They’re lightweight, come in pink and orange and have practically no recoil. According to a report, the U.S. gun industry plans to start aggressively pursuing underage kids as customers.
Reports from gun manufacturers show that they intend to increase marketing colorful handguns and rifles to minors in order to counter the effects of an aging main customer base; i.e., white males. Therefore, manufacturers are increasingly looking to children as an alternative, says the Violence Policy Center, an anti-gun organization. [The center] laid out a 54-page report showing that 6- to 12-year-olds are the new target audience of gun advertising.
Under the heading “aggressive efforts,” it lists gun manufacturers’ use of plastic parts in order to lessen the weight of guns, making them easier to handle even for 6-year-old children and reducing the recoil when they’re fired. Besides vibrant colors — among them a pink revolver for girls — the gun lobby is also encouraging parents to acquaint their children with guns and shooting at the earliest possible age.
U.S. statistics show that an average of seven children/teenagers are killed every day by guns. President Obama laments the “epidemic of gun violence” in the U.S. and has repeatedly tried to tighten gun laws, but has always failed in the face of congressional opposition.
The Violence Policy Center report gives several examples of how children are directly targeted: The manufacturer Cricket has launched a special campaign featuring an animal mascot named Davey Cricket along with the slogan, “My first rifle – quality firearms for America’s youth.” Here as well, the variety of guns is kept small but [the company] emphasizes that they are available in bright pink and orange. The journal “Shooting Sport Retailer” describes the campaign: “These guns bring the coolness and fun of the tactical rifle to kids and less serious shooters.”