My, what big guns you have.
Two of the rejiggered yarns have appeared on the group’s site so far, and we promise you we are not making up these names: “Hansel and Gretel (Have Guns)” and “Little Red Riding Hood (Has a Gun).”
The aim of these stories is apparently to prove that the characters’ fates would have been considerably different, if only they’d been armed. (The protagonists never actually shoot anyone, but the implication lingers.)
“They are avoiding all of these horrific situations that happen in fairy tales that are really very violent,” author Amelia Hamilton said on the NRA’s Cam & Co. radio show. “If kids are taught safety in general, all of this could be avoided.”
In the NRA’s updated “Hansel and Gretel,” the pair are out hunting – they successfully nab a deer – when they discover the evil witch’s house and free a pair of boys held captive by her. “The hinges gave a groan and the sound of the witch’s snoring stopped, the silence filling the room as they looked at each other in panic. Gretel got her rifle ready, but lowered it again when the snoring resumed,” one passage reads.
“Little Red Riding Hood” follows a similar track: “Those big ears heard the unmistakable sound of a shotgun’s safety being clicked off. Those big eyes looked down and saw that grandma had a scattergun aimed right at him,” it reads. ” ‘I don’t think I’ll be eaten today,’ said Grandma, ‘and you won’t be eating anyone again.’ ” (She holds the wolf at gunpoint while Red ties it up; the animal is subsequently taken away by the huntsman.)
The NRA’s efforts are at least hitting an audience sorely in need of education about gun safety: At least 265 children under the age of 18 shot themselves or someone else in 2015, The Washington Post reported last year, a rate of about five per week.