Saturday, May 4, 2013

Crickett “My First Rifle”

Link 01 Logo 03A

Synopsis: A responsible American gun manufacturer tries to capture a share of the burgeoning elementary school-age market for lethal weapons by offering children toy guns that, as it turns out, are actually real.

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Billy leaves for shooting range with Dad while little sister Madison makes sure to keep her hands in the air where he can see them

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Things suddenly get tense when another neighborhood boy breaches home’s security perimeter with suspicious-looking soccer ball

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02A
After brief stare-down, Billy decides he’s not worth it

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If this were a school day, he’d be wearing his Crickett body armor

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03A
“You know that thing that makes people dead on TV?  My parents bought me one for my birthday!”

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“Maybe you ought to give me that new skateboard of yours.”

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04A
“Uh … sure, Billy – whatever you say.”

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“It’s funny – you look the same, but now you seem like a big man.”

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Lucas realizes that the water balloon wars are over

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Billy’s kiddie .22 came with an attached brochure from Keystone Sporting Arms explaining how the company will not be liable if he mows down his family

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06B
“Now remember, son, your Mom and Dad love you very, very much, especially when they’re asleep.”

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Just to be on the safe side, Billy’s parents install a deadbolt lock on their bedroom door later that afternoon

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Yes, this is really happening.

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08A
What could possibly go wrong?

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Billy hasn’t yet read part of safety manual advising user not to point barrel of gun directly at bystander’s forehead

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09B
When Billy takes aim at passing Cessna, Dad quickly intervenes

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“Keep the gun level – just like in Call of Duty.”

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“Now take your ammo before Dianne Feinstein snatches it away.“

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“If those targets were ATF agents, you’d have to do this faster.”

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Look at his cute little hands trying to load the rifle – that’s adorable.

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16A
The only thing that stops a bad fourth-grader with a gun is a good fourth-grader with a gun

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16B
It’s gonna be a lot harder to get him to clean his room now

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Soon he’ll be ready for My First Grenade Launcher

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“Whoa!  Making tiny holes in things is fun!”

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Awaiting Obamacare

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19A
Nothing wrong with selling guns to consumers who are still receptive to warnings issued by a talking insect

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Davey doesn’t say, “Over 500 U.S. children die from accidental gun shootings each year.”

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20A
And then, incredibly, it gets worse …

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Pink killing devices are for girls

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“… and Mommy’s matches her purse!”

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The rifle inadvertently lined up for a shot right between Billy’s eyes is almost certainly probably not loaded

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23A
This is going to make a great Christmas card photo

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Finally – simulated violence that the whole family can enjoy

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Not only do the Johnsons refuse to submit to socialist recycling laws, they summarily execute their reusable containers out of spite

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25A
Take that, Al Gore!

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Because America is just that nuts.

Loathsomeness: 10.0

63 comments:

  1. While I agree that marketing firearms to children is bit much, I'd question the "Every Gun Owner is a Mass Shooting Waiting To Happen" message in this post

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    1. That wasn't really the message.

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    2. That's Derek. Check out his blog sometimes. He's pretty good at stabbing at straw men.

      I still expect that someday, the NRA and Cricket will hold a press conference in which they announce that the last forty years were all just a big con and they could not believe we never caught on, but just went along and encouraged them to push the envelope a little more. The Cricket guy will say "we really thought we were letting the cat out of the bag with the pink rifle thing- but Jesus, you people NEVER reacted! What are you, sick or something?"

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    3. Not everyone with a gun is a mass shooter, but every mass shooter has a gun.

      I especially like the kid with the Probably Made In France Soccer Ball, who wishes HIS dad would acknowledge his maleness and buy HIM a weapon capable of shooting holes in things instead of expecting him to play with this stupid gay soccer ball.

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    4. We need to have a national registry for all bombs!!! Every bomb owner should register his bomb!!! That would solve the bomb problem!!!!

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    5. I love how Crickett locked up its website and FB page after the Kentucky shooting of that two-year-old girl but continues to make this commercial available via its YouTube account. I guess any publicity is good for sales.

      I also like the subtle sexism in the ad: "Girls and even Mom" can find a Crickett rifle suited to their taste.

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    6. You're overthinking things again in an attempt to not see that guns might have a place but that place is not the hands of a five year old who doesn't know that he should NEVER point a firearm at something he isn't willing to destroy.

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    7. I wonder if the parents in that Kentucky case will give up the rest of their guns now (assuming they have others). No reason to, I suppose, if they accept their community's soothing assurances that it was just a "freak accident," and not the gun's fault.

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    8. It'd be message though. sicko parents that buy this crap and sicko companies that produce it should be held responsible.

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  2. Given the current climate regarding gun violence, this ad is abhorrant, but I think your readers should know it's 2 years old.

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    1. The ad may be two years old, but the manufacturer is still running it online, even in the "current climate," which of course includes the recent accidental shooting of a two-year-old girl by her five-year-old brother with a Crickett rifle.

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    2. Wayne LaPierre, YESTERDAY: "How many Bostonians wish they had a gun two weeks ago?"

      Yes, because a privately owned gun would have been immensely useful against a pressure cooker bomb in a backpack.

      Guns- what CAN'T they do!

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    3. John, your comment made me laugh...yet it's so, so sad that this is how some people think.

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    4. Yeah, that's pretty idiotic. A better way to not let Boston happen is to check Chechen jihadists named after Tamerlane a little more before you give them political asylum.

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    5. We need to have a national registry for all bombs!!! Every bomb owner should register his bomb!!! That would solve the bomb problem!!!! That would get the bombs off the street!!!

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    6. "The only thing that stops a bad guy with a homemade bomb fashioned from a pressure cooker is ... "

      Not as catchy.

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  3. Derek, that's a great idea. Assuming you meant Czechian, how exactly were you proposing to identify such people? By ethnicity? By religion? By funny name? When you figure it out, I'm sure the FBI will appreciate your call.

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    Replies
    1. By the fact that the are coming from Chechnya (I don't know what "Czechia" is)

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    2. I see your point, Derek; but just like you reject stereotypical generalizations about gun owners, I don't think we ought to taint an entire nation (or semi-autonomous region / Russian killing field), whatever it's called, just because some of its people turn out to be bad actors. In any event, it doesn't sound like the Boston bombers became "jihadists" until after they came to America.

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  4. The pink one is for hunting flamingos.

    I would have more to say but words sort of fail me here...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. "People don't kill flamingos; people with ridiculous pastel-colored rifles kill flamingos."

      Actually, if you took guns out of the equation, I'd bet an angry flamingo would send those kids running for their lives.

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  5. Hillbillies are funny.

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    Replies
    1. See our recent examination of "Doomsday Preppers," just a few posts before this one.

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  6. Then Billy started hearing those voices.......

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    Replies
    1. They're from the talking cricket.

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    2. OMG Editor--I laughed too hard at that!

      When all else fails, blame the talking cricket--
      Davey Cricket--Jiminy's tea bagger brother...

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  7. While the Crickett slogan is "My First Gun" the little girl's headstone reads,"My Brothers First Kill."

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    Replies
    1. Right, Redwood, because everyone with a gun is a murderer.

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    2. No. That five-year-old boy in Kentucky isn't a murderer. But his little sister is dead, just the same. Take the gun away, and she's alive today.

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    3. Yeah, unless a real murderer invades the home, in which case the parent (who should have locked the gun in a safe, like responsible gun owners do) would be unarmed and unable to stop anything

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    4. Well, there's always the quaint tradition of calling the police ...

      In any event, although (surprise) I'm not a gun person, I gather that a Crickett .22 caliber rifle (in pink, or otherwise) would not be considered an ideal weapon for home defense.

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    5. Yeah, probably not.

      What if the police weren't right down the street like they are in cities. What if you're out in some rural area and the cops are half an hour away.

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    6. So your theory- based on the usual, well-thought out logic that pervades pretty much all of your posts, is that the little girl in Kentucky was just doomed by fate, right, Derek? If she weren't killed by her brother's rifle, a madman would have burst into her house and raped and murdered her. Hell, she was better off getting killed by her brother's gun- another reason to arm everyone!

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    7. Although it's no justification for giving guns to little kids, I actually do sympathize with people who live in truly isolated areas where, as a practical matter, police protection is minimal. But, even there, I think the odds are greater that a gun in the home will be used in an act of domestic violence, an accidental shooting, or a suicide attempt than to repel a dangerous intruder. Think of it this way: in rural America, not only are there fewer cops, but there are also fewer criminals. If these folks out on the frontier are in such mortal danger, why is it so common to hear them say things like "We don't even lock our doors at night around here" ? The fact is, while they get a lot of publicity when they happen, home invasions in any part of the country are very rare.

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    8. To be fair, home invasions (that is, a criminal breaking in while people are actually home) are actually more common in places like the UK that do have stricter gun laws. The odds are quite good that there is at least some causal relationship here - that is, criminals are well aware that no jury is ever going to convict someone of murder for blowing away a surprise intruder in their own home. Of course, your odds of getting hit by a stray bullet or shooting your friend in the face are also lower in said places, but you have to admit that the prospect of a crazed rapist is a lot more terrifying than catching a stray round from your neighbor's gun, regardless of the probabilities of either of these things happening.

      It boils down to the fact that humans are not great at assessing probabilities, but we know darn well that certain ways of dying tend to creep into our nightmares more readily than others.

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    9. True enough. I have a recurring dream of being smothered in crude oil by Brooke Alexander, which is both terrifying and strangely arousing.

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    10. That one took me a second :)

      *bizarre mental gymnastics here*

      Yes, certainly gives new meaning to the word "gusher".

      *more bizarre mental gymnastics*

      Hmm, crude oil wrestling...
      *scribbling down in "Burning Man Ideas" notebook*

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    11. Go ahead and call the police. Just hope the intruder will stop and wait for them to arrive- it could be a while.

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    12. Glock has conveniently and super-realistically portrayed this very scenario: Glock "Wrong Girl"

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    13. Don't ever use the UK as an example unless you plan on attaching a third world country ran by cartels to them then opening the border up.

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    14. So, unlike their British counterparts, kids in America need guns to stop Mexican drug lords?

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  8. This ad would be alarming even without all the mass shootings. This is because they violate the one great big rule about guns: never point one at someone or something you aren't willing to destroy. Call it the "I just shot Marvin in the face" rule......

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    Replies
    1. Hah. That whole scene (brains and all) should really be a fixture of gun safety classes. Not unlike the "red asphalt" films in traffic safety class.

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    2. Speaking of which, I wonder how Dick Cheney's hunting buddy is doing these days.

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    3. He's not quite as buoyant as he once was, but his friends can't seem to pry out of him the reason why.

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  9. Sooooo...Kentucky native here. The other interesting bit about the most recent "accidental" KY shooting is that a shell was left in the .22 and nobody realized it and the gun was propped up in the corner of the room...it's usual storage place.

    My 74 year old father, as a boy, would take his rifle to school and put it in the coat room during the day, as would other children. After school, he would walk back home with his gun loaded in hopes of getting a squirrel or rabbit for his mother to fix for dinner. Long story short, kids who "know" about guns also know about the damage and finality that they cause.

    Not all gun owners are murderers, Derek, but all gun owners are RESPONSIBLE for the handling and safe keeping of those guns. The boy received his Cricket at the age of four. After the shooting and death of his sister, his mother explained that the boy was used to shooting the gun and knew about it. Awesome. She obviously taught him very well. Heck, I can't get my 6 year old to commit to brushing her teeth on her own before school.

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    1. Excellent comments.

      I'm surprised that kids today are even that interested in real guns, when (sadly) so many virtual and more immediately gratifying alternatives are available. I've never tried it, but the thrill of knocking a tin can off a log from a short distance away eludes me. I suspect that, in many cases, parents (primarily fathers) are pushing guns on their children (primarily sons) to try to ensure that their own love of guns is passed down to the next generation, just as most of them were likely given guns when they were kids. But, as aptly pointed out above, times change, and what was common in one era isn't always sensible in the next.

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    2. I think there's also as HUGE stereotype of invincibility/bada$$ that goes along with being a gun owner..at least where I live. It doesn't take much to spot the bravado...the cowardice is just beneath it.

      Anyhoo...LOVE your blog. I laughed and had tears in my eyes over the Korean Dream and Christian Mingle. This site is my new bff.

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    3. Thanks for the kind words. Maybe Kim Jong Un should have used Christian Mingle to find his wife, instead of selecting her from binders full of women provided by his ashen-faced military guardians.

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  10. Our most decorated marksmen, Audie Murphy, Alvin York, etc. learned to shoot as youngsters - not in six weeks of boot camp. NRA was formed to create a civilian force of marksmen to protect this country from enemies foreign and domestic. NRA teaches firearm safety to youth via the Eddie Eagle program.

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    1. Hey, that's super. So, just to clarify -- giving guns to five-year-olds is okay?

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    2. Really- I thought the NRA was formed to protect the Second Amendment and teach gun safety. Now I learn it was designed all along to train an army of paranoid survivalists with the ultimate aim of serving as an unofficial paramilitary force, and overthrowing the Republic if our government is ever perceived as a "domestic enemy.." thanks, Anonymous.

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  11. My father owned a gun shop for many years. Hunting was a big sport in his family. All of his grand kids got the cricket rifles at young ages. My sisters first gun was actually the chipmunk. With this being said, my dad was responsible and kept the guns till they were old enough to listen, follow safety rules, and never had them all practice shooting together. Individual. Never were there any incidences of them all wanting to shoot each other with them, or harm anyone. They were always well supervised. I see no harm in it. I don't think it's appropriate to give a young child a gun, a .22 even to just let them "have it", keep it in their room, whatever. My dad didn't think that way either. My daughter who is 13 never once has wanted to kill someone with her pink cricket, nor have my nephews. My dad taught them well.

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    1. I'm sure that a lot of people who grew up with guns feel this way. But the fact remains that many gun owners are not as responsible as you say your father was, and even the most well-instructed kids are prone to making mistakes or mishandling conflict situations. How do know that your daughter -- or certainly your nephews -- "never once" has wanted to use their guns against someone? Simply because they haven't -- yet? Do you know they wouldn't on their worst day, or in the heat of some unforeseen provocation?

      Probably there are 13-year-olds out there who could be taught how to drive reasonably well. Should we do away with the driving age, and just leave it up to parents? Same thing for the drinking age? Laws shouldn't be based on what the best people would do under the best of circumstances. They should take into account the inherent failings and weaknesses of human nature across the entire population.

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  12. How bout all you Obama fans just crawl back under your rocks.

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    1. But then how could we continue to destroy America? Just hypothetically.

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    2. Heck yaw tarnation kudzu pork gravy, y'all.

      The president is black. Get over it, okay?

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  13. 3 more years... oh it's gonna be long and bumpy but the US will rise again!

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    1. Then you'll have to put on a clean shirt. Be careful what you wish for.

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    2. (Cue banjo music)

      Yee-hawwww! Freedumz!

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  14. In 2010, according to the CDC, 914 children died due to "Unintentional Drowning." (Motor vehicle deaths accounted for over 3,200) 114 were killed due to unintentional firearm discharge. Don't get me wrong, these are all tragedies, but I do not expect children to be banned from swimming pools and lakes to reduce that number. From the age of 7 (mind you I'm 23), I fired a rifle more often than I went swimming and it wasn't because my dad coaxed me into it. At the end of the day, it falls on parents to teach their children how to be safe handling a firearm, just as it is their job to ensure their children know how to be safe while swimming. If it is appalling to you that these rifles are being advertised, shouldn't the advertisement of water parks and the sale of private hot-tubs and pools also be of concern? An unattended firearm is just as dangerous as an unattended swimming pool when children are involved... actually I believe a firearm could be safer, because it can be safe-guarded much easier.

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    1. Well, there's a cost/benefit analysis involved in all of this. Clearly cars, swimming pools, and many other things cause more child deaths than guns. But, in my view, these other things have far more redeeming value, so it's worth accepting the risk. Almost anything with a benign purpose can be dangerous if misused. Guns can be used safely, but they aren't truly benign -- at least not in the same sense as cars and swimming pools. In the hands of children, I believe that guns are inherently dangerous, and I find it remarkable that in this day and age kids are permitted to have access to them, supervised or not.

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