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Who Buys a Rifle for a 5-Year-Old?

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The “My First Rifle” concept is absolutely abhorrent! Gifting a rifle to a 5-year-old achieves no discernible purpose whatsoever. The result of such negligence can certainly lead to tragedy:

A 2-year-old girl was accidentally shot and killed by her 5-year-old brother while he was playing with a child-size rifle given to him as a gift, authorities in Kentucky say.

Caroline Starks, a blonde, blue-eyed girl, was fatally shot in the chest by her brother’s .22-caliber rifle only minutes after her mother says she stepped outside their home in Burkesville on Tuesday.

The single-shot weapon fired is a rifle specifically marketed to children as ‘My First Rifle’ by company Keystone Sporting Arms, according to authorities.

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It was given to the 5-year-old as a gift last year, Cumberland County Coroner Gary White told the Lexington Herald-Leader.‘It’s a Crickett,’ White identified the weapon used. ‘It’s a little rifle for a kid. …The little boy’s used to shooting the little gun.’‘Accidents happen with guns,’ he continued. ‘They thought the gun was actually unloaded, and it wasn’t.’‘It was god’s will. It was her time to go, I guess,’ Caroline’s grandmother, Linda Riddle, told Lex18 on Wednesday.

‘I just know she’s in heaven right now and I know she’s in good hands with the lord,’ Riddle said.

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The company, Keystone Sporting Arms, produced 60,000 Crickett and Chipmunk rifles in 2008, according to its website.It also makes guns for adults, but most of its products are geared toward children. The smaller guns come in all sorts of colors, including blue and pink.

The company’s slogan is ‘my first rifle’ and its website has a ‘Kids Corner’ section where pictures of young boys and girls are displayed, most of them showing the children at shooting ranges and on bird and deer hunts. The smaller rifles are sold with a mount to use at a shooting range.

The shooting highlights a cultural divide in the gun debate. While many suburban and urban areas work to keep guns out of the hands of children, it’s not uncommon for youths in rural areas to own guns for target practice and hunting.

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