One of National Rifle Association Youth Shooting Camp held in the state of Illinois, summer of 2012.
The US firearms industry has invested millions of dollars into a campaign to get American children interested in guns and shooting.
An article published on Sunday in New York Times
announced the industry’s strategies to promote a next generation of gun users. These strategies included backing youth groups with firearms, ammunition and money; weakening state restrictions on hunting by young children; sponsoring semiautomatic-handgun competitions for youths; and developing a video game that promotes target-shooting and advertises brand-name weapons.
The industry’s 2012 report, which was based on an extensive social research, also focused on children aged eight to 17 and suggested that “peer ambassadors” should help introduce cautious youths to guns slowly, by the means of paintball, archery or other activities that are less frightening.
"The point should be to get newcomers started shooting something, with the natural next step being a move toward actual firearms," said the report.
The industry also promotes the use of gun by youths through stating that guns can teach children “life skills” such as responsibility, ethics and citizenship.
This comes while child psychiatry experts believe encouraging children to be exposed to guns is dangerous since young people are naturally impulsive and that their brains “are engineered to take risks.”
Little attention has been put on the gun industry’s youth-marketing plans, even though there is currently a national debate regarding gun control and the influence of violent video games on this age group, particularly after the school massacre in Newtown, Connecticut, where 20 children and 6 educators were killed in December 2012.