Media freaking out over youth firearms

Daylight! Hangover! #facepalm" by whatleydude is marked with CC BY 2.0 DEED.

Hunting and shooting are popular pastimes, even today when hunting isn’t as necessary as it might have been in past eras. Because of that popularity, there are a ton of various firearms available for purchase.


For kids, though, adult models might be a little large to shoot comfortably and, therefore, accurately.

So, gun companies have made youth models for decades now.

No one even blinked until the JR-15 was introduced.

Now, suddenly, the idea of a youth model firearm is horrifying, and the media is freaking out over it.

An appalling rumor is making its way around the web at the moment, as people ponder the very real possibility of guns manufactured specifically for kids.

America is already absolutely overflowing with firearms, and every effort to stem their flow fails, time and again. Even as survivors of school shootings line up to decry the weapons that stole the lives of their friends, and plead to save their siblings, children, and selves from more violence, we pump out guns like they’re going out of style.

New rumors of the JR-15, a rifle made for actual children, are resuscitating the gun debate that never truly rests in this country, but the discourse has taken on a new flavor. It’s one thing to talk about violent, mentally ill people shooting our kids — already a horrifying conversation — but entirely another to consider subjecting our kids to such monstrosities. Is this what we’ve come to? Distributing weapons of death to the most innocent among us?

Of course, these aren’t rumors and never were. The actual firearm was revealed at last year’s SHOT Show and all the hysteria spawned off from there.


The media losing their minds over this, though, is beyond ridiculous.

First, as noted, youth model guns are nothing new. I have one that was my great grandfather’s–chambered in .22 Winchester Auto of all things–and that was far from the first youth model rifle.

After all, parents often teach their kids to shoot, and those kids would like their firearms to at least look like Mom and Dad’s firearms. Yet, as also noted, full-sized models are often too large for kids to handle properly. If they can’t comfortably hold a rifle, they can’t shoot one effectively.

Plus, a bigger gun in smaller hands may well create safety issues, which is no good for anyone.

All the hysteria over the JR-15 is really just because it looks scary. Some can pretend otherwise. After all, there are magazine-fed semi-automatic rifles in youth models and have been for decades as well. The Ruger 10/22 can be equipped with a higher capacity magazine as well and it’s chambered in the exact same round as the JR-15.

Why no freaking out then?

Because the 10/22 looks like a traditional hunting rifle. No one blinked because it isn’t a scary-looking “assault weapon.”

Here are a few facts that the media hysteria is missing.

First, no youth model of firearm can be sold directly to a child. They’re subject to all the same laws as adult model firearms. As a result, only an adult can buy one. That means there’s no chance of children suddenly getting these guys and “running around with guns” as the hysterical piece quoted above worries. Not unless the parent has completely abdicated their parental responsibilities, and that’s unlikely.


Second, these are typically chambered in .22 long rifle. While any round can kill, these are about the lowest-powered rounds available for a firearm. They’re real guns, mind you, and should be treated as such, but despite looking like an AR-15, the JR-15 isn’t chambered in the same round by any stretch of the imagination.

Then we have the aforementioned facts that youth model guns aren’t new and yet aren’t some great scourge on our streets and playgrounds and you can start to see how ridiculous all of this is.

Of course, this is the media we’re talking about. Hysteria and ridiculousness have been their stock in trade for years, so there’s no reason to be surprised.

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