“Oh, what a big gun you have.”
March 25, 2016 4:41 PM   Subscribe

NRA [National Rifle Association] Rewrites Fairytales to Include Firearms. by David Barnett [The Guardian] The US pro-gun lobby is entertaining its younger members with its own take on classic fairytales, but they have a unique twist: firearms. The National Rifle Association’s nrafamily.com website is featuring the pro-firearms stories: Little Red Riding Hood (Has a Gun) & Hansel and Gretel (Have Guns) by Amelia Hamilton.
“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!”
posted by Fizz (89 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
 
"... and the amoral of the story is..."
posted by wormwood23 at 4:44 PM on March 25, 2016 [10 favorites]


This is corporate clickbait reverse psychology trolling. OMG, they gave Hansel and Gretel guns! And we all react, how horrible! Those mean and nasty NRA people! Then we go on Facebook and post about it. "Those NRA people are subhumans!" Then someone who supports the NRA goes, how dare you call me a subhuman! And that person donates.

And somewhere, a PR flack gets his wings.
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 4:45 PM on March 25, 2016 [43 favorites]


Funny how in the NRA stories the wolf and the witch are unarmed...
posted by Pope Guilty at 4:47 PM on March 25, 2016 [45 favorites]


Nothing new, the NRA has been pushing gun-centric fairytales for decades.
posted by ckape at 4:48 PM on March 25, 2016 [56 favorites]


“I don't think I’ll be eaten today,” said Grandma, “and you won't be eating anyone again.” 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. Grandma, startled by the sudden shout, accidentally discharged her shotgun, peppering Red's face with buckshot. Stunned by the horrible mess she'd just made of her grand-daughter, Grandma could not react as the wolf leaped for her throat. The wolf couldn’t believe his luck.
posted by dazed_one at 4:54 PM on March 25, 2016 [115 favorites]


Why would they ever need to do this? There are plenty of fairy tales that already involve guns! Here's one! There's even an edgy modern reboot!
posted by phooky at 4:54 PM on March 25, 2016 [1 favorite]


posted by Pope Guilty Funny how in the NRA stories the wolf and the witch are unarmed

Well, in another NRA fairytale, the witch rides in a helicopter and shoots the wolf.
posted by mattdidthat at 4:54 PM on March 25, 2016 [15 favorites]


I am very much against guns and gun culture. And as much as I find the politics of these particular interpretations of classic fairy tales to be distasteful. The fairy tale is a form of writing that allows society to project its culture, politics, fears, etc. upon. As Jack Zipes states:
“[Fairy tales] serve a meaningful social function, not just for compensation but for revelation: the worlds projected by the best of our fairy tales reveal the gaps between truth and falsehood in our immediate society.”
posted by Fizz at 4:57 PM on March 25, 2016 [7 favorites]


The depths to which this organization will sink have yet to be fully realized.

This reminds me of when I visited Wind Cave National Park and learned that the cave could possibly be among the longest in the world but like 90% of it or more had not been explored, and that was itself just an estimate.

Like, I just have no idea how bad this organization really is because they are always finding new and even shittier ways to be terrible.
posted by MoonOrb at 4:58 PM on March 25, 2016 [5 favorites]


Honestly, if this whole situation results (through a series of unforeseen coincidences and happenstances) in Wayne LaPierre's foot being encased in a boot of molten iron, I'll probably be OK with it.
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 5:03 PM on March 25, 2016 [6 favorites]


I'm disappointed at the deeply unimaginative titles. You couldn't spring for Little Red Riding Hood's Revolver? Hansel and Gretel and the Rifle of Metal? What a wasted opportunity.
posted by solarion at 5:07 PM on March 25, 2016 [3 favorites]


The Huntsman saw a suspicious hooded figure wandering through the woods. As he accidentally snapped a dry twig tailing the figure, it jerked, making a motion to beneath it's cloak. The Huntsman was later acquitted on the killing of Red Riding Hood based on the local Stand Your Ground law and the loaded gun she was carrying.

Later, the Huntsman saw a story about a local grandmother who died from a wolf attack. He lamented that if only she was armed she could have fought back, not knowing that the old lady had owned a gun and it was later traced to several crimes the wolf would commit afterward.
posted by ckape at 5:08 PM on March 25, 2016 [43 favorites]


Riflestiltskin
posted by escabeche at 5:11 PM on March 25, 2016 [28 favorites]


Goldiglocks and the three Berettas
posted by escabeche at 5:12 PM on March 25, 2016 [27 favorites]


I want to vomit.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 5:15 PM on March 25, 2016 [5 favorites]


Vomit... guns? To cleanse the world of brutals?
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 5:17 PM on March 25, 2016 [11 favorites]


And somewhere, a PR flack gets his wings.

Nah, we just drink lots of Red Bull for that.
posted by zarq at 5:18 PM on March 25, 2016 [2 favorites]


Ali Baba and the Forty Calibers.

Alice's Adventures in Gunnerland
posted by Splunge at 5:20 PM on March 25, 2016 [6 favorites]


Spoiler: Goldilocks ends tragically when Baby Bear accidentally shoots himself with the gun he found in Papa Bear's bedside drawer.
posted by Ursula Hitler at 5:22 PM on March 25, 2016 [6 favorites]


Just to be clear, I'm a gun owner I think this is disgusting. I'd do a question and answer thing in MetaTalk if anyone wants to ask me serious questions. Up to you all.
posted by Splunge at 5:22 PM on March 25, 2016 [1 favorite]


Hansel and Gunsel
posted by Greg_Ace at 5:22 PM on March 25, 2016 [8 favorites]


The only way to stop a bad guy with a wolf is a good guy with a wolf

A wolf-filled society is a polite society

etc. etc.

I prefer to believe that this is lazy satire because it is the only way I can sleep at night
posted by DoctorFedora at 5:23 PM on March 25, 2016 [4 favorites]


Did you know that back in the '60's when the wolves were carrying around a lot of guns for self protection that the NRA was actually in favor of gun control!!?! Ask Ronald Reagan!
posted by Mei's lost sandal at 5:23 PM on March 25, 2016 [15 favorites]


The Princess and the Pea-shooter
posted by Greg_Ace at 5:24 PM on March 25, 2016 [11 favorites]


I have nothing against registered, responsible gun ownership. Perpetuating the myth that the gun in someone's house is more likely to kill a home invader as opposed to the far more likely result of wounding or killing a resident of that house is deeply dangerous, however.
posted by dazed_one at 5:25 PM on March 25, 2016 [7 favorites]


Ragunzel
Puss in Bullets
posted by Behemoth at 5:34 PM on March 25, 2016 [2 favorites]


I assume they've updated them, Struwwelpeter style, to emphasize the gory results of playing with guns, right? Little Johnny Suck-a-barrel paints the walls?
posted by klangklangston at 5:40 PM on March 25, 2016 [5 favorites]


I think Roald Dahl nailed this thirty-odd years ago.
posted by tinkletown at 5:47 PM on March 25, 2016 [12 favorites]




One afternoon a big wolf waited in a dark forest for a little girl to come along carrying a basket of food to her grandmother. Finally a little girl did come along and she was carrying a basket of food. "Are you carrying that basket to your grandmother?" asked the wolf. The little girl said yes, she was. So the wolf asked her where her grandmother lived and the little girl told him and he disappeared into the wood.

When the little girl opened the door of her grandmother's house she saw that there was somebody in bed with a nightcap and nightgown on. She had approached no nearer than twenty-five feet from the bed when she saw that it was not her grandmother but the wolf, for even in a nightcap a wolf does not look any more like your grandmother than the Metro-Goldwyn lion looks like Calvin Coolidge. So the little girl took an automatic out of her basket and shot the wolf dead.

(Moral: It is not so easy to fool little girls nowadays as it used to be.)

-James Thurber, The Little Girl and the Wolf (1939)

edit: dammit, fearfulsymmetry!
posted by Guy Smiley at 5:52 PM on March 25, 2016 [15 favorites]


I think Roald Dahl nailed this thirty-odd years ago.

I've always loved that piece:
The small girl smiles. One eyelid flickers.
She whips a pistol from her knickers.
She aims it at the creature's head
And bang bang bang, she shoots him dead.
I like guns and am happy to own them, but damn do I get embarrassed by my fellow gun owners all the time. There are people who deserve to lose their second amendment rights for sheer poor taste and tackiness.
posted by Dip Flash at 5:56 PM on March 25, 2016 [3 favorites]


edit: dammit, fearfulsymmetry!

Heh, one of the very few things I can remember from one particular English teacher was him reading that out.
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 5:58 PM on March 25, 2016 [2 favorites]


Little Red Toddlergun
posted by Catblack at 5:59 PM on March 25, 2016


The Goldilocks story is a clear case of home invasion, and I look forward to reading a heartwarming revision in which the three bears invoke the castle doctrine and pop a cap in her ass.
posted by Sing Or Swim at 6:03 PM on March 25, 2016 [10 favorites]


They are trolling you. You have fallen for it.
posted by Jahaza at 6:14 PM on March 25, 2016 [2 favorites]


There was an old lady who lived in a shoe she had so many children she didn't know what to do. The FBI found out and recognized she was a religious cult leader and set up a barricade around the exterior of the shoe. During the ensuing standoff, 28 cult members lost their lives in a hail of gunfire. The remaining evaded arrest by suicide with their personal firearms.
posted by Nanukthedog at 6:28 PM on March 25, 2016 [13 favorites]


“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?

Side-Eye.jpg
posted by Ray Walston, Luck Dragon at 6:39 PM on March 25, 2016 [2 favorites]


Cinderella's life surely would've been so much easier if she'd been able to pop a cap or three in her abusive stepmother and stepsisters.

I recently read the original Grimms' fairy tales and was struck at how dark and macabre they were before Disney got a hold of them. I guess the author chose the two stories she did because they were among the most recognizable in their "sanitized for Hollywood" forms?
posted by fuse theorem at 6:42 PM on March 25, 2016 [1 favorite]


Uprooted (by gun violence)
posted by Bistle at 6:47 PM on March 25, 2016


So wait, in the Hansel and Gretel retelling, the witch doesn't have a gun? With which she holds off the sheriff inside her barricaded gingerbread house? Leading to a huge firefight...etc.

Ok, gunners, now do Bluebeard.
posted by telstar at 6:58 PM on March 25, 2016 [1 favorite]


Well, at least now the girls can teach Georgie Porgie some manners.
posted by leotrotsky at 7:10 PM on March 25, 2016 [6 favorites]


Mary, Mary, concealed carry
Where does your ammo go?
With drug cartels and cartridge shells
and hand grenades all set to blow.
posted by leotrotsky at 7:19 PM on March 25, 2016 [22 favorites]


Mary had a little lamb, little lamb, little lamb
Marry had a little lamb, whose fleece was ... OH MY GOD! SHE SHOT THE LAMB. THERES BLOOD EVERYWHERE, OH THE HUMANITY
posted by cacofonie at 7:24 PM on March 25, 2016 [5 favorites]


I recently read the original Grimms' fairy tales and was struck at how dark and macabre they were before Disney got a hold of them.

This happened long before Disney started remaking them. Imagine how macabre they were to begin with.
The first volumes were much criticized because, although they were called "Children's Tales", they were not regarded as suitable for children, both for the scholarly information included and the subject matter. Many changes through the editions, such as turning the wicked mother of the first edition in Snow White and Hansel and Gretel to a stepmother, were probably made with an eye to such suitability. They removed sexual references like Rapunzel innocently asking why her dress was getting tight around her belly, and thus naively revealing to her stepmother her pregnancy and the prince's visits. But in many respects, violence, particularly when punishing villains, was increased. [via Wikipedia, slightly edited]
posted by sneebler at 7:24 PM on March 25, 2016 [3 favorites]


Little pig, little pig, let me in...
No, no, not by the hair on my chinny-chin-chin.
Then I'll huff, and I'll puff - nah, screw that, I'm just gonna use my shotgun.
[Firefight ensues, passers-by are hospitalized, etc.]
posted by RedOrGreen at 7:26 PM on March 25, 2016 [1 favorite]


What bothers me is that America wants total freedom for weapons manufacturers to sell firearms within the US, and at the same time the US is by far the world's largest arms dealer. Both of these things are fabulous for the American economy, and we get a free lesson in the evils of regulation. That's the fairy tale we should be worrying about.
posted by sneebler at 7:34 PM on March 25, 2016


There are plenty of fairy tales that already involve guns!

And yet there are so many that don't!

Goldilocks Goes Bear Hunting
The Princess and the Pistol
Revenge of the Gingerbread Man
Alice's Shooting Spree in Wonderland
Armed Standoff at the Little Pig's House
Rapunzel and the Sniper Rifle
The Little Prince and His Well-Regulated Militia
The Lion, the Bear, and the Well-Armed Fox
Curious George Finds a Shotgun
Peter Rabbit and the Garden Defense Corps
posted by sfenders at 7:44 PM on March 25, 2016 [1 favorite]


Jack and Jill went up the hill
To fetch a pail of water
Jack fell down,
And broke his crown
And Jill put two more in him
To make sure
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 8:12 PM on March 25, 2016 [25 favorites]


Nothing new, the NRA has been pushing gun-centric fairytales for decades.

That's really a great way to put it. These stories highlight how much easier it is to tell the self-defense gun-owner fantasy in a world where the bad guys are talking wolves.
posted by little onion at 8:15 PM on March 25, 2016


Imagine how macabre they were to begin with.

What I read was an English translation of the original 1812 edition and many of the stories were indeed rather lurid. However, I think a lot of that stuff would've gone over kids' heads. Either way, I imagine many if not most NRA members would think that fairy tales with sexual innuendo are far more dangerous to children than ones with guns.
posted by fuse theorem at 8:20 PM on March 25, 2016


There was a little girl
Who had a little curl
Right in the middle of her forehead
It made an excellent target
posted by Daily Alice at 8:47 PM on March 25, 2016 [9 favorites]


Simple Simon met a pieman going to the fair
Simple Simon shot the pieman but he didn't even want any pie
posted by Daily Alice at 8:53 PM on March 25, 2016 [1 favorite]


This little piggy went to market,
This little piggy stayed home,
This little piggy had roast beef,
This little piggy had none,
And the piggy who had none was so pissed off at the other piggies that he blew them away and had pork and roast beef sandwiches for dinner.
posted by Daily Alice at 8:56 PM on March 25, 2016 [1 favorite]


Once upon a time...BOOM POW RATTATATATATATAT POP POP POP KA-POWWW BLAM BLAM BLAM BLAM BLAM BLAM. The end. Sleep tight!
posted by Greg_Ace at 9:22 PM on March 25, 2016 [1 favorite]


Hansel and Gunsel

How gay of them.
posted by CheeseDigestsAll at 9:26 PM on March 25, 2016 [2 favorites]


I've actually taken many courses via the NRA over the years, including my original Hunter Education course and other safety and marksmanship classes. And the instructors have uniformly been volunteers, been really nice and really good teachers and really, really focused on safety and ethics in hunting. When you are volunteer teaching a 2 day long course entirely focused on being a better more humane hunter with perfect skills in respecting landowners and the public, you are pretty into ethics in hunting. We were taught to cover up meat as soon as possible and never display antlers on your car after a trip because some of the public finds it distressing to see dead animal parts. And in an entirely compassionate and non-judgemental way, zero snark. Never take a risky shot, never be a yahoo. We were encouraged to donate to conservation causes so often the instructor had to stop themselves. We were taught how to deal with any injured or baby animals we found, because it's our responsibility as hunters to take care of wildlife. We were drilled on shooting because if you injure an animal through poor shooting you may as well just build a McMansion in a wetland, buy a hummer and be a total asshole. Lunch topics tended to include things like solar power, baking and some mild competition regarding numbers of dogs rescued (lifetime total). It's the most benign group of people I've ever met. And politically diverse too, at that time.

It's just hard to reconcile this experience with the Crazy that the NRA public wing is. I've resisted ever buying a membership because of this and I've heard lots of people are dropping out. It would be a shame to lose the tradition of mentoring people in good stewardship. Lots of outdoor sports and pursuits could use that, quite frankly. Maybe the hunters can split off the NRA and form their own group. I know the various Turkey and Sheep and Elk groups are already kind of doing that.
posted by fshgrl at 9:35 PM on March 25, 2016 [19 favorites]


How much
is that Ruger
In the window.
posted by clavdivs at 10:57 PM on March 25, 2016 [4 favorites]


For sale. Toddler holster. Never worn.
posted by tilde at 11:30 PM on March 25, 2016 [17 favorites]


Hey diddle diddle the cat and the fiddle, the cow jumped over the moon. The little dog laughed to see such sport and the while the dish intended to run away with the spoon, it never happened because nobody did an appropriate background check on the little dog who thanks to loopholes in the Brady Bill was able to purchase a firearm at a gun show and shoot the fiddle because it disagreed with what it considered a non traditional marriage between instrument and feline. The cow expected to stay longer at the moon, but had no choice but to return early to support the cat through the grief of losing the one he loved. Dish and spoon returned home in fear of violence, not because their relationship wasn't approved of, but because dish was not actually a dish and was a teenage pregnant knife. She eventually made it across state lines on her own, to a place where she could get her abortion. Unfortunately, Dish was attacked outside the abortion clinic and did not survive two fatal gunshots. Spoon found out and returned home and shot himself, wracked with guilt that he was too afraid to stand with and protect his former girlfriend knife and her right to chose.

Tragedy.
posted by Nanukthedog at 12:18 AM on March 26, 2016 [6 favorites]


I think it's worth taking a moment to take in the full dystopian glory of the NRA Family logo.
posted by bwerdmuller at 1:23 AM on March 26, 2016


Well the third little piggy, the grade A student.
His daddy was a rock star, named Pig Nugent.
...
Little Pig, Little Pig, let me in.
Not by the hair of my chinny, chin, chin!
Little Pig, little pig, let me in.
Not by the hair of my chinny, chin, chin!
Well I'm huffing, I'm puffing
...
piggy's house stood.
"It's made out of concrete!" The little piggy shouted.
The wolf just frowned, as he pouted.
So they called nine-eleven, like any piggy would.
The sent out Rambo, just as fast, as they could.
"Yo, wolf-face, I'm your worst nightmare, your ass is mine!"

Green Jelly
posted by ridgerunner at 1:55 AM on March 26, 2016 [2 favorites]


Once upon a time there was a fearful man who had heard there were bad guys all coming for him, and he tried and he tried to keep the bad guys away, so every day he slept with a gun and he woke with a gun and he carried a gun and he put away a gun, but the bad guys never came for him and the fear never left him. Then one day the man accidentally fired his gun, and before the man knew it a hot little bullet as fast as could be went zoom down the gun barrel and zoom through the man's wall and zoom through the neighbor's wall and zoom through a soft little child who was listening to a story that started with, Once upon a time...
posted by pracowity at 2:10 AM on March 26, 2016 [7 favorites]


Oh hey, it's my friend David who wrote this article!
posted by Kitteh at 3:34 AM on March 26, 2016


There's the sequel to Dahl's Red Riding Hood, The Three Little Pigs. Relevant quote:
Once more the maiden's eyelid flickers.
She draws the pistol from her knickers.
Once more she hits the vital spot,
And kills him with a single shot.
Pig, peeping through the window, stood
And yelled, 'Well done, Miss Riding Hood!'

Ah, Piglet, you must never trust
Young ladies from the upper crust.
For now, Miss Riding Hood, one notes,
Not only has two wolfskin coats,
But when she goes from place to place,
She has a PIGSKIN TRAVELING CASE
The only thing that can stop a girl with a gun is a pig with a gun?
posted by Hactar at 6:57 AM on March 26, 2016 [4 favorites]


Dear NRA: Please don't write any more fan fiction.
posted by Monochrome at 8:27 AM on March 26, 2016 [1 favorite]


Oh, you guys! Fairy tales have been rewritten a thousand ways for a thousand years. This is not the Barbarians At The Gates you think it is. It's gimmicky, but meant more for fun than serious - like the Politically Correct Fairy Tales book, or that gingerbread book whose name I can't recall that is "updated for modern audiences".

I do really enjoy the feminism at the bottom of the Riding Hood story - where the guy comes along and the ladies have already rescued themselves! That's nice to see, and kind of warms the cockles of my heart that a "very conservative blogger" still has embraced women's self reliance enough that it makes it in.
posted by corb at 10:06 AM on March 26, 2016 [2 favorites]


The fact is, we're all telling fairy tales here. If you own a gun, you're more likely to hurt someone in your house than to defend them with it, but both are very, very unlikely. A huge number of people in this country own guns and only a tiny fraction if them ever hurt anyone.

When everyone you know has a gun, and none of them have ever had an accident, the warnings of doom seem just as fantastical as the Dirty Harry tales.
posted by straight at 10:25 AM on March 26, 2016 [4 favorites]


It's gimmicky, but meant more for fun than serious - like the Politically Correct Fairy Tales book, or that gingerbread book whose name I can't recall that is "updated for modern audiences".

Ha ha no. It is nothing like those at all. Those are jokes for grownups. This is propaganda aimed at children.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 10:38 AM on March 26, 2016 [1 favorite]


This is propaganda aimed at children.

But how much worse is this than the kind of proscriptive morality that was being written into those first fairy tales as written by the Brothers Grimm or Perrault. These particular interpretations go against my own personal politics but as corb wrote up above, it's not unheard of, there's a long history of this.
posted by Fizz at 10:55 AM on March 26, 2016 [1 favorite]


Sure! There is a long history of people being awful! This is just more of people being really, really fucking awful.
posted by MoonOrb at 10:57 AM on March 26, 2016 [2 favorites]


The itsy bitsy spider went up the waterspout
Down came the rain and washed the spider out
Out came the sun and dried up all the rain
And the man with the spout gut-shot the home invader.
posted by box at 11:39 AM on March 26, 2016 [2 favorites]


When everyone you know has a gun, and none of them have ever had an accident, the warnings of doom seem just as fantastical as the Dirty Harry tales.

Having grown up in the land of yes, literally all of the households around you contain some number of firearms, there's some truth to this. There are plenty of fucked-up things about baseline gun culture in the US—a lot of the messing around with guns that kids in the country get up to boils down to "let's see how many little animals we can kill for no purpose whatever"—but I'm also not sure that that kind of baseline gun culture actually has very much to do with the kind of paranoia that the modern-day NRA seems to exist to nurture.

Shooting was an expected part of life in the rural midwest, but I don't remember an absurd and delusional focus on its value residing in the potential to do violence to humans. I remember having it drummed into me from an early age that you never point a gun at a human, that the gun is always loaded, that even if you have made sure it's not loaded you never carry it in such a way that an accidental discharge would injure anyone, that this was one of the dangerous instrumentalities (knives, axes, chainsaws, ATVs, farm equipment, grain storage) that you had to treat with respect or Bad Shit would happen. The "fable" about firearms I remember hearing from an elderly relative when I was little went like "once upon a time there was a little boy and he was playing with a toy gun and he pointed it at his sister and the gun went off and she died because it was a real gun". (I'm maybe still a little scarred from some of Aunt Frannie's storytelling.)

So yeah. Sometimes in these conversations I get a little bit "ok, hold on a sec" about some of the recitals of various anti-gun / anti-gun-ownership tropes. If the day comes when I move back out onto the middle-of-nowhere plains or up into the middle-of-nowhere mountains, I'll probably own a rifle, for utilitarian reasons having nothing to do with some kind of fantasy justified-murder trip. Some day I'll probably take care of a set of firearms that have been in my family for a few generations, and there's something that I really like in that idea.

But back to the NRA. As much as they make noise about safety, training, and responsibility, they in fact seem primarily to be a marketing/propaganda symbiote on a deeply pathological industry and an ever-more-fucked-up nexus of the obscene American cult of redemptive violence in a situation where, statistically, weapons intended to do (or at least threaten) lethal action against humans do vastly more harm than good. If the ever-more-polarized political landscape in this country eventually deteriorates into widespread open violence between factions, these poisonous fuckers will own plenty of the blame.

Good work on the nursery rhymes, MetaFilter.
posted by brennen at 11:50 AM on March 26, 2016 [4 favorites]


For sale. Toddler holster. Never worn.

Can I suggest, in that vein:

"Toddler's revolver. Fired once. Highest price."
posted by the quidnunc kid at 12:24 PM on March 26, 2016 [5 favorites]


Here's a little story about gun-loving turtle who is mad at a well-meaning lame duck.
posted by homunculus at 1:05 PM on March 26, 2016


I do really enjoy the feminism at the bottom of the Riding Hood story

I came to the idea a while ago that Little Red Ridinghood is of course a tale of a young girls journey into womanhood. Whereas the wolf is a construct of a consumptive and sublimating patriarchal masculinity in Red's mind. When Red first meets the wolf in the woods she doesn't seem to have a problem with him because in actuality she is just meeting the woodsman again, or perhaps another, but is simply recognizing him for who he is. When she finally gets to her grandmother's home she is surprised to understand both the fluidity of gender, and also the encompassing nature that patriarchy can take. The wolf did not kill Red on the road because it wanted to trap her in a patriarchal role designated as a housekeeper, as the grandmother had already been. I personally like happy endings and prefer the notion that she rejects the construct by killing it and/or escaping it to find her own path.
posted by P.o.B. at 1:11 PM on March 26, 2016 [5 favorites]


the warnings of doom seem just as fantastical as the Dirty Harry tales

First off, they aren't warnings of doom, more like warnings against spreading the lie that owning a gun will save you from anyone meaning to do you harm.

Secondly, the "your own gun is dangerous" warning can't seem just as fantastical as the heroic vigilante myth, for as you said earlier in your comment, the gun in your house is more likely to harm a resident than defend one.
posted by dazed_one at 1:46 PM on March 26, 2016 [2 favorites]


IIRC, Gretel managed to dispatch the witch sans firearm, yes?
posted by mandolin conspiracy at 2:02 PM on March 26, 2016 [1 favorite]


Secondly, the "your own gun is dangerous" warning can't seem just as fantastical as the heroic vigilante myth, for as you said earlier in your comment, the gun in your house is more likely to harm a resident than defend one.

Statistically, yes. But if neither one has happened to anyone you know, it's pretty hard to develop an accurate gut feeling about the issue based on statistical differences.

I'm way more likely to be hurt in an auto accident, but I'm not afraid of riding in a car the way I am of a lot of much less-likely dangers.
posted by straight at 2:52 PM on March 26, 2016 [1 favorite]


The problem is the "gun is more dangerous to people in your house" trope includes suicides, which people have really, really different, equally valid moral values about - some people believe all life is precious and we should do everything we can to prevent suicides, even if it winds up being a bit paternalistic. Other people believe that bodily autonomy is a really important value and no one should tell you what choices to make with your own body. I really don't want to get into "who's right, who's wrong" because I think it's a pointless battle. But when you don't count suicides, there are vanishingly few fatal accidents or times when guns were turned on the homeowner. I don't even know anyone who has "known a guy who knew a guy". And so it's perfectly reasonable for people to reject that narrative.

So yeah, to some extent all of the stories we tell, all of us, are about the things we fear and value most and have little relation to the prevalence of those things. Who is waiting in the deep dark forest? Who will do something about them? How? What values should we embody? Should we help ourselves, or wait for rescue? Should we use violence? If so, how much is appropriate?

I am staggeringly unlikely to give my children these fairy tales, mostly because they are poorly written and hit you over the head. But I'd be happy to tell a story where Little Red Riding Hood is the one with the ax. And from there, what's the problem with making it a gun? In both cases, you're saying, "It's okay to defend yourselves and your family. You don't have to go quietly just because you're vulnerable. If you have to kill someone to prevent yourself from being raped and possibly killed, that's okay." It's only a difference of tools.
posted by corb at 7:12 PM on March 26, 2016 [2 favorites]


Then the animals took counsel together how they should manage to drive away the robbers, and at last they thought of a plan. The donkey was to place himself with his fore-feet upon the window-ledge, the hound was to jump on the donkey's back, the cat was to climb upon the dog, and lastly the cock was to fly up and point his semi-automatic handgun, kept strictly for self-defense, at the robbers.

When this was done, at a given signal, they began to perform their music together. The donkey brayed, the hound barked, the cat mewed, and the cock brandished his Glock. Then they burst through the window into the room, shattering the glass.

At this horrible din, the robbers sprang up, thinking no otherwise than that a ghost had come in, and fled in a great fright out into the forest.

Afterwards, the animals celebrated their success by drinking a great amount of beer and wine. The donkey brayed, the hound barked, the cat mewed, and when the cock went to re-enact their moment of great victory by brandishing his handgun, it discharged, killing the donkey.

They all had donkey stew for supper.
posted by MoonOrb at 7:32 PM on March 26, 2016 [1 favorite]


when you don't count suicides, there are vanishingly few fatal accidents or times when guns were turned on the homeowner

This is from a study by the Violence Policy Centre, which is heavily in favor of firearms registration, but it claims that in 2010 there were "230 justifiable homicides involving a private citizen using a firearm reported to the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s Uniform Crime Reporting (UCR) Program as detailed in its Supplementary Homicide Report (SHR) That same year, there were 8,275 criminal gun homicides tallied in the SHR. In 2010, for every justifiable homicide in the United States involving a gun, guns were used in 36 criminal homicides. And this ratio, of course, does not take into account the thousands of lives ended in gun suicides (19,392) or unintentional shootings (606) that year."

So, 230 incidents of people defending themselves or their home with their gun and 606 incidents of people accidentally shooting themselves or someone else. It's a shame I couldn't find how many of the guns used in those 8,275 criminal homicides were stolen or legally obtained guns, but I'd reckon it was greater than zero.

it's pretty hard to develop an accurate gut feeling about the issue based on statistical differences

Good. We shouldn't try and base decisions about lethal devices on gut feelings. We should try looking at statistics.
posted by dazed_one at 10:52 PM on March 26, 2016 [4 favorites]


"They all had donkey stew for supper."

BUT GUN SOUP IS EVEN BETTER WITH ONIONS|CARROTS|BULLETS
posted by klangklangston at 1:40 AM on March 27, 2016


Little Red Shooting Hood?
posted by Splunge at 12:05 PM on March 27, 2016


HARD LIQUOR AND HANDGUN NIGHT.

Re-load seminar
Scope adjustment workshops
1st-4th amendment symposia
Leather work and shoulder holsters
Hot dogs and balloons for the kids
posted by clavdivs at 12:27 PM on March 27, 2016


So, 230 incidents of people defending themselves or their home with their gun and 606 incidents of people accidentally shooting themselves or someone else. It's a shame I couldn't find how many of the guns used in those 8,275 criminal homicides were stolen or legally obtained guns, but I'd reckon it was greater than zero.

This is NOT the sum total of defensive gun uses. Most of these do not result in the gun even being fired-once the perpetrator of the crime becomes aware that the victim has means to defend themselves decisively they usually just go away. The numbers on this range from about 80,000 a year to 500,000 a year (depending on the source/survey method/the political biases of the researcher). The low number is an estimate from the latest CDC study on gun and society. The high number is the lowest estimate I have seen from researchers sympathetic to gun rights.

And the research on a gun being much more likely to harm a member of the house (usually expanded to include friends/acquaintances of the household) is based on study that pretty much boils down to the following reasoning-If a person is killed in a house with a gun how likely is it that the gun was used. Turns out this is pretty likely because, if you want to murder someone, a gun is an effective tool. The urge to murder exists outside of, and independent of, the gun (or any other tool used for this purpose). This measurement is going to give you a very high positive correlation to guns=murder.

If the gun ownership rate in the US is somewhere between 35-40% (a commonly cited number) that means (roughly) 100 million people live in households with guns in them. A vanishingly small number of them are also household that murders occur in, and murders (with or without a gun) are NOT evenly distrubuted across all households either.

And this all goes back to being aware of who is pushing the number and their polictical agenda. Citing a study from the VPC (which is not a gun registration organization-they are on record as wanting to BAN guns and criminalize guns and gun ownership) is just as bogus as statistics from the NRA or any other single issue focused organization.

And as a quick aside-the NRA is NOT an organization for the gun industry they represent gun owners and their membership has grown by over a million since the current administration begin beating the drum about exciting new ways to criminalize gun ownership. They do act on measures to protect and ensure the viability of the gun industry because their membership wants that. The industry is represented by the National Shooting Sports Foundation.
posted by bartonlong at 11:55 AM on March 28, 2016 [2 favorites]


They might as well be an agency for the gun industry, though. It's sort of a distinction without a difference to argue otherwise.
posted by MoonOrb at 12:16 PM on March 28, 2016 [1 favorite]


Actually there are some pretty significant differences. For example - background checks for private sales. This is something the gun industry would probably support if they could find a way to do it behind the scenes - because every used gun sold is a new gun not bought, and they already have background checks on all new guns, so they want price parity. So which way the NRA jumps on that is a useful indicator - and how hard. This is why you have some turmoil between people who think the NRA favors industry vs owners.
posted by corb at 12:58 PM on March 28, 2016


if you want to murder someone, a gun is an effective tool

Very true. It's much easier to murder someone with a gun than with almost any other means. The easy availability of guns in the United States is one of the reasons why the homicide rate there is higher than in countries with a comparable standard of life, at 3.8 per 100,000 people versus 1.6 in Canada, 1.1 in Australia, 1.0 in the UK and France, 0.9 in Italy, Austria and New Zealand, 0.8 in Germany and 0.3 in Japan [United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime].

I understand that a lot of Americans do not want to give up their guns and that culture is going to be very difficult if not impossible to change, but to argue that guns are not a danger to oneself and the people nearby and to promote the idea that private ownership of a gun will somehow reduce crime is contrary to the statistics.
posted by dazed_one at 6:34 PM on March 28, 2016 [2 favorites]


Citing a study from the VPC (which is not a gun registration organization-they are on record as wanting to BAN guns and criminalize guns and gun ownership) is just as bogus as statistics from the NRA

The numbers in the quoted part of the study come from the FBI, by the way.
posted by dazed_one at 6:48 PM on March 28, 2016


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