Wow. The New York Times has a cover piece this morning called Selling a New Generation on Guns that will scare you.
21 million bucks. 21 million. That’s how much the NRA spent on grants to youth groups like the Boy Scouts last year for shooting programs. I really want to type it a third time. 21 million. Dollars!
Is there any possible universe where encouraging children to shoot guns does not lead to children shooting guns? I’m kind of over it with the whole children shooting thing.
Reading the article, you’ll have your “No no no, it cannot be this is tooooooooooo much!” moment when this comes up:
“The shooting sports foundation, the tax-exempt trade association for the gun industry, is a driving force behind many of the newest youth initiatives. Its national headquarters is in Newtown, just a few miles from Sandy Hook Elementary School, where Adam Lanza, 20, used his mother’s Bushmaster AR-15 to kill 20 children and six adults last month.”
The optimum ages targeted are 12 and under.
There is no need to be alarmed by any of this, unless you are alive, and your skin is made of skin.
The article points to an online magazine called Junior Shooters, which is, um, I think creepy says it pretty well. Now check this out: the editor’s name. You could not make it up better. This is right from the article today:
“Junior Shooters’ editor, Andy Fink, acknowledged in an editorial that some of his magazine’s content stirred controversy.
“I have heard people say, even shooters that participate in some of the shotgun shooting sports, such things as, ‘Why do you need a semiautomatic gun for hunting?’ ” he wrote. But if the industry is to survive, he said, gun enthusiasts must embrace all youth shooting activities, including ones “using semiautomatic firearms with magazines holding 30-100 rounds.”
In an interview, Mr. Fink elaborated. Semiautomatic firearms are actually not weapons, he said, unless someone chooses to hurt another person with them, and their image has been unfairly tainted by the news media.
There is no legitimate reason children should not learn to safely use an AR-15 for recreation, he said.
“They’re a tool, not any different than a car or a baseball bat,” Mr. Fink said. “It’s no different than a junior shooting a .22 or a shotgun. The difference is in the perception of the viewer.”
Wow. A semiautomatic, not any different from a baseball bat? Mister Fink, a semiautomatic gun is to a baseball bat what a tank is to a basket of feathers. How the hell do people get so twisted up into their agendas? Or am I all twisted up in my agenda here? And speaking of agendas, can you believe Wal-mart is still selling the AR-15?
Speaking of how evil Wal-Mart is…
Wal-Mart has done its part to avoid doing its part, blowing off Biden’s gun talks in Washington, then, in a conciliatory gesture to massive shopper disfavor, choosing to attend.
“Given the huge business of guns at Wal-Mart, you understand why it received the invite, if not why the behemoth business could not immediately locate one of its 2.2 million employees to attend the gun summit.”
My friend Sharon Brisnehan has the perfect idea for Wal-Mart.
“How about 20 people go in Walmart, fill their buggy with whatever toys and clothes a six or seven-year-old won’t be getting this year for their birthday. Then just leave that full buggy in the gun department.”
Sharon is a poet. I mean, that would seriously be something.
One of the things that makes me crazy is the idea of my daughter Samantha, now married, someday having a child, and that child being subjected to the efforts of the gun industry. Attempts to put guns into the hands of kids are really, really sick and twisted. But not if you are a gun manufacturer.
There has to be somewhere, some line. And it was crossed a long while ago, but nobody noticed.
Because this is wrong.
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Ed: Kate Bartolotta