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Guns, marketing & kids

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Letter to the Editor
Thursday, May 9, 2013, 8:55 p.m.
 

Guns, marketing & kids

Another gun tragedy involving children was reported by The Associated Press in the news story “Kentucky boy, 5, fires ‘my first rifle,' killing his toddler sister” (May 2 and TribLIVE.com).

The guns are made small now for little hands, in pink and blue, and marketed to kids not old enough to play most board games.

When I was a child, it was understood that a gun was something you had to grow into, both mentally and physically. It wasn't a toy. It wasn't something made for children.

I grew up in the 1950s, enjoying all the outdoor sports. I was never allowed near my father's guns until I was old enough to understand the dangers.

My first lesson in shooting was gun safety, care and cleaning. At 13, I was permitted to shoot a BB gun; at 16, I learned to shoot a .22-caliber rifle. After a lot of target practice, I began hunting small game.

Gun manufacturers back then sold to adults. With the help of the NRA's lobbyists, today they market to children.

The result? A dead 2-year-old and a 5-year-old with no little sister to play with and protect, but a tiny grave to visit often.

Charlene Gill

New Castle

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