Democrat senators target JR-15 marketing

AP Photo/Lisa Marie Pane

The JR-15 is little more than an AR-15 that is made a bit smaller for smaller shooters, namely kids. We all know that teaching gun safety and marksmanship at an early age does a lot to help kids grow up into responsible people when they’re around firearms.


They’re generally far less likely to do something stupid when they find a gun laying around because they know better.

But for some anti-gunners, the idea of a firearm designed for children is so vile, that they want the company investigated.

Eleven Democratic Senators are demanding that the Federal Trade Commission launch an investigation into the marketing of guns to children, specifically focusing on a company marketing an “AR-15 style” weapon for kids.

The letter, which will be sent on Wednesday, continues gun control advocates’ new strategy of focusing on the marketing of firearms. Earlier this year, families of some of the victims of the 2012 Newtown Elementary School massacre settled with gunmaker Remington for $74 million after arguing the company’s marketing had targeted troubled men.

The FTC has the power to investigate “unfair or deceptive” marketing. The senators, led by Massachusetts Democrat Ed Markey, argue that the marketing of guns to children is inherently “unfair,” even if there is nothing deceptive about a company’s advertising. They specifically point to a new company, WEE1 Tactical, that has started selling a “JR-15,” which is intended to serve as a kids’ version of the AR-15, an assault rifle that is the most popular firearm in America.

“For years, Republicans bankrolled by the NRA have put the safety of their campaign donations ahead of the safety of the American people,” Markey told HuffPost in a statement. “Thoughts and prayers aren’t enough while Republicans in Congress block common-sense gun safety efforts. We have to use every tool at our disposal. I’m calling on the FTC to crack down on dangerous and irresponsible marketing tactics peddling AR-15 style assault rifles to children too young to use the stove, much less a firearm.”


Except, there’s nothing dangerous about marketing a firearm designed for younger shooters. Nothing at all.

Nor is it unfair in any way.

After all, the gun is exactly what it’s described as. It’s not like this weapon is marketed directly to kids, either. I mean, it’s not like they’re running commercials on Cartoon Network for this thing. It’s also not like kids can save their pennies, then walk into the gun store and walk out with one of these.

It’s still a firearm and its marketing is limited to people already interested in firearms. It’s unlikely the kids are even seeing it.

That’s right, the marketing is actually geared toward the parents who, coincidentally, are the ones who can buy this weapon in the first place.

What this really is, besides an attempt to stifle the Second Amendment by attacking the marketing, is an effort to equate “guns” with “sin.”

Think about it, we keep “sinful” things away from children. You can’t market whiskey to kids or tobacco for kids. You simply cannot get away with it, and for pretty good reason.

But firearms aren’t the same thing. We have a right to keep and bear arms, for one thing, and parents have a right to purchase firearms sized to fit their children.


In fact, the JR-15 isn’t even overly unique in a lot of ways. Youth versions of various rifles have been around for ages. Youth stocks are available for firearms like the Ruger 10/22, even, which is functionally no different than the JR-15.

Those have apparently never been an issue.

So really, this is all a pile of male bovine excrement and I really hope the FTC tells the senators to go pound sand.


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