The indoctrination of children to serve an organization’s agenda is nothing new, nor is the NRA’s agenda to make sure that every man, woman and child is a gun-loving, open-carrying Yosemite Sam. We all have our goals.
But the NRA sunk to a new low last month when it partnered with writer Amelia Hamilton to publish her fairy tale re-writes that suppose the main characters had guns.
The first and only installment, so far, is called “Little Red Riding Hood (Has a Gun).” In this version, Red is given a rifle on her latest birthday, shown how to use it, and carries it when she goes walking in the woods to her grandmother’s house. The wolf harasses Red, then sees the rifle and runs away. Of course the wolf shows up at grandma’s and she’s locked and loaded too, so that’s it. The wolf never stood a chance. Guns save the day.
Sure, it’s just a fairy tale, but fairy tales are classically cautionary tales to teach children lessons. "Little Red Riding Hood," for instance, teaches stranger danger. But the new lesson from the NRA is that if you teach your kid how to use a gun and give them one, you can send them out into the world, alone, and they got this. As a mother and sane person, I’m just saying, that’s so stupid. Also, I know and love responsible gun owners and even they disagree with that sentiment. Because it’s fucking stupid.
This move by the NRA is particularly heinous because fairy tales really are for younger kids, like the ones who were massacred at Sandy Hook, who were the same age as my oldest son is now. That incident will forever haunt the thoughts of every single person who loves a child, including gun enthusiasts, but no one in their right mind said, “Yeah, if only those 6-year-old kids were taught how to use guns and were packing that day...” Actually, that does sound like something the NRA establishment might say. Zealotry at its finest.
The bottom line is that guns and small children are never a good combination — not even in the same sentence, much less in fairy tales.
Publishing stories that make guns the answer to navigating life’s dicey situations is akin to teaching kids that being armed is more vital to their well-being than taking precaution and being critical thinkers.
Maybe the NRA is on to something, and it is time for some new fairy tales. I’d like to see the cautionary tale that warns kids about organizations who trick little children into buying into the fear that if they don’t believe in or live by the tenets of that organization, they’re doomed. After all, the big bad wolf wears many disguises.