We are indebted to Zack Beauchamp of THINKPROGRESS
(over and over) for bringing the following to our attention: An
article in the NRA's "youth" magazine appearing about the time of the
Newtown, CT shooting which, of course, has meant nothing to this
violence promoting lobby nor to their political hacks in congress.
NRA Youth Magazine Recommends Kids Build Indoor Home Shooting Ranges
By Zack Beauchamp on May 8, 2013 at 2:00 pm
National Rifle Association (NRA)’s overtures to children have come
under fire after its annual conference last week, which advertised
weapons for children and advocated storing firearms in kids’ rooms just
on the heels of the fatal shooting of a two year old by her five year
old brother. A ThinkProgress review of the NRA children’s magazine,
InSights, found another piece of disturbing advice:
kids should build
target ranges inside their homes. We
thought for the horror of it to take the actual article as it appeared
in the issue Zack is describing and interpolate another article about
the learned impetuousness of kids from another time but illustrating the
fun and game quality of being a kid that should inform all children's
lives in all times and places. (“BB, It’s Cold Outside,” ran in the
January 2013 edition of InSights and was written by Mark Sanders. So its
at least two citations for copyright theft and a possible third but we
figure he's dead or should be):
Its winter. The cold, nasty, I-don't-wanna-get-out-of-bed- time of
year. Sure, school may be out for a few days at Thanksgiving and
Christmas, but we all know what the real drag about this time of year
is: It's harder to get out and shoot! We've all been there, friends. You
have our sympathies.
often do we think of our own childhood as we watch children play! After
finishing the school work — and sometimes before — it was a pleasure to
head outside and let childhood fantasy run free in games like thief or cowboys and Indians.
hey, this is no excuse to let the wintertime blues get you down. Quite
the contrary-if you want to get an edge on your hunting/shooting
buddies(or a family member whose shot is always just a little bit better
Holmes and Nat Pinkerton were the models for our inventiveness. Buffalo
Bill roused us to courageous deeds, which often ended a free-for-all.
We devoured the ten-penny novels, which often led us to imitate their
tricks and pranks. Karl May’s thick novels did the same, bringing our
imagination to a fever pitch.
is the perfect time of year to get some practice in. While everyone
else is in hibernation mode, you can set up an indoor range in your
house and practice with a good old-fashioned BB gun.
do not always have it as easy and pleasant as earlier
generations. Particularly in big cities, the lack of room to play has
particularly noticeable effects on children. The spiritual pressures of
the last fourteen years always weighed heavily on children's souls,
hardly allowing their natural playfulness to be expressed.
"BB guns?" you sigh. "But I'm shooting a real gun now!" Ask yourself this, though: What good will a higher
powered rifle/shotgun/whatever you're shooting do, if you don't want to
take it outside? Exactly. Thats why we suggest the humble BB gun.
the asphalt literati thought that it was bad for children to be
interested in military games. Such snobs joked about the little lad with
a wooden sword and a paper helmet.
guns aren't the flashiest shooters out there but with some simple
precautions, they're safe to use on a homemade indoor range. When you're
trying to improve accuracy BB guns are the best. If you have a habit of
flinching when pulling the trigger BB guns will help you work that out.
In this area, too, much has changed since 5 March . The national revolution also did not leave children's souls untouched. Even the youngest children sing the Horst-Wessel Song with burning enthusiasm and real devotion.
fact that there's no powder or shells to clean up after is a bonus,
too. Don't build the indoor range yourself and tell adults you did it
afterwards. Have you ever heard the phrase, " Sometimes it's better to
ask forgiveness than permission?" That idea doesn't apply here.
youth greet S.A. and S.S. men with raised arms and a joyous “Heil
The strong figures in brown shirts earn the respect and quiet
admiration of children's hearts, joined with the longing to themselves
become such a Hitler soldier.
You want to let the grown-ups know your plans before you put them into
action. OK? OK. Remember that even though you're not on a formal range,
you still need to follow all of the rules of gun safety.
There is a lot of noise in the courtyard of a large Munich apartment building. The boys have invented a new and lively game. Between them, they have gathered 2.40 marks to buy the necessary equipment. A “Brown House” has been built with cloth and sticks in the center of the courtyard. Inside the tent are a picture of Adolf Hitler, and a postcard with the words of the Horst-Wessel Song.
your eye and ear protection, keep the muzzle pointed in a safe
direction, do not load the BB gun until you are ready to shoot
The five- to twelve-year-old boys have done everything themselves. The happy owner of a drum is the leader. They practice hard, and succeed. They study the songs. Things often get lively, for example when the Karl-Liebknechthaus, made of old trash cans, is stormed. It is then searched, and the communists taken off to a concentration camp.
and keep your finger off the trigger until you are on target.
The littlest S.A. man is
so eager that he is often in the courtyard early in the morning to call
his comrades together. He is thought to be very brave. His improvised
brown shirt is a little tight around the neck. He can hardly breathe
when the collar is buttoned. When a grown-up expressed concern, he
proudly answered: “An S.A. man has to be able to put up with that!” With
a thoughtful wrinkle of his brow, he got back to work.
Zack's article goes on to say that "the
online edition of the article links to a previous InSights feature
article, which helpfully reminds young children that “The first and most
important thing to remember is that with air guns, any projectile that
does not hit a proper pellet stop has a very high possibility of a
ricochet or bounce back. This is particularly true with a BB gun using
round steel projectiles.”
Though BB guns are powered by air rather than gunpowder, they’re still
very dangerous. A 2009 study in the journal Pediatrics found that BB
guns and similar weapons send roughly 22,000 Americans to the emergency
room each year, the overwhelming majority of whom are children aged
5-14. These injuries have, in some cases, been fatal. The American
Association of Pediatrics has concluded that these guns “are weapons and
should never be characterized as toys,” partly because “the range of
muzzle velocities for nonpowder guns overlaps velocities reached by
It’s also questionable whether young children can be trusted to
accurately carry out all of the NRA’s safety instructions. Not only are
young children notoriously clumsy and irresponsible, but it’s unclear
whether, say, an eight year old is capable of understanding the
difference in lethality and risk between BB guns and real firearms. The
Savage Arms .22 “Rascal” .22 rifles, which are frequently advertised in
InSights under the banner “One Shot! One Thrill!,” don’t look all that
different from some BB gun models."
if you haven't guessed by now the snarky interpolation is a translation
(of course) of a little human interest article that appeared in the
Illustrieter Beobachter of April 15, 1933. Its about a new game that the
kids in Munich were playing that spring based on the Nazi suppression
of the Communist Party. A couple of months before the Nazis had taken
over the Communist headquarters called the Liebnechthaus and the kids
made a game of it- called it "Concentration Camp" The German article
hearthfilled ending portends a rosy future and seems not out of place-
in my snarky thinking- as a coda to the NRA's sage advise for its kids:
the evening, their mothers call them in for supper. The Sandman then
slips into their quiet dreams, drumming and trumpeting, and they sing,
attack, and triumph.