Many fairy tales are violent. I admit to that and admit that some of them made me uncomfortable while reading them to my own children. Sometimes we examine what we are doing and what we have done and come to the conclusion that it wasn’t such a good idea after all and that we could do better. Writing non violent tales is one of those ideas whose time has come. Is it just a liberal idea that we should protect children from the violence that befalls children and adults in these fairy tales? Because in the real world, bad things do actually happen to children.
That world now exists on the National Rifle Association’s NRA Familywebsite, which partnered with author Amelia Hamilton “to present her twist on those classic tales” — a series that has infuriated gun-control advocates, some of whom called it “disgusting.”
Gun-rights supporters say the stories — which started with “Little Red Riding Hood (Has a Gun)” and continued with “Hansel and Gretel (Have Guns)” — are a more peaceful alternative to the often disturbing fairy tales from childhood.
Which is it?
The idea drew mixed reactions amid the continuing battle between gun-rights advocates holding tight to their Second Amendment rights and gun-control activists concerned with incidents involving children and guns.
And then, the reality of kids and guns is mentioned:
So far in 2016, at least 52 children under age 18 have picked up a firearm and accidentally shot themselves or someone else, according to data from the gun-control group Everytown for Gun Safety.
Gun violence prevention groups (like the Brady Campaign) reacted to this cynical attempt to sell the idea of self defense for children ( from the article):
“Make no mistake, this is a disgusting, morally depraved marketing campaign,” Dan Gross, the organization’s president, said in a statement. “The NRA continues to stoop to new lows in the hopes of shoving guns into America’s youngest hands. If nothing else, this approach demonstrates just how desperate the organization has become to sell more guns — it must now advertise deadly weapons to kids by perverting childhood classics with no regard whatsoever for the real life carnage happening every day.
“To be frank, it’s pathetic.”
In real life, this just happened:
The father of a 7-year-old San Angelo boy who allegedly shot himself in the leg struck another boy with his truck while attempting to take his son to the hospital, police said.
Andrew Crittenden, 26, told San Angelo police Friday that he had given his son the handgun, which the boy was playing with inside an apartment. Crittenden said he thought the gun had been emptied of live rounds, police said.
So in this case, a father gives his 7 year old a gun to play with and the boy shoots himself and then the father runs over another 5 year old with his car on the way to the hospital with his own son. Is this a fairy tale? Sometimes truth is stranger, or worse, than fiction. The gun lobby can try to create its’ own world of fiction regarding the use of guns for self defense and encouraging children to have guns but reality blows their fiction out of the water. Or at least it should if we had any common sense regarding the actual risks of guns to children.
This is a real pathetic tale.
Or what about this real story about a 14 year old boy who shot and killed his 13 year old friend with a gun that was left around the house? The 14 year old will be living now in the real world of awful guilt over this terrible and avoidable tragedy and another family will be living with their real grief over the loss of a loved one whose potential will never be reached. That’s no fairy tale.
In the NRA’s ( and corporate gun lobby) world, small concealable guns should look like cell phones because….. why not? Imagine searching through a pocket or purse for your phone and coming up with the gun/cell phone instead. What could possibly go wrong?
In the gun lobby’s world, God gave people their rights to own guns because…….why not use religion to get people to arm themselves? Let’s look at the above linked article from The Trace:
The bottom line for Wagner, and many gun-carrying Christians, is that it is in fact okay for Christians have guns, and to use them — so long as they do so for the right reasons. Guns should be not be used for vengeance, he says, but for love. “There is a time when the most loving thing you can do is restrain evil.”
“The Bible does say in Matthew 5:9, blessed are the peace makers,” Wagner adds, “and we actually call guys who carry weapons ‘peace officers’ — right? — because they are there to help enforce that which is going to suppress evil and protect the innocent.”
Such talk of blessed peacemaking from the barrel of a sidearm fits perfectly with today’s “good guy with a gun” fantasies. But it likely has another, older parent as well: the aggressively masculine “muscular Christianity” popularized through the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, whose shadow still lingers over much of the evangelical world.
Rationalizing and fictionalizing religious teachings as a reason for carrying guns is absurd and just fiction. We all know that firearms were nowhere in the picture when these teachings were put to print.
But never mind. The article starts with the the Mississippi legislature considering a bill to extend “Stand Your Ground” provisions to houses of worship. You never know when that “big bad wolf” will come walking in with a gun- like at the Mother Emanuel Church in Charleston last summer. And in the gun lobby’s fairy tale world, that “bad guy” with a gun could have been stopped if only those 9 people had been carrying in their church.
And last, but certainly not least, the NRA has a Board member who lives in some sort of twisted fairy tale world. The latest from Ted Nugent through Media Matters:
National Rifle Association board member Ted Nugent shared a sexist chain letter on social media, which claimed that “men prefer guns over women” because “guns function normally every day of the month.”
Nugent’s post is the latest example of a phenomenon where the NRA increasingly tries to attract women to the organization even as the organization’s leadership engages in sexist and degrading commentary.
In the real world, the majority of gun deaths are due to suicide. In the fictional world of the gun lobby, that doesn’t appear to be a part of their tale.
In the real world 90 Americans a day die from gunshot injuries. Wouldn’t it be nice if the NRA would write a fairy tale about how to prevent some of those gun deaths instead of arming fairy tale figures with guns?
There are two worlds when it comes to guns. The majority of Americans live in the world of common sense and support reasonable laws and measures to keep guns away from those who could be dangerous with them. That is the real world. The minority live in the world of fear, paranoia, deception and fiction when it comes to guns. Many in our Congress and legislatures seem afraid of the wrong world. It’s time for them to step into the real world and not believe in fairy tales. Real lives depend on it.