Salo in the USA with a semi-automatic rifle for children – Why it provokes strong reactions

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The JR-15, a semi-automatic rifle designed specifically for children, based on the type of weapon used in many massacres in the US, made its appearance on the market last month, causing outrage in militant organizations fighting violence using firearms .

It is “the first of many weapons that will help adults familiarize their children with the sport of shooting with all safety,” says WEE1 Tactical, which advertises a rifle on its website “like dad’s gun and mom’s”.

The JR-15 (from the “junior”) is 80 cm long and weighs less than a kilo. It takes cartridges of 5 and 10 cartridges, 0.22 long rifle caliber. It went on sale in mid-January for $ 389.

The adult model, the AR-15, is the political version of a military-type assault rifle. It has been used in countless massacres, especially in schools, that shocked the United States.

Massacre with the use of weapons is a perpetual scourge in the United States, where the right to bear arms is constitutionally guaranteed. Initiatives to control their sale usually end up in junk in Congress, where the powerful arms lobby, the NRA, wields considerable influence.

On December 14, 2012, a mentally disturbed young man killed 26 people, including 20 children, at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut (northeast), a tragedy that deeply marked Americans.

The AR-15 was also used in the Las Vegas massacre in 2017, the deadliest attack of its kind in the recent history of the country (58 victims), and in a high school in Parkland, Florida in 2018 (17 dead).

“At first glance, it looks like a grotesque joke. “When you look at it more closely, it’s just grotesque,” Josh Sugarman, director general of the Violence Policy Center, which fights gun violence, said on Friday.

The Newtown Action Alliance, an organization that advocates gun control policies, has stigmatized the arms lobby and manufacturers who are “doing everything they can to continue to accumulate profits.”

Josh Sugarman focused specifically on the symbols the manufacturer uses to attract small customers: a pirate skull with a blonde moikana for boys, blonde pigtails for girls – and a pacifier in the mouth.

In a report on US arms manufacturers’ methods of attracting young people, which he published in 2016, he stated that guns are painted in bright colors (pink, red, orange, purple) and designed to be lighter and softer. recoil.

In 2021, firearms claimed the lives of nearly 45,000 people in the United States, including an estimated 24,000 suicides. The victims included more than 1,500 minors, according to the Gun Violence Archive.

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