NRA Guns for Kids Efforts: Sickening.

Via Karl Saliter
on Jan 27, 2013
get elephant's newsletter
Photo: Agitprop
Photo: Agitprop

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!

Photo:  USFWS/Southeast
Photo: USFWS/Southeast

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.

Photo: Greenmelinda
Photo: Greenmelinda

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.

Photo:  gordontarpley
Photo: gordontarpley

There has to be somewhere, some line. And it was crossed a long while ago, but nobody noticed.

Because this is wrong.

Like enlightened society on Facebook.

Ed: Kate Bartolotta


About Karl Saliter

Karl is a circus artist sculptor writer miscreant gypsy, living in Mexico. He has written two novels, "Compassion's Bitch," and "Breakfast In A Cloud," and has published neither. He often feels as if he was born under a silver whale of a frisbee moon in the back of a red cartoon pickup truck. That careening down route 66 at speed, he leapt up into the cab, took the wheel, stuck his baby elbow out the rolled-down window, and that though the truck had awesome chrome mirrors, he never looked back. He hopes you frequently feel the same.


22 Responses to “NRA Guns for Kids Efforts: Sickening.”

  1. Ben_Ralston says:

    Wrong it is, but just a symptom of the deeper wrongs that our society is ridden with methinks.

  2. Karl Saliter says:

    I agree Ben: a single outpost of wrong. I could quite Tigunait and say “greed is the mother of all misery.”

    This wrong is a symptom of our money-as-god culture.

  3. Mädel says:

    What a sad and horrible unconscious world we live in….

  4. karlsaliter says:

    Too true. Imagine? Because it is good for the industry, it must continue. No questioning, no wondering.

  5. gigapet says:

    I am all for it. People who know and respect guns are far less likely to use them incorrectly. It isn’t like they are forcing kids to shoot.
    If more people knew that an ar-15 is not an assault rifle we would all be better off.

  6. karlsaliter says:

    People, maybe. But children? I don't think so, gigabit. Thanks for reading and commenting, though. The ar-15, isn't it the one used at Newtown, and Colorado too?

  7. gigapet says:

    gigaPET, come on that is important.
    Newton was a bushmaster .223,(and apparently pistols, but the reports still don’t make sense) not sure about the theater.
    Point being, an assault rifle, a true assault rifle, is select-fire, full automatic. That means it can be changed from full auto, to rapid fire(3 shots per squeeze) to semi-auto.
    An AR-15 is a semi auto only rifle, not an assault weapon. There are hunting rifles that are semi-auto with much higher caliber(bigger bullets) that would not be affected by a ban.
    If more people knew things like this the conversation could change to something productive. The things that make the weapons they want to ban what they are. . . are largely cosmetic. (pistol grips, folding stocks, flash suppressors) None of those things make the weapons more deadly. But if it looks like grand-dads hunting rifle but is more deadly, then play-on.
    I would rather have kids learning about guns from responsible teachers than anyone else.
    The point is not keeping people from firing guns it is teaching respect.
    There are some really stupid people with guns, but that is not the rule. There are stupid people with everything. Knowledge is power. (experience is knowledge)
    Not a fan of the NRA in general(gun owners of America is a better group), but I don’t mind kids learning to shoot. Try it sometime, tiny explosions in your hand can really change your perspective. For most people, I would wager, it makes them less willing to do violence.

  8. Mr.Science says:

    You may have been in the wrong generation, too old to have cared and too young to have kids, But if you stop feeding a gigapet electronically, they electronically die.
    In one way, gigapet is right. There are a ton of emotional arguments that arise from people not understanding guns.
    True assault weapons as gig calls them have been technically illegal since the thirties, and illegal for manufacture and private sale since 1986. Most weapons purchased today are semi-auto. (that includes hand guns, shot guns etc.)
    Home defense and hunting are different issues. Most hunters would prefer to line up one good shot, but that doesn’t invalidate a second quick one, so semi auto is still reasonable. Home defense can require multiple rounds, a women recently emptied her .38 on an attacker to protect her kids, what is there had been two?
    The thing about the NRA is, they do seem to be a lobby for gun manufacturers to some degree. This is where is gets a little hairy. In a free society we are going to have that sort of stuff. We could talk about a vision of a human society that is not based on materialism, but we can’t just get there from here.
    I think that we can trust people with choices. They do need good information though. So, yes someone will always be trying to sell you something. Finding good information is up to us. (everyone going to a shooting range just once would be a good start)
    You don’t have to send your kids to a shooting class, but if you did it would be proper to make sure that it wasn’t a class the romanticized violence, which they don’t tend to do.
    The NRA may be trying to convince people that they need a bunch of different kinds of guns, but that is a different conversation
    (materialism, the nature of the profit motive etc.)
    Kids learning about what weapons are, understanding them etc., that is not a problem as far as I see it.
    Maybe more people would be willing to see that it is not true that fewer guns in the hands of responsible people has ever lead to less violence.
    Less gun violence, sometimes,though not here in Mexico, but less overall violence, never once.
    Best to you as always.

  9. Joe Goodwin says:

    Key words: 'if the industry is to survive…' It's all about money! So what if a few children die or we all have to live in fear when we go to the movies, the mall or anywhere. These few have to make their millions and many have to have their toys.

  10. Mädel says:

    Understanding guns? kids with guns? endorsing a world and an education system that suggests that it is ok that one´s kid goes to school with a gun in case some sick being comes in and shoots?! My mind and soul and body ache to hear something like this! what kind of sick and evil system can be so powerful to poison our vision and hearts like this? what the fuck happened to humanity!

  11. Sharon Brisnehan says:

    One of the arguments that gun enthusiast use is the, "It's NOT the guns", argument. "It's NOT the guns, people die in car accidents everyday! Maybe we should outlaw cars!" "It's NOT the guns, people die from smoking cigarettes everyday! Why aren't we outlawing cigarettes?" "It's NOT the guns, if there were no guns, people would still kill each other with knives, or rope, or rocks! Why don't we get rid of all these?!" And to this argument I say, "When someone does die in a car accident, do car sales go up? When the news does an exclusive on cancer deaths caused by cigarette smoking, do cigarettes fly off the shelf that week? When someone is stabbed or choked or bludgeoned to death with something other than a gun, do people defend their 'right' to own these? Are there HUGE knife, rope and rock sales? NO! Because it IS about the guns.

  12. gigapet says:

    Yes, understand guns. Mr. Science is right. Just like all other irrational fears, they go away with understanding. You think the system is sick and evil, yet you want to put all of the guns in the hands of the government(run the system) and the criminals. . . you really haven’t thought it through.
    Sharon’s comment is just silly. Violence is a product of people not objects. Call me when you find a world without violence or danger.
    There are these things called statistics, they don’t lie, because they have no point of view. What they show is that a scared ignorant culture that is disarmed has more violence, not less.
    You want to change the culture of violence? Then disarm the government, the one that sends weapons to criminals and kills children.
    Or you could whine about a kid knowing how to fire a weapon. The same kid you will want around if something goes wrong. Or you could call the cops, and they will come take a picture of your body and say something nice on the news.
    top way to die prematurely in human history: democide, death by government. Give them all the power and see what happens.
    I suppose you think bear causes alcoholism too.

  13. karlsaliter says:

    That is truly the essence of this outreach. Safety is a topic, a socially acceptable umbrella. Gun sales are the motive.

  14. karlsaliter says:

    I wonder the same things sometimes, Madel. Things have grown in a genuine twist.

  15. karlsaliter says:

    No, I'm cool with bears.

  16. karlsaliter says:

    Hi Sharon!

  17. Mädel says:

    haha, yes, bears are good boys

  18. karlsaliter says:

    AWESOME article! Thanks, Madel.

  19. Kai Groman says:

    Yes. It makes me think of the discussion I have before kids’ classes in which I emphasize personal space to keep self and others safe. I often remind my adult students to listen to the wisdom of their bodies, especially if I have new and/or beginning students in class. Often but not always. I will be rethinking my teaching style to ensure that I am placing sufficient emphasis on personal safety and responsibility. It’s no guarantee but I think it is best practice.

  20. rick says:

    this is sick, not the kids with guns that's exactly how it should be. love the pick of the two 11 year olds with ARs, classic.
    what is sick is how people would rather get rid of guns, because they're scared of them. BUY A DAMN GUN!
    why does everything have to be so politically correct? it's just wrong how we say guns are the problem, video games, violent TV, the internet. maybe…
    what it boils down to is parents are 22 and they have an 7 year old son, they're way to young to be parents so they tend not to stick around or abuse the kids, or just simply not care. so when Jr gets picked on in school, he has no one to turn to, no father to give him advice, no mother for support. what ever the cause may be. the only thing they know is what they see on TV and in Call of Duty. Lets face it, the schools don't teach them anything. they teach them that they're not people until they're 18… that's about it…
    we also have to face the fact, that no matter what, kids are dirty little F—S. they like to hurt each other. and when a boy who comes from a horribe family, has no father, no mother, not very good ones, what ever. he plays call of duty and watches war movies and die hard all day while mom is banging someone upstairs and dad…well who knows.. yeah, there might be a problem down the road when he hinds moneys hooker pistol or gets into grandpas gun cabinet

    kids going out to a range with their dads and blasting off some rounds is more then fine, it should be something everyone does. Because at a very young age you understand what to do and what not to do, because you make one mistake and someone is dead. i saw meany dead deer, hit with a .300WinMag when i was young. long before i was shooting. my dad would bring them home and make the best food (still does)
    but he said the first time i fired a .22 when i was 4ish, something like
    "remember the deer? if you make a mistake that could be me or you"
    that scared the *poop* out of me and i was very careful, always have been.

    I don't understand the state of peoples minds, some of the stuff people think and say. It's so irrational and lacking in common seance. how do you forget what it's like to be a kid? i remember being just as smart and capable of being just as mature as any "adult" (once you grow up, you realize that's a joke, "Adult" )
    so my dad would treat me that way and i never had any problems, kids are treated like kids they're going to act like kids, every try treating them as, oh i don't know equal? how would you like it if someone told you, "your bed time is 8:30, no sugar, no soda, no TV after 7:00"
    then you sit there and do all of thous things, while you force them to go to bed. then follow it up with
    "if your not good and lie, Santa won't bring you presents down the chimney!"
    anyway, you'd feel like a slave…that's how you make your kids feel. case closed

  21. Nick the Enforcer says:

    There are fringe elements to every aspect of our free-lives. Guns are not the problem but rather some who pick them up. In the same way a lighter is not the cause for arson it is but a tool of the individual. Sure some of these spin-pix shown are shocking but hardly reliable in truth. I would rather have my child taught proper firearm safety from a qualified individual than being drawn into the progressive-socialist collective-hive mentality that has its basis in part by radical anti-Americans like Saul Alinsky.
    No true responsible adult would consider or advocate arming children and turning them loose on society. That is just liberal non-sense. If we can respect the rights of a man to lay with another man or two women to do the same why cant folks accept my right to own a legal firearm [for whatever reason I choose] w/no ridicule. We have come to a point where mixed race relationships and offspring are accepted why not my choice to teach my child marksmanship? We openly allow [some would say encourage abortion] So why must I constantly lobby my gov’t reps to not trample my right to protect my home, property and family?