Sometimes when you have mixed feelings on a subject, I believe it can be helpful to write about it. Seeing your thoughts in print can occasionally bring clarity to the circumstances.  Or not. But I'm willing to give it a go on this one.

I recently was given an article to read about the National Rifle Association commissioning a children's author (Amelia Hamilton) to rewrite classic fairy tales to include guns. They contemplate how much less disturbing these stories would be if the Little Reds and Hansel & Gretels of the world were taught about gun safety and were able to protect themselves and others from the evils of the forest.

Even seeing that in print doesn't help me sort out my mindset on this issue.

On one hand; I have no problem with guns used for hunting. When Ben brings me venison which they have hunted on his Grandpa's land every year, I accept it with delight. I also really don't have a problem with people using guns for protection.

On the other hand I - like most Americans - am appalled by the increase in gun violence in our country. The seeming ease with which people acquire them illegally for less than noble purposes is baffling and disturbing. The rising murder rates in cities like Chicago and Milwaukee after years of decline must signal something. But how do we suss out the meaning?

The statistics about gun violence are plentiful, bewildering and mind-boggling. No official data exists on the exact number of guns in the U.S., but according to PolitiFact it is believed that "there are over 300 million in the U.S. held by about a third of the population."

With all of that pondering aside (and taking a deep breath) I'll let you know that you can, if you'd like, read a couple of the NRA's updated children's fairy tales on the NRA Family website.

For instance, in Little Red Riding Hood (Has a Gun)not only is Red armed, but Grandma scares the Big Bad Wolf into submission just by training her weapon on his snarling snoot!

Hansel and Gretel (Have Guns) is updated to portray the (now teenaged) siblings heading off into the woods to hunt for food and discovering other children kidnapped by a witch and saving them. In both stories neither villain ends up deceased, but are subdued by the mere fear of the weapons pointed in their direction.

The author, Amelia Hamilton, says her stories are much kinder and gentler than the originals and are "really for adults too, so they can start those conversations." She says her next work will be a revamping of Three Little Pigs.

 And I will apologize for this right now, but this makes me laugh like a hyena! I can't help it, because all I can see in my mind is three badass hogs defending their straw, twig and brick homes from the Big Bad Wolf who apparently learned nothing from his stint in slam after the whole Little Red Riding Hood episode!

Now, imagine if you will, Snow White dispatching that wicked Stepmom with a glock, Rumpelstiltskin getting his at the end of a Ruger-American Penny Pincher rifle, not to mention Cinderella never having to spend one night in the cinders of the fireplace, thanks to her faithful semi-automatic S&W pistol. Ah the possibilities are endless, aren't they?

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