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My first rifle

October 18, 2013 10:30
Michael Loccisano / Getty Images / AFP

Most kindergarten kids learn how to paint and tie their shoelaces; in Kentucky they learn how to handle shotguns. As the gun debate rages across the US, this shocking report explores its teeny-popper culture.

Terese Stiles is a board member at the Louisville children's hospital. On a daily basis she witnesses the risks of the massive gun possession in Kentucky. "Every year in the States 15,000 children are treated for gunshot wounds", she explains. The numbers are shocking; 8 children die each day as a consequence of these wounds. "It's mindboggling that they market guns to children. They make them pastel blue and pretty Barbie pink and call them cute names like Chipmunk, as if you belong to a Disney club". Yet the locals aren't deterred, believing it's all about how they're handled. Sherwood Davies runs a gun store in Cumberland County, selling over 2000 weapons a year, including a children's 'my first rifle' range. He is adamant that, "Guns don't kill people. People kill people. Everything requires supervision". Down at the local Woods family farm, kids TJ and Alex have been armed since they were 2 and 3 years old. "The positive side is...they learn a lot of responsibility," their mother insists. Every weekend the local shooting range is packed out with kids learning to handle weapons. "There's around 300 million guns in the US. So you can act like they're not here, but when kids become curious about what they don't know, that's when accidents happen".

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