Thursday, July 7, 2016

Fairy Tales and Guns in America

While just about every American is familiar with the pro-gun, pro-Second Amendment National Rifle Association, far fewer people are aware of NRA Family, the family friendly side of America's largest firearms-based non-profit.

In an attempt to appeal to the children of America, NRA Family has published alternative takes on the fairy tales that we all grew up with, however, there is one key change to the story; at least some of the characters are carrying firearms of one sort or another.  Here's how the stories are introduced to young readers and their parents:

"Most of us probably grew up having fairy tales read to us as we drifted off to sleep. But how many times have you thought back and realized just how, well, grim some of them are? Did any of them ever make your rest a little bit uneasy? Have you ever wondered what those same fairy tales might sound like if the hapless Red Riding Hoods, Hansels and Gretels had been taught about gun safety and how to use firearms? The author of this piece, Amelia Hamilton hasand NRA Family is proud to announce that we’ve partnered with the author to present her twist on those classic tales. We hope you and your children enjoy this first instalment!"

In the first story about Little Red Riding Hood, Little Red learned that her grandmother was not feeling well so she loaded up a picnic basket, slung her rifle over her shoulder and headed for Grandma's place in the woods.  Along the path through the woods, she noticed some wolf tracks in the snow; fortunately, Little Red "felt the reassuring weight of the rifle on her shoulder" and, after a brief conversation with the big, bad wolf, she shifted her rifle so that it was in her hands and scared off the wolf.  Unfortunately for the hapless wolf, he foolishly showed up at Grandma's cottage and this is what happened:

"The wolf leaned in, jaws open wide, then stopped suddenly. Those big ears heard the unmistakable sound of a shotgun’s safety being clicked off. Those big eyes looked down and saw that grandma had a scattergun aimed right at him. He realized that Grandmother hadn’t been backing away from him; she had been moving towards her shotgun to protect herself and her home. 

“I don't think I’ll be eaten today,” said Grandma, “and you won't be eating anyone again.” Grandma kept her gun trained on the wolf, who was too scared to move. Before long, he heard a familiar voice call “Grandmother, I’m here!” Red peeked her head in the door. The wolf couldn’t believe his luck—he had come across two capable ladies in the same day, and they were related! Oh, how he hated when families learned how to protect themselves.

The two ladies tied up the wolf, rescuing themselves thanks to their trusty firearms.

Here's the new story of Hansel and Gretel who, in this version, had to help their families hunt for food because times were tough.

The brother and sister had been trained in the safe use of firearms and had been hunting with their parents for most of their lives.  As they headed into the woods with their hunting gear, they were able to bag a few squirrels and rabbits and bigger game as you can see in this quote from the story:

"Before long, they heard a rustling in the leaves, and slowly turned to see a magnificent 10-point buck drinking from a stream. Gretel readied her rifle and fired.

Her training had paid off, for she was able to bring the buck down instantly with a single shot. She and Hansel quickly field-dressed the deer and packed up to head back home, hardly believing their luck. They were excited to show their parents what they’d gotten."

Unfortunately for the duo, the lost the light of day and got lost in the woods, only to stumble across a candy-based cottage.  This is what happened next:

"Tired and hungry, Hansel and Gretel were tempted to stop for food and a rest, but knew that it wasn’t safe to talk to strangers. So, with a sigh, they kept walking. And heard an urgent whisper.

Hansel heard it first and stopped his sister, and they both heard it again. ”Help us!” the whisper said, as Hansel and Gretel looked to see who it was. “We’re in the gingerbread cottage,” the whisper continued. “The witch has us!” They went to the window, where they saw two young boys, clearly brothers, locked in a cage before a simmering pot.

“We thought nobody would ever come!” the boy whispered excitedly, seeing Hansel and Gretel. “We have been here a week. The witch is fattening us up to make us into a stew! I don't know how much time we have left” Hansel and Gretel exchanged horrified glances.

“Where is the witch now?” Gretel asked.

“Asleep,” the boy replied, looking over his shoulder, towards the bedroom from which they could hear the soft sounds of snoring.

“We’re going to get you out of here,” Hansel told the boy, hoisting himself up and climbing into the window, helping Gretel in after him, for he was stronger than his sister.

The boys directed Hansel to the key that would unlock their cage while Gretel stood at the ready with her firearm just in case, for she was a better shot than her brother. Hansel unlocked the cage and opened the door. The hinges gave a groan and the sound of the witch's snoring stopped, the silence filling the room as they looked at each other in panic. Gretel got her rifle ready, but lowered it again when the snoring resumed. They helped the boys back out the window and hurried into the forest, breathing a sigh of relief when the cottage was out of sight. They knew they had to get home to their parents to get help with the witch."

The author of these two stories is Amelia Hamilton, a conservative blogger with a Master's degree in English and 18th century history and a post-graduate diploma in fine and decorative arts.  She has written a series of books for children called the "Growing Patriots".

Let's close this posting with some data from the Centers for Disease Control.  In 2013, this is how many children between the ages of 0 and 19 years were unintentionally injured by a firearm discharge:

Here's how many children of the same age group were unintentionally injured by a firearm discharge between 2001 and 2013:

Here's a map from Everytown Research showing the location of child shootings (aged 17 and under) in 2015 with red dots showing a child death and pink dots showing a child shooting:

That's a total of 278 child shootings in 2015 alone.  And that's most definitely not a fairy tale outcome.


  1. So all these children's stories that served as entertainment for hundreds of millions of children will now be morphed into providing one message: A gun will make you safe and solve all your problems.

    This is a disease that is being spread by the NRA. It's so twisted as to be almost unbelievable, almost.

    There are lots of articles about guns and the NRA but I haven't heard about the one you've referenced. Prepare for lots of hits because I'm going to include a link to this article on the next NRA story I read.

    Also, consider including Disqus as a format for comments.

  2. I would be more curious about the numbers of shootings of 10 and under. At 14 through 17 you can be dealing with kids involved in gangs and other criminal activities. Not saying all those kids shot in 2015 were ages 14-17 and involved in criminal undertakings. But the pinks dots in lower NY most likely are from where I live in Newburgh and in 2015 I think about 3 or 4 kids shot each other but didn't kill anyone in gang related violence.

  3. More toddlers (under 5) than cops are killed by guns.