In Wake of Arizona Uzi Killing, NRA Tweets About Kids Having Fun With Guns

The NRA Women account—sponsored by Smith & Wesson—has since taken down the tweet.

Mohave County Sheriff's Office

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There’s no shortage of grim gun news in the United States, including numerous killings involving children, but there was something particularly disturbing about an incident on Monday in which a 9-year-old girl accidentally shot her instructor to death with an Uzi. The tragedy unfolded at an Arizona gun range near Las Vegas that draws visitors through a tour company called Bullets and Burgers. How on earth was such a child allowed to fire such a powerful weapon on fully automatic, by a person who knows enough about firearms to have served in the Army in Iraq and Afghanistan? See video of the incident below via the New York Times; the clip doesn’t show the actual moment of tragedy, but it’s plenty chilling nonetheless.

Reactions to the news, as you might expect, have ranged from somber to mystified to angry. But with the story making the rounds on social media, only those latter two applied to a tweet posted on Wednesday afternoon by NRA Women, which is part of the National Rifle Association’s Women’s Programs and is sponsored by gun manufacturing giant Smith & Wesson. “7 Ways Children Can Have Fun at the Shooting Range” the tweet announced, linking to a recent story that details how kids can get bored with target practice if not properly entertained. NRA Women posted the tweet at 1:51 p.m. Pacific on Wednesday; by about 3 p.m. it had been removed, but not before I and others took a screenshot of it:

The list of options in the article included firing at animal, zombie, and even exploding targets, but surely there was a better time for NRA Women to promote them. Historically the NRA is known for its disciplined and effective messaging. But more recently, as it has branched out to cater to children and women and minorities, America’s top gun lobbying group seems to be misfiring, again and again.

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SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

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