A Rifle Designed for Kids: What Could Possibly Go Wrong?

FILED TO: Politics

my_first_rifleYou know, I was just thinking the other day, wouldn’t it be great if someone manufactured firearms specifically designed for children? After all, it’s the constitutional right of every American to own a firearm without restriction, and the inability of children to adequately handle an adult-sized firearm due to their smaller stature and poor upper-body strength is an unforgivable trespass against the Second Amendment. To prevent a child from owning a gun because they’re weaker, shorter and possess underdeveloped motor and cognitive skills than most normal adults is indeed unconstitutional — at least according to gun zealots who will settle for nothing other than universal gun ownership.

Well, problem solved. Introducing the Crickett Youth Rifle.

No, that’s not a spoof video by The Onion, however much I wish it had been. A gun manufacturer has actually produced a real-life rifle that’s the perfect size for children (or dwarfs), and, based on the fun family-friendly tone of the commercial, not to mention the zany cricket cartoon mascot, they appear to be marketing these guns directly to kids, describing the Crickett with the first person possessive: “My First Rifle.”

Retail price: $119 at Cabela’s — less than the cost of a video game console which is clearly more dangerous for children according to the NRA. (Wayne LaPierre thinks video game violence is more damaging than firearms but I’m sure he’s all in favor of every red-blooded American kid owning a rifle.) And yes, girls, they seriously make a pink one so you won’t have to shoot a gun that’s covered with icky-icky boy germs. And the commercial tells us that it’s “affordable, soft-shooting and accurate.” The “accurate” part could’ve been bad news for the Mom and especially the boy in the commercial because she’s pointing the goddamn rifle directly at his skull:


Hell, she’s not even paying attention to the boy and where he’s standing in relation to her fashionable yellow death machine. Oh but I’m sure she’s totally a responsible gun owner who will teach her kids never to aim firearms at the heads of other people.


Ah hell.

We’re not talking about a B-B gun here, which more than a few kids have owned in spite of the potential to, you know, shoot your eye out. The Crickett is an actual rifle than fires actual .22 caliber rounds. Just to give you a point of reference in case you’re not familiar with what a .22 caliber round is capable of: Bobby Kennedy was assassinated by a gunman firing a .22 caliber bullet. Ronald Reagan and James Brady, along with a Secret Service Agent and a police officer, were also shot by .22 caliber bullets fired by assassin John Hinckley. Brady, for his part, nearly died from his head wound and never walked again. So yeah, the Crickett considerably more powerful than a B-B gun. Why? I have no blessed idea. But somewhere there’s a board room full of sociopaths, not to mention parents, who honestly believe that children need to be packing deadly fire power.

I mean, what could possibly go wrong?

This week in Burkesville, Kentucky, a mother of two small children stepped outside for a moment while doing some household chores. It was just enough time for her five-year-old boy to shoot and kill his two-year-old sister, Caroline Stark, with, you guessed it, a Crickett, which was given to him as a gift — “His First Rifle.” It turns out the boy’s parents forgot to remove a round that was left in the rifle. Another in a long list of children who’ve shot other children, accidentally or otherwise, in households run by alleged “good guys with guns.”

In a broader sense, Caroline is another casualty of the poisonous American gun culture — a culture that’s so ridiculously out of control that gun-manufacturers are allowed to market firearms to children without regulation or oversight, and in spite of Sandy Hook and a lengthening roster of daily firearm tragedies, too many of which involving kids. Sadly, any regulation or oversight will be absolutely and categorically labeled as unconstitutional and, following a multi-million dollar propaganda campaign by the NRA, filibustered by the Republican Party.

And as we all know, when God and the Constitution bestow liberty upon us, then anything goes. The sky’s the limit, and we’re entitled to it. The gun culture demands that Americans can own everything and anything that fires deadly projectiles regardless of age, status or background, and without any new regulations to keep up with technology or shifting societal problems. After all, liberty, etc.

UPDATE: The NRA is actively marketing firearms to kids at their convention. What? No cigarettes?


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  • Steven Benzel

    So what you’re saying is that it’s wrong for me to buy my 6 year old girl a girl. That’s just F#%¥ing crazy. Most kids that shoot other kids have never been taught how to respect a gun. I’ve always been around firearms. Growing up my dad kept his gun on his dresser. Fully loaded at that. It’s all about taking them out and showing them about guns. Showing them what happens when you shoot something. My little girl can’t wait until she can go hunting with me and her bother. It should be about the guns but who’s behind them. That need to be the focus of the liberal media.

  • Ernie Gallegos

    The key is training and supervision! Teach the kid how to treat the firearm as a tool, yes a potentially dangerous tool and most children will follow the rules of proper firearms handling. Supervision is the parents responsibility. So, is it truly the gun’s fault when a child gets hurt. I answer with an emphatic NO. It is the parents fault! First as a responsible firearms owner, there should be a gun safe that is only accessible by a responsible adult. The children should not have unsupervised access to the firearms! My daughters have been shooting since they were 6 and 4 years old. I own a cricket, but the girls do not have unsupervised access! I have also taught them how to shoot bows as well. I say put this whole issue in perspective. The FBI website stats that there here around 8200 firearms related deaths in 2011, the same year there were around 32000 deaths on US highways. On average we lose 6000 teenagers a year in automobile accidents, yet why are we not asking for making it harder to get a drivers license. The 32k in automobile accidents in 2011 was a rare low, most years we lose between 42k and 50k on US highways. Again, perspective, during official 10 years of the Viet Nam War we lost around 45k soldiers. Accidental death from guns has declined so much that the CDC no longer has accidental gun related deaths as a separate category. More people die bowling and falling in their bath tubs than from accidental gun shot. When a child accesses an unsecured firearm, the parents are at fault, not the firearm! The parents should be charged with child abuse and negligent homicide should their child be accidentally killed by someone who had unsupervised access!

    • Space_Cadet_1952

      According to other statistics, on average, America has lost 30,000 people to gun deaths every year. Among that statistic is 800 children and thousands more maimed for life. You fail to mention the 4 million Vietnamese and Cambodians/Laotians killed as ‘collateral damage’ in that futile and wasteful war. Rather than ‘child abuse’, gun owning parents of homesteading children should be charged with ‘constructive insanity’, banned from procreating, and their children removed to a safer, less mentally toxic, environment.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1195820003 John Yeruski

    All you people whining about a kid at a young age owning one of these “death machines” ever think about how many people give their young kids motorcycles,quads, trampolines…..the list goes on, you get my point. How many kids are hurt or killed on those things every year? I’ll bet many of you that think this is such a horrible idea gave your kids those exact things and think it’s great.

  • kfreed

    What could go wrong? Instead of shooting an eye out, they can now misfire and shoot their brains out.

  • http://www.facebook.com/hugos.lavia.37 Hugo S LaVia

    I found this for sale at Wal-Mart. Read some online reviews. I hate to be this guy, but if some of these Gomers would spend a little more time IN SCHOOL and lern tew rite, oh, what a wonderful world this would be! To wit, directly from a satisfied user:

    “I got my daughter 1 of these with pink stock but long time ago i used 1 for coon hunting cause its so lite its like your not carrying a gun and thay shoot very well and no mine was not pink lol.”

    • Treading_Water

      Sadly, a complete disregard for spelling and grammar is not exclusive to the gomers. Texting will be the death of homonyms.

      • Space_Cadet_1952

        Are you anti-gay..? Or am I dyslexic?

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1655290390 Steven Skelton

    I was wondering what goes through the minds of someone when they buy their 5 year old a rifle when the answer occurred to me: probably not much.

    I believe in the 2nd amendment and I live in a part of the country where folks take their kids shooting all the time. All that said, I would never put a real firearm in the hands of a 5 year old. I would never leave a firearm where a 5 year old can get at it and sure as hell would never leave a loaded firearm outside of the gun safe.

    Kids that age are just too young. The line between reality and imagination is way to fuzzy at that age. IMHO, kids shouldn’t be firing weapons until at least 8…but more like 10-11.

    • Space_Cadet_1952

      Or even ‘never’, better still.

  • http://www.facebook.com/james.pekoll James Pekoll

    At nineteen years old I had my first experience with what the recieving end of a bullet looks like. Policing brass downrange after a tank gunnery, my friend and I found a deer ripped open from tail to throat by a 50 cal round. Somehow it hit me at that moment what the phrase “deadly weapon” actually means. Why is it so difficult to reach these sociopaths? Before that moment of revelation I was as gun-ho as any of these zealots and I completely changed my attitude.

  • villemar

    Made by Keystone Sporting Arms, LLC; I presume the same good people who brought you the Keystone Cops over 90 years ago. All this video needs is wacky 3 Stooges type sound effects.

  • Treading_Water

    Oh come on, how could something so pink and so small be a deadly weapon? It is perceived as a toy, and therefore it is treated as one.

    I got robbed once while closing a pizza restaurant. The robber pointed a .22 cal pistol at my face and demanded the money in the safe. My first thought was, “look how tiny that muzzle hole is, that’s a toy”. My second thought was, “even small bullets make big holes”, and I emptied the safe for him.

  • http://www.facebook.com/hugos.lavia.37 Hugo S LaVia

    I want one! Cabela’s, you say? (No waiting period for rifles; yippee!)

    • cheeriogirl

      A gun, or a dead daughter? You didn’t specify.

      • http://www.facebook.com/hugos.lavia.37 Hugo S LaVia

        You had difficulty following my 12-word post?

        • Christopher Foxx

          You had difficulty following her 9-word snark?


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