her experiment that watched a short gun safety video featuring a uniformed police officer were far less likely to pick up a real, but disabled, gun in a controlled setting than kids shown a car safety video with the same cop. And the difference was significant.

Kjaervik explained in depth how the researchers recruited the kids in the study, how they decided who watched which video, how they staged the guns, how they monitored the children, and collected data.

She also noted there were a few additional factors that signaled a kid would be less likely to handle the guns they found. Those included a dislike for guns, but also parents who owned guns and experience with some other form of gun safety training beforehand.

Overall, Kjaervik said the experiment showed that gun-safety videos are a viable way to prevent accidental shootings. But it also showed how efforts like the NRA’s Eddie Eagle program could be improved.

Plus, Contributing Writer Jake Fogleman and I examine the ruling upholding San Jose’s gun ownership tax and insurance mandate.

You can listen to the show on your favorite podcasting app or by clicking here. Video of the episode is available on our YouTube channel. Reload Members get access on Sunday, as always. The episode goes public on Monday.

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Created by potrace 1.16, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2019


Created by potrace 1.16, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2019

Comments From Reload Members

2 Responses

  1. During this podcast I stopped it because I wanted to play both the Ohio State Safety Video and the NRA’s Eddie Eagle videos. Clearly both videos had their strengths and drawbacks, but children having exposure to gun safety is an absolute must, particularly when many parents do not discuss this subject. What is missing from this study is whether or not any of these children had been exposed to gun safety information by a family member or other trusted source before they participated in this study. Maybe that distinction was mentioned, but I seemed to have missed that tidbit. One thing is clear. Children need to be exposed to a gun safety message more than once just like they are exposed to the advertising by McDonalds. The anti-gun groups are not going to do it so we better do it. I have grandchildren and great grandchildren who continually need a reminder that firearms, like the Water, can be dangerous when the basic safety rules are not followed.

    1. We talked about this on the episode a bit. The researchers found that kids who’d had previous gun safety training were less likely to handle the guns they found. The same was true for kids who’s parents owned guns.

      So, traditional gun safety training was effective in this case too. I don’t think the gun safety training was a prerequisite for the kids who watched the video to perform better than kids who didn’t. But I’m not entirely sure on that point. The researchers only talked about it as kids with previous training performing better than kids without

      My personal takeaway is that traditional gun safety training works and do might this video approach as well. Those are both definitely good things.

      I’d also like to see the NRA and these researchers work together since the gun-rights group is the only one doing this sort of work currently. If there are ways to improve Eddie Eagle or supplement it with other research-backed techniques, I hope they do that.

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