Thursday, May 2, 2013

Captain Obvious: We Shouldn't Sell Guns to Children



To have a driver's license in most states, you must be at least 16 years old. Cigarette sales are restricted to people who are at least 18 years of age. Voters must also be 18. Alcohol can't be obtained unless you're 21. It's hard to rent a car unless you're at least 25. But they're marketing guns to children?

Guns for kids, named "Crickett" and "Chipmunk?"
From Crickett.com (currently offline).
In the classic movie A Christmas Story, little Ralphie wants nothing more than a Red Ryder BB gun. Of course it's fiction, and takes place in the 1940s, but it's not an unknown desire. In fact, my brother and I received our Daisy (odd name for a gun) BB air rifles at a fairly young age, I'd say between 7 and 9. And we both fired real guns, though only in the immediate presence of a parent or grandparent. We grew up around guns, some locked (barely) away, and some out in the open. We were (mostly) taught respect, and the very serious nature of firearms, and (almost) never had any sort of incident. Well, nobody got shot.

But that was the 1970s, a time when my sister's car seat was a device to keep her still and out of Mom's hair. As a safety device, it was appalling, two hooks over the back seat,  maybe a lap belt fastened across it? There's no doubt it would have become a projectile in an accident. We did safety half-assed in the 70s, nobody denies that. And today, we might have a tendency to be overprotective. But in a world where child safety and "what about the children" is paramount, how in the world is it legal to market and sell real guns to children?

Barbie's Dream Rifle?

As President Obama has "evolved" on gay marriage, I'm evolving on gun control. I've been moving from sort of against it, to indifferent, to wary, to almost fully in the gun control camp. It's not just tragic and horrific gun deaths that has pushed me over, it is the appalling response and behavior from gun fetishists freaks nuts enthusiasts. When your first response to a mass shooting is, "Gubmint better not be thinking about taking my guns!" there's a problem. When there are instantaneous, ridiculous conspiracy theories after each new massacre, the problem is getting out of hand. The strange quasi-religious, fetishistic, near addiction some people have to guns is quite off-putting, even to a person who was raised around them. The fanatical, rabid defense of the 2nd amendment over all the rest of the Constitution is more than odd, it's hypocritical. And extending all of that into guns marketed to 5-year-olds is fucking insane.

[Excerpt]

Guns for Kids Marketing Debate Ignited by Latest Child Death

The tragic shooting death of a 2-year-old girl by her 5-year-old brother this week was compounded by the fact -- baffling to many who don't use guns -- that the .22 rifle the boy used has been given to him as a present. . .

Read more (with annoying, autoplaying video) at: ABC News

And I've saved the most appalling image from Crickett's website, via Mother Jones, for last.


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