NRA rewrites fairy tales to arm the children

NRA rewrites fairy tales to arm the children

NRA rewrites fairy tales to arm the children

The NRA has rewritten childhood classics by inserting armed protagonists – the children have guns! And predictably, some “well-meaning” gun grabbers are not happy:

Critics accuse the NRA of undertaking a “campaign to arm children.”

“The NRA continues to stoop to new lows in the hopes of shoving guns into America’s youngest hands,” Dan Gross, president of the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence, said in a statement.

The gist of the modern twist on the fairy tales is that the children involved have been taught gun safety and are able to protect themselves from evil witches and Big Bad Wolves. The two fairy tales that have been transformed in stories supporting the Second Amendment are Hansel and Gretel and Little Red Riding Hood (NRA versions at the links).


Looking back on these stories, even sans firearms, they are quite terrifying! Small children lost in dark woods, with no food or heat, perhaps even abandoned by their parents, and facing insurmountable odds against cannibal old ladies and ravenous wild animals. That alone should be reason enough for trigger warnings galore! But giving a gun to a child is supposedly a new low.


I think that arming the children allows the stories to lose a bit of their charm, but it’s good to examine why adding a gun into that mix makes the story any more frightening. It really shouldn’t; using a gun is a practical response to a dangerous situation. Seeing a child with a gun could be a bit tenuous, but only because we don’t have a culture of teaching our children regularly about firearms. To most folks who live in the country, and only a few decades ago, teaching the young’uns how to shoot was a pretty normal experience.

The NRA rewrites also exclude any horrific demise of the antagonists – the witch is locked up and taken away, and the wolf is taken away by the huntsman, not stuffed with rocks after being cut open. No one gets eaten or burned alive. The new stories are far more benign than the original versions.

Here are some excerpts from the stories:

In “Little Red Riding Hood (Has a Gun),” released in January, Red and her grandmother defend themselves with guns.


An excerpt from the book:

“What big eyes you have,” Grandma gasped as she backed away.

“The better to see you with,” replied the wolf.

“What big ears you have,” She turned, with her back to the door.

“The better to hear you with,” the wolf said, coming ever closer.

“What big teeth you have!” Grandma said, as his fierce jaws came near.

“The better to eat you with!” the wolf threatened.

The wolf leaned in, jaws open wide, then stopped suddenly. Those big ears heard the unmistakable sound of a shotgun’s safety being clicked off. Those big eyes looked down and saw that grandma had a scattergun aimed right at him. He realized that Grandmother hadn’t been backing away from him; she had been moving towards her shotgun to protect herself and her home.

In “Hansel and Gretel (Have Guns),” released last week, the two siblings escape the witch’s cottage with the help of a rifle.


An excerpt from the book:

Hansel unlocked the cage and opened the door. The hinges gave a groan and the sound of the witch’s snoring stopped, the silence filling the room as they looked at each other in panic. Gretel got her rifle ready, but lowered it again when the snoring resumed.

The intent – to make gun safety and familiarity with firearms a routine experience – is a worthwhile objective, but I don’t think I’ll be reading these bedtime stories to my son anytime soon. Primarily because he’s 22 and doesn’t get tucked in anymore, but also because I’m kind of old fashioned, and I like the old tales just as they are.

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