Rifle-toting Kentucky 5-year-old shoots and kills his sister

David Horsey / Los Angeles Times (May 2, 2013)

This week, a 5-year-old Kentucky boy was playing with the mini-rifle he had gotten as a gift and ended up shooting and killing his 2-year-old sister. Apparently, even kindergartners have a right to keep and bear arms that shall not be infringed.

For many people, it was a revelation that there are companies that manufacture guns specifically for children. The boy in question had a Crickett rifle, a smaller version of an adult weapon designed specifically for little trigger fingers. The guns come in a variety of happy colors, including pink and even swirls.

Some people think giving guns that shoot real bullets to kids is a rather insane idea, but not folks in the gun culture, where it is perfectly normal. A state legislator in Kentucky, Rep. Robert R. Damron, insisted that the kiddie rifle was not the problem.

“Why single out firearms?” Damron asked, according to the Associated Press. “Why not talk about all the other things that endanger children too?” 

Well, perhaps because, in this case, a child died -- not because she swallowed a toy or fell off a playground swing, but because her brother, who probably cannot yet even tie his shoes, had been entrusted with a lethal weapon.

I suppose someone will suggest that giving guns to children under 3 feet tall should be outlawed, but such a law would certainly be opposed by the National Rifle Assn. as the first step down a slippery slope toward confiscating all guns and enslaving America. Maybe a better idea would be to fine anyone idiotic enough to put a gun in the hands of a tiny child. Possible? Naw, the NRA would kill that idea too. The gun lobby depends on a legion of idiots. 

But, hey, here’s an idea the NRA could support: Arm 2-year-olds so they can defend themselves. A toddler militia -- what could be more American?