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November 27, 2009

The Number of Models Marketed Unapologetically at Children Stretches to 42

Taveras gunslingers.jpg

The story is a natural for the other side of the pond (pivoting off the Colorado Cowboy Fast Draw championships to the marketing of guns to children to chilling anecdotes of gun violence).

With the outfits and the backdrop, the pics are a slamdunk caricature, serving up the U.S. as a country obsessed with living out childhood wild west gunslinger fantasies.

Guardian slideshow: Shooting Times.

(photo: Caroll Taveras. caption: Coby ‘Spud’ Coffman, nine, is the Billy the Kid world fast-draw champion in the eight to 12 years category. Blond-haired under a white cowboy hat, he was given his first gun at seven, when he started hunting jack rabbits in the fields in Idaho.)

  • DennisQ

    The state of Wisconsin recently lowered the legal hunting age to 10, so long as the child is accompanied by a “mentor,” usually an older male with an interest in promoting responsible hunting practices. I’m not sure what qualifies a person to be a mentor – do they take an exam? I’m almost sure they can’t be ex-felons.
    The program has some success as gauged in local reports. Here’s a report of 10 yr. old Connor Johnson, who “bagged a 207-pound, nine-point buck that is bigger than anything his father had taken“.
    The point here is not that 10 year olds are going around killing animals for sport; that’s a misunderstanding, y’see. Because Connor Johnson is a mature 10-year old, he shouldn’t be deprived of important life experiences just because the libruls think something horrible might happen. I’ll tell yuh something about them people, y’heah? Some people don’t want to see other people having fun.

  • jtfromBC

    Want your kids to be ready for tomorrow’s world? Make sure they get some
    free, shooting lessons.

  • Stan B.


  • Chris Schmidgall

    First thing I noticed was the Jail. Our major growth industry with an enforcement/incarceration industrial complex to perpetuate the perpetration of crime, racial inequality and disenfranchisement. Political prisoners abound.
    I have less of a problem with guns than prisons.

  • lucaites

    Actually its about time we saw images like this. Regularly we find pictures in the various news outlet slideshows that sneak in pictures of
    children — mostly in the middle east, but never in the west — playing with guns. And doing more with them than posing as old time
    westerners. Usually they are “playing” at being terrorists, killing one another and the like. The effect is to suggest that their kids are
    socialized this way, ours aren’t. There are still differences with these images as they are somewhat disciplined — kids clearly are wearing
    dated costumes, shooting at–what?–targets, and the like. But at least the Guardian is calling our attention to something that hasn’t
    shown up in the media in the US … at least not as I can tell.

  • Victor F

    The background is whimsically rendered while the pistol is starkly realistic. The sheriff is taking aim at something the viewer can’t see. No doubt some dirty mustachioed bandit carrying an exaggerated bulging sack with a $ on it, or maybe a stick of dynamite or beautiful lady or something.
    Violence is as easy as breathing to the sheriff. He is relaxed and taking confident aim. Firing a big gun at the “bad guys” is no big deal because they’re not really people, right? There is a world of absolutes out there, of all-or-nothings. The rest of us are caught in the crossfire.

  • tami

    The young man in the photo is shooting a single shot colt 45. He is shooting a a round metal target (envision a donut covered in creamcheese with a light that flashes in the middle) that will light up. The bullet is a 45 casing with a primer that is a bit stronger than a cap gun. The inners are wax. Shells are used over and over again. The shooters are shooting at tens of a second and it is not uncommon for a participant to be shooting in 5 tenths of a second. I have even seen one who shot in 3 tenths. He shoots against several other children and the fastest response time wins the match and then the title. It is set up like youth sports leagues. He is not only supervised by his mom, grandma, grandpa, aunt and several adults that love him-he (along with the other children are required to take a gun handling course that is given by trained individuals.)
    Fast Draw is a family event. There is no cussing, poor sportsman ship or drinking allowed. Almost everyone you meet is full of life, companionship and laughter. Many dress in 1800s attire, but may dress in 1900s as well. The shooters names are though up by the shooter and tend to be of that time frame. Contests are conducted for clothing, shooting, sportsmanship. Each event sponsors a charity and usually involves local scouting groups as runners to help conduct the events. The scouts earn money for their individual units. Many local businesses are supported by the members and it has become a popular event to watch-even though it is alot like golf–quiet honor of the participants.
    All ages are welcomed. Youngest is 7 oldest is 75. It is common for entire families to participate as a means of unity, teaching the proper way to respect and handle a weapon and of course sportsmanship of winning and losing.
    If you hear of an event in your area attend and see these individuals in action. This is a serious event, not only because of the use of guns, but also it is a family event. New members are always welcomed and many clubs have free tryouts to see if you like it.
    That young man in the photo shoots in in 5 tenths of a second and has done it as low as a 4. He is a true sportsman that outshines any proffesionaly paid athlete on the tv.

  • tami

    Sorry I made a mistake–they shooters shoot in thousands of a second. .333 and such.

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