Want to know where the NRA and gun manufacturers are targeting their firearms this year? How about to your children! Imagine a full color ad in the October issue of your favorite magazine showing a beautiful Christmas tree and three young kids pulling the wrapping paper off their new assault rifles. The ad reads:
"Maybe you'll find a Bushmaster AR-15 under your tree some frosty Christmas morning!"
You think I'm kidding right? Unfortunately, no. Mike McIntire of the New York Times published an article on Friday called Selling a New Generation on Guns.
Marketing guns to children is nothing new, but it is rare. Over the years you might have seen gun ads like these:
Of course the gun industry has been marketing to shooting clubs, Boy and Girl Scouts, schools, 4-H clubs, Rod & Gun clubs, and so on for decades. The guns used were .22 rifles, and pellet guns for target shooting and .22 bird shot guns for skeet shooting.
No more. The industry wants your children target shooting with assault rifles under the guise of "teaching life skills." Apparently, guns are the only way to teach our kids responsibility. Fortunately, no one under the age of 18 can buy a rifle or a shotgun from a licensed dealer or even possess a handgun under most circumstances. But the gun industry is now looking for creative and appropriate ways to introduce children to the shooting sports.
"There's nothing alarmist or sinister about it," an industry spokesman said. "It's realistic. There is a need to start them young. Programs should be targeted at youth 12 years old and younger." Well, how young is too young? A number of states have already lowered the hunting age from 12 to 10. Other states are planning to follow suit. Another industry spokesperson said, "If the industry is to survive, gun enthusiasts must embrace all youth shooting activities, including ones using semiautomatic firearms with magazines holding 30-100 rounds."
Where does it all end? If the NRA and the people who sell and manufacture guns have their way, the future could look like this:
Good luck! If this is the way of the future, you'll need it!