“Joe Camel With Feathers”

You have to catch them at a young age and teach them that they too could one day shoot and kill an unarmed black teenager and get away with it. After all, kids love to play Cops and Robbers, don’t they? Just remember who the robbers are.

First-graders may soon be able to enroll in a NRA sponsored gun class as a result of a public safety bill signed into law by Missouri Governor Jay Nixon (D) on Friday. [...]

The NRA claims that the course, which features colorful cartoon character named Eddie Eagle, teaches children about gun safety. But research has failed to link the program to a reduction in children’s deaths from guns, with some studies showing that while “children could memorize Eddie’s simple advice about avoiding guns,” the instruction “went unheeded when children were put in real-life scenarios and asked to role-play a response.” Another report labeled Eddie Eagle “Joe Camel with feathers” and argued that the goal of the program was to recruit new NRA members.

There couldn’t possibly be a better analogy for this than “Joe Camel with feathers” because, like Joe Camel, Eddie Eagle will hook children at a young age and maybe even lead to the death of them or other members of their community. Meanwhile, the gun industry will reap the rewards while their right to market harmful products to children is codified.

We eventually prohibited the tobacco industry from marketing products to children, but not until after the damage was already done. And like the gun industry, Big Tobacco often targeted specific groups of children to lure.

While Big Tobacco often directly targeted African-American children, sometimes even handing out free cigarettes to them, the gun industry focuses on white people who are either fearful of The Other or being groomed to fear The Other. Not necessarily because the NRA or the gun industry is racially biased, but because they have products to sell and it just so happens exploiting prejudice is a great way to sell some guns.

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  • Ipecac

    Yes, we’ll teach them all about guns, but teaching them how their own bodies work and how to avoid disease and pregnancy is off-limits. Asshats.

  • GrafZeppelin127

    Normally I really despise the rhetorical tactic of pointing out what some group or cohort is supposedly “not saying” in response to a particular event. I don’t like the idea of inferring a duty or obligation on anyone’s part to say any particular thing at any particular time. So I’ll condemn myself in advance for pointing out that the NRA and its sundry enablers don’t seem to be saying or suggesting that if Trayvon Martin had been armed, he would not have been killed by George Zimmerman.

    • JMAshby

      Of course they aren’t. Nor do you see them advocating that immigrants enjoy the same second amendment rights as Real Americans.

      Quite the opposite in fact. The director of Gun Owners of America recently denounced immigration reform because it would give constitutional rights to “lawbreakers.” That includes the second amendment, doesn’t it? Not if he can help it.

    • LeShan Jones

      That’s because Zimmerman, in using his gun to kill a “suspect” fits well into the narrative they create about average citizens ‘defending themselves’ with firearms.
      Trayvon defending himself (unsucessfully) with his fists doesnt fit the myths they have been pushing.

    • D_C_Wilson

      That’s because Zimmerman lived out their fantasy, the thing they picture late at night while they are stroking their, um, guns. This is why they pushed for those Stand Your Ground laws in the first place. One day, they hope to shoot a (preferably black) “thug” and be invited on Sean Hannity to talk about it.

      Suggesting that Martin should have been armed would totally ruin the fantasy.