The Daisy Red Ryder the air rifle made famous in the Jean Shepherd’s classic film A Christmas Story with its sentimental tale of a young boys thwarted lust for a BB gun.was the first gun for many baby boom American Boys despite the ubiquitous parental warnings “You’ll shoot you’re eye out!”
Sadly mass shootings have now become as much an American tradition as the showing of that classic Christmas movie.
The American Way
Gun culture is woven deeply in American social fabric. Many view gun ownership as a bellwether of individual freedom. Therefore any measure to limit weapons impinges on the basic American right to be left alone.
In post war America gun safety became part of the American dialogue and manufacturers like Daisy feared it would threatened to “tar BB Guns and toy guns with the same brush.”
In 1947 in growing response to concern about the safety of guns, Daisy gun manufacture of the famous Red Ryder answered this challenge with its Bill of Rights.
Written by Cass Hough a former war pilot and executive vice president of Daisy, “The American Boys Bill of Rights” quickly became a key part of Daisy’s continuing advertising programs.
Lucky baby boomer boys could even send away for “a beautiful, large-size, full color reproduction of the American Boy oil painting and Boys Bill of Rights, suitable for sticking or thumb-tacking to your room wall … is yours postpaid for only 15c plus 3c unused stamp.”
AMERICAN BOYS BILL OF RIGHTS
We… The Boys of America believe in these OUR RIGHTS: the right to LIBERTY, hard-won by our forefathers ~ the right to HAPPINESS that comes with the growth of a healthy body and mind ~ the right to TRAINING, thoughtfully planned by parents, school and church ~ the right to OPPORTUNITY, to live, learn, play and grow up in the time-honored traditions of a free people ~ and the right to learn to SHOOT SAFELY. We recognize and accept the responsibility imposed by these Rights. But ~ until we are old enough to vote we expect YOU ~ our fathers, mothers and other citizens who elect America’s city, county, state and federal officers ~ to be eternally vigilant that our RIGHTS be not abridged!
“The rights of the people to keep and bear arms shall not he infringed!”
(Quotation from the Second Amendment to the United States Constitution)
Guard the Needs of the Whole Family
Now the Second Amendment is being invoked again.
This impassioned plea to children to make sure their parents protect their basic second amendment rights stands in relief to the impassioned words spoken by a tear-stained President Obama, who made a last ditch call for gun control evoking the memories of all the American children we have lost to gun violence:
Our inalienable right to life and liberty and the pursuit of happiness, those rights were stripped from college kids in Blacksburg and Santa Barbara and from high schoolers at Columbine, and from first-graders in Newtown,” he added, his voice shaking. “First-graders. And from every family who never imagined that their loved one would be taken from our lives by a bullet from a gun.
As his speech rose to its climax, with tears rolling down his cheeks, Obama said: “Every time I think about those kids, it gets me mad and, by the way, it happens on the streets of Chicago every day.”
I believe in the second amendment. It’s there written on the paper … No matter how much people try to twist my words … I taught constitutional law. I know a little bit about this. I get it.
As the NRA goes ballistic over Obama’s executive action on gun control lets keep our eye on the target… isn’t your child’s life more important than a gun?
© Sally Edelstein and Envisioning The American Dream, 2016. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Sally Edelstein and Envisioning The American Dream with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.