If you’ve ever stopped to really think about the childhood stories we heard which were taken from Grimm’s Fairy Tales you probably know that they are rather grim indeed. I mean, even realizing that they were intended for children, there’s some pretty horrific stuff going on. People – including children and the elderly – are being eaten by wild animals, threatened with being stuffed into ovens and tossed out in the streets or the wilderness to die. One thing all of these potential victims seemed to have in common was that they never had a really good way to defend themselves. As the Washington Post reports, the NRA – through the talents of our friend Amelia Hamilton – has corrected this deficiency by crafting new versions of these stories where the protagonists are considerably more well armed.
Gun-rights supporters say the stories — which started with “Little Red Riding Hood (Has a Gun)” and continued with “Hansel and Gretel (Have Guns)” — are a more peaceful alternative to the often disturbing fairy tales from childhood.
“The stories are really also for adults,” Hamilton told CBS News on Friday morning. “It’s all about safety and it’s for parents to start those conversations.”
Hamilton’s latest story, published last week, tells the revised tale of “Hansel and Gretel,” who “had been taught how safely to use a gun and had been hunting with their parents most of their lives” — and who took their survival skills into the woods.
The Little Red Riding Hood conversion has some particularly fun bits to it.
“What big eyes you have,” Grandma gasped as she backed away.
“The better to see you with,” replied the wolf.
“What big ears you have,” She turned, with her back to the door.
“The better to hear you with,” the wolf said, coming ever closer.
“What big teeth you have!” Grandma said, as his fierce jaws came near.
“The better to eat you with!” the wolf threatened.
The wolf leaned in, jaws open wide, then stopped suddenly. Those big ears heard the unmistakable sound of a shotgun’s safety being clicked off. Those big eyes looked down and saw that grandma had a scattergun aimed right at him. He realized that Grandmother hadn’t been backing away from him; she had been moving towards her shotgun to protect herself and her home.
The temptation to poke fun at this idea is obvious and was too much for most of the late night comics to ignore. Colbert was off to the races as soon as the news broke and worked it into a substantial portion of his monologue.
Of course I think these tales could be a useful (and still entertaining) tool for parents who want to talk to their children about gun safety. At the same time, the titles could use a little sprucing up, couldn’t they? Perhaps something a bit more in keeping with youth in the 21st century. I mean, Hansel and Gretel (Have Guns) is okay and all, but we might draw in more of an audience with something like, Witches Be Crazy. Amelia has a lot of stories left to go, so let me jump in ahead of the game and offer a few suggestions. The Bremen Town Musicians is a fine story, but in this new paradigm it would probably work much better as, Rock Out With Your Glock Out. The Fisherman and His Wife could now be titled, “Why I Just Shot the Flounder.” And finally, Rapunzel could have been a significantly shorter and more uplifting story called, “Nobody Puts Baby in a Tower.”
Amelia is a talented writer and a good friend. Check out her work, along with her previous children’s books.