Gun makers biggest targets now are kids and women..
1. Hook the Kids
To goose future growth, the gun industry is aggressively marketing guns to children as young as the first-graders slaughtered in Newtown. "By the time kids are in fifth grade, or even before, they're already being pulled away by the allure of video games, organized sports or other activities," said Bud Pidgeon, president of the U.S. Sportsmen's Alliance, which along with the National Rifle Association and three other prominent gun groups oversees Families Afield. In less than a decade, Families Afield has pushed more than 30 states to jettison regulations that protect kids from guns – removing age restrictions on hunting licenses or no longer requiring that children take a gun-safety course before going hunting with Dad.
The seduction of youth goes far beyond hunting. Online ammo superstore MidwayUSA is particularly aggressive in promoting youth shooting, sponsoring events like National Take Your Daughter to the Range Day, for "girls six and up." A photo posted on the event's website under the heading "Shoot Like a Girl" shows a dad helping his daughter, perhaps eight years old, aim an AR-15 with a collapsible stock and a monster clip.
Top industry players also support a magazine called Junior Shooters– gun porn for children as young as eight; a recent edition featured a photo of a Rock River LAR-15 assault rifle under the headline awesome! The magazine entices advertisers with the promise of reaching "the next generation of shooters and voters!" And many of its articles are written "for kids, by kids" like the piece by "Winchester" Reed Harrison titled "I Love Cowboy Action Shooting" – a sport in which shooters pretend to be Wyatt Earp by firing real-life rifles, pistols and shotguns. The nine-year-old columnist writes fondly of learning to shoot at age four, adding, "I love my guns because they are cool in every way."
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As the 9 year old, who learned to shoot at age 4, says "Guns are cool in every way..."
No wonder you're not taken seriously.
I learned to shoot pretty young too (10 or 11, if memory serves me well), and there's nothing wrong with teaching young people how to handle firearms. It was one of the things a lot of boys did when and where I grew up; you learned in the Boy Scouts, at the Boy’s Club, YMCA, summer camp, etc. or from your old man if he was a hunter.
It was no big deal and there were hardly any guns on the streets back then. In school, knuckles were the weapons of choice. Even the street gangs back then settled things with bricks, switchblades, and bike chains. And there were no background checks and stuff like that. You had to register hand guns but just about any adult could purchase a long gun without having to answer questions. So it’s not guns that are the problem; it’s the people. You want to fix the problem, better start fixing the people.
You do understand the difference between a kid learning a skill under adult instruction and supervision and handing a kid a loaded gun and saying, "Here, junior, go stick this in a corner of your room with the rest of your toys you like to play with", right?
That was incredibly stupid, possibly criminally stupid.
Edited by bullmikey, 01 May 2013 - 12:22 PM.