The NRA Family site has found a perfect way to advertise the power of guns to children. As if constant exposure to gun violence from every angle isn’t enough, a conservative author has taken it upon herself to re-write classic children’s tales, like Little Red Ridinghood, to include the “power” of guns.
The classic tale, adapted over and over again by many different people, has been used to entertain children for a very long time. This adaptation is also aimed at children, only the purpose is to encourage them to be armed, because guns solve problems. (Ignoring that armed children are not a good idea.)
With a shiver, she burrowed into her cloak, her breath making clouds in the frozen air. Deep into the woods Red went, playing a game with herself to see how many animal footprints she could recognize in the snow. “Deer,” she quietly said to herself, “squirrel.” She turned as another set of footprints caught her eye, and gasped. Those footprints cast in snow were undeniably the tracks of a wolf. They were fresh, so Red knew the wolf couldn’t have gotten far. Red felt the reassuring weight of the rifle on her shoulder and continued down the path, scanning the trees, knowing that their shadows could provide a hiding place.
This shameless move to advertise guns to youth, especially in light of the current epidemic of school shootings, is patently ridiculous. The author, a self-described “patriot,” Amelia Hamilton, doesn’t seem to see advertising guns to young children, as a way to solve one’s problems, as incendiary nor ridiculous. In fact, she has a growing collection of these grotesque and ludicrous stories, a series which she calls “Growing Patriots.”
Here is an excerpt from Little Red’s meeting with the wolf:
Their eyes met. Red had known he was there but, seeing the glint in his eye and his terrible smile, her heart skipped a beat. This was the biggest, baddest wolf Red had ever seen. His wolfish smile disappeared for a moment when his eyes fell on her rifle. He stayed in the shelter of the trees as he called out to her.
“Hello there,” he tried to sound friendly, but Red knew that this wolf could not be trusted. She responded with a polite “hello,” and kept on her way, staying aware of his location, but never meeting his eyes.
“Where are you going all alone?” The wolf tried to keep her talking, tried to convince her he was a friendly wolf, tried to get this young girl within the range of his snapping jaws.
“I don’t talk to strangers,” Red replied, never straying from her path.
The wolf followed along, staying in the shelter of the trees, trying to get Red to respond. As she grew increasingly uncomfortable, she shifted her rifle so that it was in her hands and at the ready. The wolf became frightened and ran away.
The NRA Family web page introduces this story, with the sad title Little Red Riding Hood (Has a Gun), as if it were somehow different and empowering because it ends with the wolf vanquished and Little Red and Grandma safe and sound due to guns, not the wits or intelligence of any of the players.
Editor’s Note: Most of us probably grew up having fairy tales read to us as we drifted off to sleep. But how many times have you thought back and realized just how, well, grim some of them are? Did any of them ever make your rest a little bit uneasy? Have you ever wondered what those same fairy tales might sound like if the hapless Red Riding Hoods, Hansels and Gretels had been taught about gun safety and how to use firearms? The author of this piece, Amelia Hamilton has—and NRA Family is proud to announce that we’ve partnered with the author to present her twist on those classic tales. We hope you and your children enjoy this first installment!
Sadly, the fact that Little Red Ridinghood was a story that was meant to teach children not to engage strangers or enter unsafe areas doesn’t seem to enter the authors gun-smoke haze of second amendment pride. Ignoring that a child (who the author calls a young lady instead of girl — nice try at making it seem ok to teach children to use guns to solve their problems instead of brains) should not be armed and alone, the story centers around Little Red, her rifle, her sick grandmother and her grandmother’s shotgun. Completed by action star-esque lines like “I don’t think I’ll be eaten today,” said Grandma, “and you won’t be eating anyone again,” the short tale skirts murder by emphasizing intimidation.
After Little Red scares off the wolf with a simple shift of a gun from her shoulders to her hands, because wolves are scared of firearms, the rest of her trip was cake. Not only ignoring the fact that many threats won’t just run away from you, and continuing the delusional tripe that the story is better with guns, the author tries again to show that a gun is a clean and simple way to force others to leave you alone.
Grandma kept her gun trained on the wolf, who was too scared to move. Before long, he heard a familiar voice call “Grandmother, I’m here!” Red peeked her head in the door. The wolf couldn’t believe his luck—he had come across two capable ladies in the same day, and they were related! Oh, how he hated when families learned how to protect themselves.
The propaganda is so thick that only the NRA would ever think that this is something that we should actually expose impressionable children to, or even see the need to arm two characters in a story that already survive their tale. The wolf never did win this one, but now it is told in a way to make children think that without a gun we are powerless victims.
Way to teach kids problem-solving skills! Let’s hope they don’t decide to bring their family gun to school to solve their problems for them!
Feature image via Roman Catholic Imperialist