Saturday, May 4, 2013

2-year-old girl killed with 'my first rifle'

American man and boy out hunting with shotguns, circa 1955. FPG/Getty Images
A story on the NPR website (National Public Radio) on 2nd May shows just what gun control advocates in the US are up against. 

It's prompted by the shooting death of a 2-year-old girl in Kentucky at the hands of her 5-year-old brother, which has opened up yet another US debate about gun control. The headline is “When It Comes To Guns, How Young Is Too Young?” and it's prefaced by the black and white 1955 picture of the all-American man and boy.

The image of a woman holding a pink .22-caliber youth rifle in a firearms shop illustrates the type of gun used in the shooting. It's marketed to children as 'my first rifle' and comes in a variety of colours.

The story starts with: “While no one favors the idea of 5-year-olds using weapons without supervision, there is no consensus on the appropriate age to start hands-on training with firearms.”  A gun rights advocate is quoted, without comment, saying "Many people who have firearms familiarize their kids with firearms early on, because they want them to know that this is not something to be trifled with."

The reader comments dwell on state versus parental responsibility and compare marketing guns to kids with sugary and fatty foods. My bĂȘte noir expression “nanny state” crops up.

It's worth taking the time to read the full story and the reader comments.

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