On Tuesday, a five-year-old Kentucky boy accidentally shot and killed his two-year-old sister with a gun he’d been given as a birthday present. The weapon, a small rifle, was manufactured specifically for children’s use.
The boy’s weapon was a “My First Rifle” .22-caliber gun from Keystone Sporting Arms’ youth branch, Crickett. Crickett’s website markets itself “especially for youth shooters.” The firearms come in several neon colors, and the website even has a “kids corner” featuring pictures of small children with guns:
Crickett does not manufacture bullets. The company offers books for “Grades 2-3 and up,” and says their guns are “ideally sized for children four to ten years old.”
The militarization of children has been tragically spotlighted in the aftermath of the horrific shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary in Newtown, Connecticut last December. Since then, the country has paid heart-sickening attention to the myriad accidental shootings that have taken place around the country, and the growth of a market of bulletproof children’s clothing.
In one week alone last month, four people were shot by toddlers.