May 28, 2020
Portraits of little kids with their own real guns
We don’t know what to say about the tragic shooting in Troutdale, Oregon, or the tragic shooting in Vegas, or the tragic shooting in this town or that town or this state or that state. Perhaps there’s no point in words at a time like this, a time when we’re so gun-weary as a nation that these sorts of incidents are beginning to seem commonplace to some of us. The brilliant site FotoMofo was kind enough to let us know about this stunning series of portraits by Belgian photographer An-Sofie Kesteleyn, who is based in the Netherlands but traveled to the United States to photograph children with real guns marketed to them. She was moved to do so after learning of the death of a two-year-old child, shot by her five-year-old brother, in Kentucky.
These are just a few examples; Kesteleyn did not just photograph children, but also their notes about their greatest fears (you’ll see one example below).
The company that makes these rifles (including the one in the aforementioned Kentucky shooting) is called Keystone Sporting Arms. They call their children’s line Crickett Firearms: My First Rifle. Below each photograph, you’ll find some positive reviews we discovered on the website for Crickett Firearms.
“I recently purchased one of your Davey Crickett rifles (My First Rifle) from my 7 yr. old daughter and I would like to say that I have nothing but positive things to say about it. To put it simply, she loves it and looks forward to going shooting with me at every opportunity. It is obvious that a good deal of time was spent in the development of this product as it is perfectly designed for kids in regards to length and weight.” —Jessie, from Ohio
“My 4 1/2 year old daughter thought the “pink one” was far superior to a black synthetic stock, who am I to argue? I never would have thought that a pink rifle would be sitting in the rack in the gun room.”
“My wife told me to do something with my daughter after gymnastics today, she recommended going for hot chocolate or a donut. I thought, that’s not special, plus once you’ve consumed the item where does that leave you. Instead we bought a pink Crickett from my six year old daughter and wanted to say thanks for making quality affordable firearms for new shooters. The ‘girls’ option is especially appreciated because as scary as it sounds the color really helped get her excitet [sic] about it.”
“I just wanted to thank your company for providing a quality rimfire rifle with the younger and/or smaller shooters in mind. I have struggled for years looking to outfit my kids with a .22 rimfire rifle that fits a smaller bodied shooter and your Crickett rifle has most certainly filled that void that other gun makers seem to have overlooked. I mean to tell you that these rifles are perfectly suited for this job. Everything is scalled [sic] down proportionatly [sic] down to the last little details. Right on!!!!”
“Greetings! I saw one of your rifles in the local WalMart store and asked the clerk if I could examine it. I am extremely impressed with the firearm! (Especially the barrel lock in the receiver!) It will be prefect [sic] for my Grandkids…”