The problem with this 30-second spot for Crickett's My First Rifle .22-caliber single-shot gun is that it basically markets it as a toy. We see a school-age boy wide-eyed with excitement when he gets his shiny new weapon—"My first rifle," the voiceover enthuses, "a moment you never forget!"—while his chum is glum because he has to make do with a soccer ball. Sis gets a pretty pink Crickett, and the whole happy, gun-toting clan shoot together at the range. (That kid's ear protection is bigger than his head!) The commercial plays like an anti-firearms parody forged by left-wingers … but feels cruelly ironic in the wake of the accidental fatal shooting of a 2-year-old Kentucky girl by her 5-year-old brother, who'd received a Crickett rifle as a gift the previous year. The most troubling aspect of the ad is its attempt to portray the main kid as a miniature adult, even dressing him in shooting vest and matching cap (with Crickett's logo and tagline clearly visible). Guns should be for those who are old enough to appreciate what life and death really are, and who can take responsibility for their actions, never mistaking a potentially deadly weapon for a toy. Crickett—which removed its website after the shooting—stresses learning gun safety at an early age in the spot, which is all well and good. But accidents happen, even in supervised situations. Besides, kids aren't exactly known for their impulse control, or for always following rules, and I doubt many of them, especially at the age shown here, can truly understand the awesome obligation that comes with pulling a trigger. Expecting them to do so assumes an unreasonable level of maturity and seems horribly unfair; it strips away a bit of their innocence best left intact for a few years more. Via Slate.