The tragic yet preventable accidental shooting at an Arizona gun ranges had barely made the news when the NRA tweeted the following:
Mark Follman of Mother Jones managed to get this screen capture of the Tweet before it was deleted a little over an hour after it went out. The Tweet was sent out by NRA Women, part of the NRA’s Women’s Programs. Who are, not surprisingly, sponsored by Smith & Wesson.
The link went to a story on the website for Women’s Outdoor News. The article notes that children can “become tired, exhausted or bored.” While a responsible parent might allow the child to end their practice session in such cases, these women want to make the range more fun for their kids. Because competitions and freedomz and ‘Murica and stuff.
Here are the suggestions:
1. Animal-shaped targets. Because watching Bambi isn’t enough to traumatize them. Why not shoot at him and his pal Thumper?
2. Multi-colored targets. Your kid is already tired enough to see double so let’s make the range look like an acid flashback.
3. Mutants and zombie targets. Mutant rats and dogs, to be precise. Your kid isn’t having enough night terrors — these targets will remedy that fast!
4. Biodegradable clay targets. Environmentally friendly! Bright orange for the kiddies to see better.
5. Plinker targets. These are targets are metal posts with moving flanged targets. They make a friendly “plink” noise as you shoot the cute little chickens and bunnies.
6. Active targets. Put ’em on the ground and watch the fun as your little darlings make them tumble, hop and skip. They are “self-healing” which is totally true to life.
7. Exploding targets. For your little Rambos and Rambo-ettes. Top of the “fun list” according to WON. To be fair, they do note that kids should be supervised with these. And that the “resounding ‘BOOM’ and puff of smoke is fun to see, hear and … smell. ” Smell? Takes all kinds, I guess.
As a gun owner myself, I can understand wanting to educate children about guns. We started when ours was eight and now, at 23, she’s a good shot and responsible around guns. But, really, if your kids are showing signs of boredom or being tired, shouldn’t you take the gun away? Inattention is one of the ways to get yourself and others shot.
I’m not even going to go into why a 9-year-old should not be allowed to shoot an Uzi on full auto. I think we’ve all seen what can happen in that scenario. But I do think that children should not be allowed or, in some cases, encouraged to shoot a gun that is too big for them. It’s not cute or charming to see little Billy waving an AK-47. It’s dangerous. For the child and, as we’ve seen, for adults in the vicinity. For the love of God, stop giving children guns that only adults should handle.