First the NRA repurposed Little Red Riding Hood; now it's reloading Hansel and Gretel. The gun lobby group's fairy tales-with-firearms series, penned by Amelia Hamilton and appearing on the NRA Family site, aims to place traditional tales in a new "utopia filled with empowered and unharmed children," as NPR puts it. And interestingly enough, in contrast with the original fairy tales filled with horror and bloodshed, there's not much violence in these NRA fantasies. In the new Hansel and Gretel rendition, for instance, the doomed brother and sister don't get captured by a witch and shoved into an oven: Instead, the two go on a hunting trip and rescue two boys from the witch's clutches, with rifles at the ready (but ultimately unnecessary) by their sides. In Red Riding Hood, weapons are similarly drawn but nary a bullet fired, which is still enough to scare the wolf away.
"It's all about safety and it's for parents to start those conversations," Hamilton, a conservative blogger, tells CBS News. Still, the series has elicited criticism from gun-control advocates who call it a "desperate" move to boost gun sales. "This is a disgusting, morally depraved marketing campaign," Dan Gross of the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence said in a statement, per the Washington Post. But gun rights activist Bob Owens, who runs the BearingArms.com site, commented on Media Matters: "So you would rather have one of the more traditional endings to the tale, where the grandmother is slaughtered and fed to her granddaughter ...?" Meanwhile, the hashtag #NRAfairytales has spurred online tales that are grimmer than Grimms'. One notable tweet: "Jack & Jill went up the hill to fetch a pail of water. Jack fell down and the gun accidentally discharged. Jill is dead."