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Kiddies? Meet Mr. Gun! Mr. Gun, this is Everychild USA! Now you two go play and have yourselves a great time! And remember! Safety first!
The firearms industry is wringing its profit-filled hands because shooting sports are declining in popularity. So what's a poor gun manufacturer to do? Why, what else? Team up with the National Shooting Sports Foundation (NBC Sports is one of their very special gun show sponsors) and the National Rifle Association to spend millions on "junior shooter" "recruitment and retention"!
Then those new mini-recruits will be all locked and loaded and can set out to recruit other youngsters! Hey boys and girls! Start shooting early on, and we've got you for life!
Those sweet, innocent, vulnerable kiddies are the ripest target (no pun) ever! Indoctrinate them into a lifestyle chock full o' guns while they're young and impressionable and before you know it there will be a whole new market for one of the most talked-about products in stock: The good ol' Bushmaster AR-15, the very semi-automatic assault weapon that was used in Newtown to slaughter 20 children.
What could possibly go wrong?
That's right, moms 'n' dads, the folks at the NRA and in the weapons biz are trying their darnedest to convince you that guns can "provide a safe and healthy pastime" for your little ones.
Kinda reminds me of when the tobacco industry blasted out these handy dandy little messages:
The pages of Junior Shooters, an industry-supported magazine that seeks to get children involved in the recreational use of firearms, once featured a smiling 15-year-old girl clutching a semiautomatic rifle. At the end of an accompanying article that extolled target shooting with a Bushmaster AR-15 — an advertisement elsewhere in the magazine directed readers to a coupon for buying one — the author encouraged youngsters to share the article with a parent.
“Who knows?” it said. “Maybe you’ll find a Bushmaster AR-15 under your tree some frosty Christmas morning!”
The industry’s youth-marketing effort is backed by extensive social research and is carried out by an array of nonprofit groups financed by the gun industry, an examination by The New York Times found. The campaign picked up steam about five years ago with the completion of a major study that urged a stronger emphasis on the “recruitment and retention” of new hunters and target shooters. [...]
Military-style firearms are prevalent in a target-shooting video game and mobile app called Point of Impact, which was sponsored by the shooting sports foundation and Guns & Ammo magazine. The game — rated for ages 9 and up in the iTunes store — allows players to shoot brand-name AR-15 rifles and semiautomatic handguns at inanimate targets, and it provides links to gun makers’ Web sites as well as to the foundation’s “First Shots” program, intended to recruit new shooters.
Federal law prohibits the sale of rifles to those under age 18. But through programs at Boy Scout camps and 4-H clubs, the NRA trains children on how to safely shoot single-shot rifles. And, according to the report: “Newer initiatives by other organizations go further, seeking to introduce children to high-powered rifles and handguns while invoking the same rationale of those older, more traditional programs: that firearms can teach ‘life skills’ like responsibility, ethics and citizenship.”
And by "life skills" they mean "death skills."
Before Calling 911, Sheriff Tells Residents To Get ‘In The Game’ With A Gun. Wisconsin County Sheriff David Clarke:
It’s no longer a spectator sport; I need you in the game, but are you ready? [...]
You can beg for mercy from a violent criminal, hide under the bed, or you can fight back; but are you prepared? Consider taking a certified safety course in handling a firearm so you can defend yourself until we get there. You have a duty to protect yourself and your family. We’re partners now. Can I count on you?
Go read that one. Then down a strong alcoholic beverage.