Guns and children don’t mix, but that hasn’t stopped the NRA from marketing guns to children, anyway, and their most recent attempt . . . well, let’s just call it “off-target.”
Before going further, I want to point out that this year alone, over 700 children ages 0 through 17 have died from gun violence. At 11 weeks into the year, that’s about 63 children a week dying from gun violence in the United States so far.
Just so we’re aware, 20 children died at Sandy Hook. That’s three Sandy Hook elementary massacres a week, every week, this entire year.
That’s not a fairy tale. That, sadly, is reality.
Not that the NRA would know. They’ve adopted a new form of political activism on their “family” channel that I see as a natural progression of their ongoing devolution: after spending the last 30 some years marketing fairy tales to adults, they’ve finally started marketing them to children:
The organization has decided that a number of fairy tales need a Second Amendment make-over, and the latest is their version of the famous story, “Hansel and Gretel (Have Guns).”
In this updated version of the old story, the twins are able to use their firearms knowledge to help their parents:
Fortunately, they had been taught how safely to use a gun and had been hunting with their parents most of their lives. They knew that, deep in the forest, there were areas that had never been hunted where they may be able to hunt for food. They knew how to keep themselves safe should they find themselves in trouble. The next morning, before dawn, they left a note for their parents, and gathered their hunting gear. They headed into the forest, grateful that they had the skills to help their family, and were old enough to go out on their own.
For those who don’t remember the original, they were taken out into the forest and left by their parents because there was a famine and their stepmother was a horrible person. Hunting doesn’t really help in either of those cases.
One of the re-occurring themes in the original story is that the children are cunning and intelligent, and they’re able to outwit their antagonists. The first few days, they outwit their parents because Hansel sneaks out and collects pebbles. The fourth morning, Hansel uses bread crumbs — not the best choice, but he couldn’t get pebbles again because his stepmother locked him in, so he had to work with what he had.
The children outsmart the witch, too. Hansel keeps the witch from eating him because he takes advantage of her blindness and a bone to trick her into thinking he’s still not fat enough to eat. When witch gets hungry anyway and commands Gretel to open the oven, Gretel pretends not to understand, so when the witch demonstrates how to open the oven, Gretel takes advantage of the situation and shoves the witch in.
But that’s cleverness and intelligence, and as we all know, America has no use for either of those:
Their parents were overjoyed to see them come home from their hunting trip with meat for the pot, and shocked to hear of their adventure in the witch’s cottage. After reuniting the boys with their parents, it was time to take on the witch…and get some hunting done in the meantime. Villagers, prepared with rifles and pistols, headed into the forest, Hansel and Gretel leading the way.
When they came upon the witch’s cottage, the sheriff locked her into the cage in which the boys had been locked just the night before, to be taken away so she could never harm another child. The sheriff stood guard as the villagers hunted, coming back with more game than they had been able to find in months. There in the woods, the village held a feast.
The witch’s cottage made for an excellent dessert.
Afterward, the sheriff went on to protest a Beyoncé concert, because #alllivesmatter.
There have been worse attempts to modernize Hansel and Gretel. In my opinion as a literary critic, I give this attempt “blatant, creepy Soviet-style propaganda” out of 10.
Feature image via Pixabay