March 28, 2016

Grimms’ Fairy Tales, now with 100% more guns


Hansel and Gretel (Have Guns), by Amelia Hamilton

Have you ever wondered how Hansel and Gretel would have turned out had the brother and sister been taught about gun safety and how to use firearms?

No? Of course, not?

Today in I-can’t-even news, David Barnett reports for the Guardian that the National Rifle Association‘s family website is rewriting traditional fairytales with a more family gun-friendly twist by arming classic children’s book characters.

Classics that have been NRA’d thus far include Little Red Riding Hood—inspiringly renamed Little Red Riding Hood (Has a Gun)—and Hansel and Gretel—you guessed it, now called Hansel and Gretel (Have Guns). The NRA’s introduction to the stories reads:

Most of us probably grew up having fairy tales read to us as we drifted off to sleep. But how many times have you thought back and realized just how, well, grim some of them are? Did any of them ever make your rest a little bit uneasy? Have you ever wondered what those same fairy tales might sound like if the hapless Red Riding Hoods, Hansels and Gretels had been taught about gun safety and how to use firearms? The author of this piece, Amelia Hamilton hasand NRA Family is proud to announce that we’ve partnered with the author to present her twist on those classic tales. 

To be fair, most Americans grow up reading the Disney versions of these classics, not the Brothers Grimm fairy tales circa 1812, which do include some toe slicing, evil stepmothers, and poisoned apples…but noticeably no guns.

Let’s take a look at the NRA’s less grim revision. Written by Amelia Hamilton, who is described on as “a lifelong writer and patriot” and a “conservative blogger,” Hansel and Gretel (Have Guns) opens recognizably enough with the family bemoaning their impending hunger, but the story takes a left turn from the Brothers Grimm version with the following lines:

“Fortunately, they had been taught how safely to use a gun and had been hunting with their parents most of their lives. They knew that, deep in the forest, there were areas that had never been hunted where they may be able to hunt for food. They knew how to keep themselves safe should they find themselves in trouble.”

All right, at least the word “safely” was used? There’s a lot to be said about the unnecessary inclusion of firearms in classic children’s books, but the following list of adjectives should suffice: dangerous, stupid, deaf, unnecessary. And let’s leave it at: UGH.



Ena Brdjanovic was formerly Director of Digital Media at Melville House.