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Bahlam

Pennsyltucky

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This story got my attention recently.  A five-year-old accidentally shot his two-year old sister to death with a rifle.  It wasn't dad's rifle.  It wasn't mom's rifle.  It was his rifle.  It was a Crickett rifle, proudly made in Pennsyltucky and intended for small children.  I haven't followed the gun culture lately because it's become so downright crazy and so wasn't aware that there was a firearms manufacturer that specialized in making rifles for children.  The 'T' of Pennsylvania, aka Pennsyltucky, is amazingly backward and gun-obsessed.  I searched for dealers selling these things and found one two blocks from the house where I grew up in PA.  All the gun dealers near where I live in NY carry them too, which I didn't know.  

I grew up in Pennsylvania and I'm not at all surprised that the company is based there.  I was raised by gun nuts and raised around guns.  I had a rifle when I was a young cub.  By young I mean like fourteen, not five.  When I was five the only guns I had were plastic.  Am I the only one who thinks it's completely crazy to give real rifles to five-year-olds?  I don't mean a bb gun or airsoft.  I mean actual firearms.  It was also left in easy reach.  If it were the boy's rifle that lived in a gun safe and came out at the range I'd be fine with this.  If that were so the girl wouldn't have been shot.  I used to think the nuts in my father's family were completely crazy in their attitudes toward guns.  In the last few years I've seen many people who go far above and beyond.  This is another example.  These kinds of attitudes can't have a place in a civilized society.  
Viewed: 63 times
Added: 5 years, 4 months ago
 
sedkitty
5 years, 4 months ago
If the two-year-old had been armed, everything would've turned out all right.  Give guns to everyone.  What could go wrong?
Bahlam
5 years, 4 months ago
AR-15s for toddlers will make us safe!  
FriskyWoods
5 years, 4 months ago
"That danged furry's tryin' to take our guns away! And he's from New York City! Git 'em!"

All kidding aside, I'm damned tired of our gun culture and the way weapons manufacturers exploit it for profit. We SHOULD have some common sense laws in place to curb irresponsible gun use, but Americans are selfish and stupid and short-sighted, and any gun control is perceived as an attack on their "freedom" to be self-centered twits.

It's gotten to the point where I've just accepted the NRA as a population control factor, like disease, war, or famine. It's a more equitable means of culling the herd than most.
Bahlam
5 years, 4 months ago
Aieeeeee!  :runs:

This whole thing is just so of the rails.  The industry is profiting so much from the ginned up paranoia since Obama was elected that it's ridiculous.  This promoting guns for kids is a new thing to me.  It's so freaking crazy.  
squirrelfox
5 years, 4 months ago
If that 5 year old had needed a background check to get that rifle, then the terrorists have already won.
MrSOCKS
5 years, 4 months ago
Firearms marketed to preschoolers are like those mini-scale superbikes aimed at preteens: an example of our technology outpacing our capacity to handle it. News stories about siblings "accidentally" offing family members have been in the press for generations. This article puts a new twist on it.
And, as Our host ahs intimated, if any place in America were to foster this kind of misadventure, then Pennsyltucky would have to be it.
Bahlam
5 years, 4 months ago
Technology should be running the other way.  Just this evening I saw a family with a kid about that age riding a tiny ATV.  The boy (which I guessed from the sticker on their minivan) was bundled up in so much padding you could hardly tell there was a kid underneath.  I think he's pretty much safe unless he runs the ATV into an angry grizzly bear.  I don't think those parents would leave an unattended loaded rifle sitting in a corner.  The little ATV could be a threat to the kid's life or a sibling's too but these parents have done everything to mitigate it and still let him have fun… under fifty pounds of padding.  
MrSOCKS
5 years, 4 months ago
This example here, being of extreme parental neglect of the other polarity.
The idea of hyper-insulating children from anything that could ever hurt them ever, is as depriving and abusive as blatant parental absenteeism.
How can a child be expected to learn about the world firsthand if he's packed up is no much oversold protective gear he looks like he's a member of the fuckin' Bomb Squad?
samsondrave
5 years, 4 months ago
But, but...if he doesn't learn how to fire a gun, how is he going to hunt deer and wild boar with his dad?  Kindergarteners need to eat, don't they?
Bahlam
5 years, 4 months ago
That's the way to bring home the bacon.  *rimshot*
MooseJam
5 years, 4 months ago
XDDD
Jimmy
5 years, 4 months ago
Looked at the manufacture's webpage.  those are 22 rifles, something a lot of kids had.  But to say that the company was targeting kids?  Hogwash, it was an adult that bought the gun, not the 5 year old.  So why didn't the parents teach their children gun safety?  Too young you say, then why did the children have access to the gun, loaded or unloaded?  Every gun safety course teaches that you treat every gun as if it's loaded.  
Bahlam
5 years, 4 months ago
"Quality firearms for America's Youth"?  

I'm not crazy about dangerous stuff marketed to kids but they'll find something dangerous anyway.  To me a firearm is a special category of dangerous.  It's something that projects lethal force more than the mini-ATV mentioned above.  They're obviously marketing these rifles as a product for kids, just like the ATV is.  I had a 50cc minibike when I was little and got hurt several times riding it.  The rednecks in my father's family would just laugh at any injury, including broken bones.  That's because they're idiots.  The parents of this kid are also obviously idiots.  The parents I mentioned above obviously aren't even though they bought (or received as a gift from grandpa) the little vehicle.  In the individual case the parents are obviously to blame.  The boy could've gotten to an adult size rifle just as easily.  But it wasn't an adult size rifle.  It was one sized for a little boy, which is just crazy to me.  

Spring turkey season just started in NY today.  It's a youth season.  That means it's open to 12-15 year-olds.  It's not open to five-year olds because that would be completely crazy.  
Norithics
5 years, 4 months ago
There's a multifaceted problem here, and it has to do with 'freedoms' being pushed by cynical industry... but it also has to do with kids being much less mature than they once were. It used to be, if you held a gun as a child, you'd already been whipped into shape by your parents and/or had some terrible personal tragedy to deal with that made you grow up fast. Kids now? They're infantile until they reach adulthood. We baby them terribly, yet continue to put them in real danger.
MooseJam
5 years, 4 months ago
So agree.
MooseJam
5 years, 4 months ago
It's way above nuts to give a real rifle to a five year old much less have it within reach.  I agree it should live in the gun safe and only come out to the range or the hunting trip ALL under adult supervision. Attitudea have shifted so badly around firearms is it any wonder all the dreck, stupidity and madness in the news is happening.  
Bahlam
5 years, 4 months ago
I used to think the attitudes I grew up with were crazy.  My father and uncles were gun-loving queer-hating rednecks.  That's not to say my father didn't cruise in mens rooms, because he did, and had a covert BDSM relationship with a business partner for years as well.  They were nuts.  They complained that you couldn't get dynamite to go fishing with anymore.  They threw firecrackers at Jews on Saturdays.  Totally nuts.  The attitudes people have about guns now are way beyond the way they were.  To them a gun was just a thing.  Now it's a huge cultural fetish that's tied up with ideas about being a man.  What?  
MooseJam
5 years, 4 months ago
The attitude has taken the wrong turn in the fork of the road somewhere.
Bahlam
5 years, 4 months ago
Definitely.  Drinking beer and farting has more to do with being a man.  *burp*
shadycat
5 years, 4 months ago
I didn't really grow up in the gun culture. An older cousin taught me to shoot when I was twelve, .22 pistol and .20 gauge shotgun. I shot .22 rifle and skeet at a couple of summer camps. There were, however, no firearms around my house growing up. No matter how mature you think your children are, there is no reason for a firearm to be left unsecured where they can have unattended access to it. I don't even have a problem with taking kids to the range or with older kids hunting. I do have a problem with unsupervised access.
SenGrisane
5 years, 4 months ago
When I was 6, I got my own Knife from my father (a boy scout knife). He showed me how to use it properly so I don't injure myself.
His words were: "I'd rather know you have a knife and know how to use it, then you finding one and then hurting yourself."
Any playful activity with the knife was vigorously scolded. This was a tool, not a toy and we should learn the difference (and we did).
However. Until I was 10 or so I did not have free access to the knife. I had to go to my father and ask him if I could have it.

While I do find it rather questionable to teach someone shooting with real guns at such an age, the idea behind it is not that bad (at least how it was advertised). Teach a child how to properly use a dangerous tool/weapon. There are some things where you don't play around or fool around with... ever. This is a valuable life lesson.
From what I read from the article, the parents were unfit to teach that lesson:
1) The kid had unrestricted access to the weapon. Big no no.
2) The parent seeing the kid play around with the weapon (regardless if loaded or not) and did not do anything about it (a gun is not a toy)
3) Leaving the weapon loaded. This should never happen. Especially not when, you don't close it away.

I have never owned or even fired a real gun my whole life. None of the people in my family have guns. These people are gun enthusiasts. The company the bought the kid weapon from, is big on teaching safety. Then how the heck don't they know about what even I, an ignorant on the topic of guns, knows?
ItaX
5 years, 4 months ago
Saw that story on the news yesterday....while I support the right to bear arms (for self defence only) manufacturing guns for children is just ridiculous.

What I thought worst? The girl's grandmother saying it was "god's will"...damn...those are some big rednecks. =P
Bahlam
5 years, 4 months ago
It isn't entirely ridiculous to introduce guns to kids.  But making these specific rifles seems like a really bad idea and I doubt it would have happened if not for the bill immunizing gun manufacturers from product liability suits.  

Defense is always a big argument but in reality it rarely happens.  Most legally owned guns are used for hunting and target shooting.  I was on a rifle team for years and went to the Empire State Games.  It was nice and the one coed team at school.  I've never used a firearm for defense unless you count threatening to shove a shotgun up a drunk's ass.  
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