Little Red Riding Hood would never have been eaten by the Big Bad Wolf if she’d been strapped. At least, that’s the logic at the heart of two fairy tales reworked for the National Rifle Association by a conservative blogger and children’s book author.
“Little Red Riding Hood (Has a Gun)” and “Hansel and Gretel (Have Guns),” reimagine the children’s stories as lessons on the merits of gun ownership. Instead of an ancient folk tale about the perils of disobeying one’s elders, “Little Red Riding Hood” becomes a story about how everybody from kids to grandparents can defend themselves by brandishing firearms. Instead of a twisted relic from the Great Famine, Hansel and Gretel transform into tough guys who will turn the tables on anyone who gets in their way.
Both stories appear on NRA Family, a website whose posts range from “11 Ways to Help a New Shooter Succeed” to “Which Pistol Caliber Are You?”
The publication of the stories has irked gun control advocates who say far too little has been done to prevent children from shooting one another. American children are 16 times more likely than children in other countries to be unintentionally harmed or killed by guns stored in their homes, according to research done by gun control group Everytown For Gun Safety. The same group found more than 275 children accidentally shot somebody in 2015.
Dan Gross, the president of the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence, described the stories as “a disgusting, morally depraved marketing campaign,” the New York Times reported.
Amelia Hamilton, the author of the stories, told CBS “This Morning” she was surprised by the backlash. “It seemed like a lot of people didn’t read them before criticizing them,” she said.
Indeed, nobody gets killed, or even shot in either story. While Gretel guns down a large buck in her story, neither the witch nor the wolf, is attacked. The guns are instead used to frighten off the would-be attackers, an image that echoes a message the NRA has promoted and that most Americans seem to have internalized: Owning a gun makes you safer, an idea that was recently called into question by researchers at the National Institute of Health.
There is no word on whether that bloodless streak will continue. A third installment, “The Three Little Pigs (With Guns),” is on the way in May.