The National Shooting Sports Foundation trade association and the National Rifle Association are spending millions of dollars to recruit kids as gun users.
These efforts include 'Junior Shooters,' a gun magazine that seeks to get children involved in semi-automatic firearms, including the Bushmaster AR-15 which was used by the shooter in the Newtown, Connecticut, tragedy.
The New York Times reports:
The pages of Junior Shooters, an industry-supported magazine that seeks to get children involved in the recreational use of firearms, once featured a smiling 15-year-old girl clutching a semiautomatic rifle. At the end of an accompanying article that extolled target shooting with a Bushmaster AR-15 — an advertisement elsewhere in the magazine directed readers to a coupon for buying one — the author encouraged youngsters to share the article with a parent.
“Who knows?” it said. “Maybe you’ll find a Bushmaster AR-15 under your tree some frosty Christmas morning!”
...Newer initiatives by other organizations go further, seeking to introduce children to high-powered rifles and handguns while invoking the same rationale of those older, more traditional programs: that firearms can teach ‘life skills’ like responsibility, ethics and citizenship.
Federal law prohibits the sale of rifles to those under age 18. However, through programs at Boy Scout camps and 4-H clubs, the NRA trains children on how to shoot.