As part of the pro-gun group’s NRA Family initiative, the National Rifle Association has published two stories now on their website that rewrite classics with a pro-gun spin. Red Riding Hood (Has a Gun) was followed just recently by Hansel & Gretel (Have Guns).
Written by conservative blogger Amelia Hamilton, the website states –
Most of us probably grew up having fairy tales read to us as we drifted off to sleep. But how many times have you thought back and realized just how, well, grim some of them are? Did any of them ever make your rest a little bit uneasy? Have you ever wondered what those same fairy tales might sound like if the hapless Red Riding Hoods, Hansels and Gretels had been taught about gun safety and how to use firearms?
Hopefully your answer to this question was no, because the re-written versions literally go nowhere and nothing of interest happens. The originals, which were meant to be grim and had a moral or a point, were written to teach those lessons to kids. In the new versions, there is no point. Hansel & Gretel, who are both skilled hunters, go to the woods to get food. They successfully and safely hunt game and happen upon a witch’s house later on, which they tell people in town about. Likewise Red Riding Hood visits her grandmother with no problems because grandma owns a shotgun and was holding the wolf at bay until a random huntsman shows up to take it away. The end.
Both of these stories bizarrely require you to know the original story so you can say “clearly a gun is needed here” and understand where it deviated from the original. If a kid read these without knowing the originals he’d be bored to tears wondering why there’s no third act, the story just ends without conflict. But hey, it’s a fairy tale that includes guns, at least someone gets shot, right? The witch? The wolf? No. No one gets shot.
Listen NRA, you can’t have it both ways. If you want to espouse the merits of gun ownership and responsible gun use, that’s great, but don’t do it in a story about a cannibal witch if you’re not going to have a pair of tween hunters shoot that witch’s face off. Instead, they save two fat boys from the witch’s house while she’s asleep and apparently she gets arrested later. What the hell is that?
And The Big Bad Wolf is shown to be a sentient, conniving monster in the forest. It can talk and wants to kill humans. As far as we know it gets turned into the huntsman’s forest bride at the end. Two guns and still no shots fired. There’s a difference between responsible gun use and foolish gun use. If you’re dealing with a self aware, talking murder wolf, you shoot that thing.
Obviously the point of these stories is to try to suggest guns could make all these terrible situations better and no one even needs to get hurt because they are educated and cautious. That’s great. Gun control advocates have their reasons to hate them, and supporters have reasons to love them. But we’re just sad that they’re so poorly written and patronizing that only kids from a generation who still appreciate nursery rhymes, which was last seen maybe in the 1950s, would fall for them.