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Anyone Surprised ‘My First Rifle’ Used By A 5 Year Old In Accidental Killing Of 2 Year Old Sister?

by David Badash on May 2, 2013

in Guns,News

Post image for Anyone Surprised ‘My First Rifle’ Used By A 5 Year Old In Accidental Killing Of 2 Year Old Sister?

Is anyone surprised that a rifle marketed to young children is the weapon used by a five-year old boy in the tragic accidental shooting death of his two year old sister?

The rifle is made by Pennsylvania-based Keystone Sporting Arms which sell it under the brand name Crickett Firearms, and is called, “My First Rifle,” which is marketed to children, and even comes available in a bright pink used in advertising designed to be attractive to girls.

Image: a Crickett brand “Padded Pink Gun Case”:

Crickett Firearms - My First Rifle - Youth Model 22 Rifles - Proudly Made In The USA

“A 5-year-old boy who was playing with a .22-caliber rifle accidentally shot and killed his 2-year-old sister in Cumberland County on Tuesday afternoon, according to a news release from the state police,” the Lexington Herald-Leader reports:

[Cumberland County Coroner Gary White] said the children’s mother was at home when the shooting occurred, and the gun was a gift the boy received last year.

“It’s a Crickett,” he said. “It’s a little rifle for a kid. …The little boy’s used to shooting the little gun.”

White said the gun was kept in a corner, and the family did not realize a shell had been left in it.

He said the shooting will be ruled accidental.

“Just one of those crazy accidents,” White said.

Keystone Sporting Arms, LLC - Home of Revolution Stocks, Chipmunk Rifles and Crickett Rifles

In a follow-up report, the Lexington Herald-Leader adds:

Trooper Billy Gregory, spokesman for the Columbia post, initially said Wednesday that he didn’t anticipate charges.

“We don’t see that there was neglect on anyone’s part,” Gregory said.

Later Wednesday, Gregory said, “It’s too early to know.”

Following the typical pattern of the NRA, the Crickett Facebook page apparently has been taken down.

“Clearly the issue of parental responsibility is at the center of this tragedy. But against the backdrop of the Newtown massacre and ongoing national debate over regulating firearms, it also points back to the big business of guns—including how the industry profits from products aimed at children,” Mark Follman at Mother Jones writes:

Business has boomed since the company’s inception in 1996, according to its website. In its first year, it had four employees and produced 4,000 rifles for kids; by 2008 it had greatly expanded its operations, with 70 employees and an output of 60,000 rifles a year. KSA’s site states that its goal is “to instill gun safety in the minds of youth shooters and encourage them to gain the knowledge and respect that hunting and shooting activities require and deserve.”

Follman also notes the Crickett website has a “Kids Corner” with images like these:

Crickett Firearms - My First Rifle - Youth Model 22 Rifles - Proudly Made In The USA-1


Yes, now is not the time to talk about gun control. Now is not the time to talk about gun control. Now is not the time to talk about gun control.

At some point, if we keep repeating that right-wing mantra, there won’t be many people left to disagree.

A note to the family who lost their daughter. We are truly saddened by your loss, and despite the fact that there is and will continue to be media attention surrounding this tragedy, we have purposely removed any reference to your family’s name out of respect.

The marketing of instruments of death — that is the sole purpose of guns, to shoot and to kill — to young children, is unconscionable. There’s a reason we no longer see ad campaigns — like Joe Camel — for cigarettes marketed to youngsters.

However, that said, I cannot help but state that I can think of few greater examples of child abuse than to create a situation that puts a child in the position of — for the rest of his or her life — knowing that they killed their sibling. That is a burden no child should ever have to bear.

But given the frequency of this, no one should be surprised when it happens, and no one can possibly say, “I never imagined this could happen.”

Image, top, via Crickett Rifles’ YouTube channel

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teeveedub May 2, 2013 at 11:35 am

Aiiiiy! The company that sells these guns claims to be promoting safety, but in the video, the mother aims the rifle at the son's head, and the daughter aims the rifle at the mother's head. Maybe there's some sort of buried Freudian symbolism in this, but it seems like that's breaking the first rule of firearms safety that the NRA is so fond of claiming they support – that is, "Don't ever point a gun at another person, even if you think it's not loaded."

MichaelR3491 May 2, 2013 at 11:54 am

“Just one of those crazy accidents,” White said.

Really Mr White? Just an accident? The gun was sitting in a corner…and loaded! This was neglect on the part of the parents. When you leave a weapon sitting out in the open for a 5 year old to pick and play with, unsupervised, you are an idiot. Maybe there was no criminal act, but these parents cannot and should not be exonerated for their behavior. The little boy will have to live with this for the rest of his life. The parents should be made to accept some measure of responsibility. And so should the gun company for marketing these things to kids.

Kiltedbear May 2, 2013 at 2:57 pm

Let's not forget about the second victim, the boy. This will be a scar he will carry the rest of his life and it wasn't his fault.

Coxhere May 2, 2013 at 3:43 pm

Well, let's just hope that those PINK rifles are kept out of the hands of young boys. It might "turn them Gay!" It's not such a big thing if a little girl were to pick up and play with one of those masculine, camo rifles. It doesn't matter so much if a lady-like little girl were to be turned Lesbian. As we all know, girls don't really matter. It's those little boys that we're all concerned about.

Mykelbarber May 2, 2013 at 8:33 pm

Evolution in action. One less brainwashed, rednecked religitard to fill the earth with bullshit and nonsense.

Serenifly May 2, 2013 at 8:46 pm

Clearly this wouldn't have happened if the two-year old had been armed too.

pjbfny May 5, 2013 at 5:57 pm

"“We don’t see that there was neglect on anyone’s part,” Gregory said."

A CHILD'S GUN was left, LOADED, ACCESSIBLE to the child. WHo was "playing" with it. Sorry, that's negligence.

There are two cardinal rules (with two subrules) of gun ownership.

1. A gun is ALWAYS assumed to be loaded.
1a. Even if you KNOW (absolutely, unequivocally, with 100% certainty) that the gun is unloaded, you still assume it's loaded and treat it as such.

2. A gun is not a TOY.
2a. Don't point it at anything you don't want to kill.

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