Grade school gunmen?

New AR-15 style rifles advertised towards children


photo credit: Public Domain Photo

writer: Hannah Hansen, Editor-in-Chief

Just weeks after a 6 year-old shot his teacher and a 4 year-old was caught waving a loaded gun around an apartment complex’s hallway, a prominent gun trade show in Las Vegas is hosting WEE1 Tactical, who has just released one of its newest products: the JR-15, an AR-15 rifle designed for children.

In an age where not only have mass shootings become more of an everyday occurrence, but schools specifically have become prime targets, this new product is not only poorly timed and insensitive, but it could very well be incredibly dangerous.

In 2022 alone, there were 647 confirmed mass shootings and over 20,000 deaths due to gun violence, including 1,672 deaths of minors. Additionally, there were an unprecedented 51 school shootings in 2022, with a total of 39 killed and 101 injured. Furthermore, after the Uvalde, TX, mass shooting at Robb Elementary School in May 2022, where 19 children and two teachers were murdered, gun control activists have been more vocal than ever before, arguing for stricter gun laws and more restrictions on who can purchase firearms.

While the most prevalent argument against tighter gun control has centered around the Constitution’s 2nd Amendment and the “right to bear arms” it protects, it is important to keep in mind the circumstances that lead to that decision. In 1787, ‘arms’ primarily meant muskets and pistols, which could only hold a single round at a time and the most skilled of shooters would be fortunate to get four rounds in a minute; nowadays, though, the average assault rifle can fire anywhere from 600 to 900 rounds in a minute, a practically unthinkable increase. Additionally, in the late eighteenth century into the nineteenth century, the primary reason people owned guns was to hunt for food and defend their (usually sizable) property from violent Native American raiding parties. But in a modern world with Walmarts, suburban homes, and an organized police force, the need for these firearms could easily be argued to be outdated. Additionally, this gun’s primary target audience is children, who cannot even purchase these!

Ultimately, the bottom line is that these new “JR-15” guns are blatantly spitting in the face of everyone who has ever lost a friend or a family member to gun violence, and this sort of cavalier approach cannot be tolerated any longer.

Our government must stop caving to the whims of large corporations and organizations who condone this behavior and start defending the people—and children—that they promised to protect when they first took action.