May 012013

This story, just based on the headline, is a sad enough story. According to a story on UPI from Cumberland County Kentucky (where else), “Caroline Starks, 2, was shot and killed by her 5-year-old brother while he was playing with a .22-caliber rifle he’d been given as a gift.” Young kids can get their hands on lots of things they shouldn’t have, but that’s not the case here. And that’s what makes this story all the more sad.

Apparently the boy was playing with his own rifle, given to him as a gift. OK. so let’s start with, “Who the hell gives a five-year old his own gun?” Even if his parents had given him a gun safety lesson, there are reasons, even if they took a driver’s ed class, we still wouldn’t let a five-year old drive a car. Five-year-old’s “play” with things. That’s what kids do. My nieces, at five, turned a dishwasher box into a playhouse. There is almost nothing kids that age don’t see as a potential toy.

It couldn’t get worse, could it? You betcha, thanks to NRA and the deep pockets of the firearms manufacturers in this country. The gun was made by Keystone Sporting Arms, and branded as Crickett Firearms. This Crickett rifle is target marketed to young people as “My First Rifle,” and includes a cartoon cricket character as a mascot. It’s even sold in different colors to appeal to kids, including a pink model…apparently for girls.

Image from Crickett website

I seem to remember that the tobacco companies were required to halt any marketing efforts that were targeted at kids. You no longer see Joe Camel. But the gun rights nuts would blow a gasket if “we the people,” through our government, thought it might be a good idea to keep guns out of the hands of children…because, you know, they are needed for our “well-regulated militia.” As one commenter posted at JoeMyGod, “well Maybe if the 2yr old had her own gun – they’d be on even footing – Right NRA?”

Crickett Rifles

Crickett Firearms brand .22-caliber “My First Rifle” kid’s model made by Keystone Sporting Arms. (Image via Crickett Firearms Facebook

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