Once endearing stories for the pure enjoyment of children, the National Rifle Association (NRA) is appropriating children’s fairy tales Hansel and Gretel and Little Red Riding Hood into advertisements to promote safe ownership of guns.
The first of the NRA’s livelier re-creations of these charming fictions have been available online since January.
According the NRA’s version of Hansel and Gretel, a menacing step-mother tormented by potential food shortages bemoans how the family will fend for the winter. Children Hansel and Gretel overhear their parent’s wailing and decide to take matters into their own hands.
Setting forth to fulfill their responsibilities to the family, the two young children embark onto a hunting trip into the deep, dark, unknown with plans of returning with enough food to sustain for the coming winter.
In a dramatic departure from the Brothers Grimm version, this industrious pair is armed to the teeth.
After corralling adequate food stock, the pair stumble onto a gingerbread house in a dark corner of the woods and are summoned by two boys in the captivity of a witch whose baleful plans include cooking the children.
Responding to their cries for help, Hansel enters the gingerbread house, frees the two from their imprisonment under the watchful eye of an armed Gretel, who is described as a “better shot,” and the four return to their village where they are greeted by numerous gun-toting villagers.
Later, the pair lead the local constable to the forest prison, the authorities arrest the evildoing witch and the village celebrates the victory with a feast.
Similarly, the NRA offers another upgrade to Charles Perrault’s Little Red Riding Hood. Distraught over her grandmother’s illness, Red sets off on a visit with a basket of goodies, willing to endure hardships to greet family, but with a trusty rifle among her possessions for the trip.
Encountering the Big Bad Wolf, Red produces her rifle, driving the animal away.
Cleverly, the wolf races to the grandmother’s home and, assuming it could overpower the elderly woman and lie in wait for Red, confronts the nearly-blind woman. Not to be outdone, the grandmother, like Red, armed, levels a rifle at the wolf and just in time, Red enters the home to subdue the would-be murderous wolf.
Alerting local huntsmen, the shackled wolf is hauled off, its fate unknown.
Warped interpretations of adorable child stories to some, these two allegories have been made useful to the NRA.
While a majority of Americans would prefer to preserve childhood experiences from the make-believe and limit explanations to stage plays or operas, it is important to note the Left appears perfectly comfortable trotting out gruesome images of the carnage inflicted on children by madmen armed with guns at, for example, school shootings to promote their anti-gun strategy.
Although an inexact comparison, it is equally important to note no bloodshed occurred in the NRA’s vivacious modern versions of the tales.
Although many will shrug off this adaptation, the NRA’s version is no better or worse than Hollywood’s for-profit bastardization of Cinderella. Morphed onto the big screen in Pretty Woman (1990), Julia Roberts did not honor the memory of the beloved rag-to-riches story for children by portraying a down-market prostitute.
While unlikely to shatter the pleasant images children have of these imaginary characters, an organization as resourceful as the NRA could find better use of its time and money than to infringe on childhood fantasy.
Equally, the Left and Hollywood could avoid similar behavior.
[The Independent] [NRA.org] [Photo courtesy sanfrancisco.cbslocal.com]