When news surfaced last week of the fatal shooting of a 2-year-old by her 5-year-old brother, the question on many people’s minds was how the youngster got a hold of such a weapon in the first place?
The Crickett .22-caliber single-shot rifle apparently contained one final shell that neither the boy nor his parents were aware of, the circumstances of which lead to this devastating accident. Neither the reality of the very high gun ownership rate in Kentucky (where this family lives) nor the state’s recent ban on gun control enforcement are enough to explain the tragedy away. One disturbing factor in this story, though, is that this rifle was part of a line of guns specifically designed and targeted to children. The rifle actually belonged to the 5-year-old.
Here is the commercial for the Cricket .22-caliber rifle, marketed to children:
This ad should inspire discourse and perhaps a re-thinking of the many ways the media condones gun violence in the eyes of children. But several residents of the Kentucky town where this tragedy occurred have been quick to remind the rest of the country that gun culture varies from place to place. As Gary White, the county coroner, told the Associated Press, “Down in Kentucky where we’re from, you know, guns are passed down from generation to generation. You start at a young age with guns for hunting and everything.” Another woman urged that “it’s nobody else’s business” but the that of the family and the townspeople, themselves.
Whether we consider this case a symbol in the larger nationwide debate on gun control or not, it is still a horrible event that could easily happen again. A gun is an extremely powerful, dangerous, and unpredictable weapon – especially in the hands of a child.
But what do you think? Should gun companies be allowed to market their products to children? Let us know in the comments section below!
Photo credit: From Kids’ Corner on the Crickett website