There have been youth models of firearms probably almost as long as there have been guns. It’s actually one thing the gun control crowd is usually silent about. Maybe they’re unfamiliar with them or maybe they just don’t care that much, but either way, they haven’t said boo about them.
However, a new firearm seen by many for the first time at SHOT Show last week now has the usual suspects freaking out.
Gun control advocates on Wednesday sharply condemned an Illinois-based company for recently unveiling the JR-15, a long rifle inspired by the AR-15 but marketed for children.
Although it is under 2.5 pounds and 20% smaller than the standard version, the JR-15 “operates just like Mom and Dad’s gun,” WEE1 Tactical said in a statement. The weapon “functions like a modern sporting rifle,” but its “lightweight and rugged polymer construction and ergonomics are geared towards children.”
WEE1 Tactical launched the JR-15 earlier this month at an annual trade show sponsored by the National Shooting Sports Foundation, which is based in Newtown, Connecticut—where a gunman with an AR-15 murdered 26 people at Sandy Hook Elementary School in 2012.
“The callousness of the National Shooting Sports Foundation to promote a children’s version of the same type of assault rifle that was used in a horrific mass shooting of 20 first graders and six educators in our shared community is just the latest proof that the organization, and the gun manufacturers it represents, will do anything in pursuit of continued profits,” Po Murray, chairwoman of the Newtown Action Alliance, said Wednesday.
Except, as previously noted, youth guns have been around for ages.
Look, this is a .22 long rifle version of the AR-15. These have been around for a while also, and because the AR-15 is so adaptable to people of various sizes, no one’s bothered to make a youth rifle before, at least that I can recall.
What Murray is apparently objecting to is the fact that waiting 10 years after a shooting is somehow not long enough. After all, she’s the one who invoked Sandy Hook into the conversation. A decade after the shooting, horrible as it was, and we’re still supposed to tip-toe over her sensitive feelings? I don’t think so.
So what’s the big deal?
Note, again, that this is a .22, about the most innocuous round you can find. It’s not a great option for self-defense, but it’s fine for small game or target shooting. It’s a firearm a kid can use at the range with Mom and Dad without having to make adjustments. This is nothing to freak out over.
After all, there’s no outrage over the fact that you can get a youth stock for a Ruger 10/22 and have for some time. That, too, is a magazine-fed, semi-automatic rifle chambered in the exact same round. So why is this, as one person described it, “grotesque?”
Because, as per usual, it’s not about the function of the rifle, but the appearance. It’s scary. It looks like an AR-15, and that’s more than these folks can handle.
Frankly, I’m thinking about getting one for my daughter, and only a little bit because it’ll make these same folks howl.