Daddy’s Little Deer

Image: Daniel Furon

In 1997, its first year of operation, children’s clothing distributor Bonnie and Children’s Sportswear Inc. sold 1.2 million items of pint-sized camouflage gear and accessories. Owner Bonnie Cason expects to double that success this year, in part due to the olive green embroidered jumper pictured here. “It’s real big,” Cason says, “because girls love it as much as boys.” Comparing this outfit to the efforts by the gun and hunting industries to “familiarize” children with weapons—notably, the National Rifle Association’s Eddie Eagle cartoon character cum safety spokesbird—Kristen Rand of the Violence Policy Center sees a trend to “reach out to smaller and smaller children.” Cason estimates that she’s sold about 50,000 of the “Daddy’s Little Deer” design.

Estimated number of firearms in the possession of U.S. citizens: 192 million One out of every three handguns is stored in the home loaded and unlocked For every child killed by a gun, three are wounded The firearm death rate of American children (up to 14 years old) is nearly 12 times higher than that of the other 25 industrialized nations combined Reduction in accidental firearm deaths of kids after a state passes a “safe storage” law making gun owners responsible for storing firearms safely: 23 percent Number of states that have such safe storage laws: 15 Rank of firearms as the cause of accidental death among children 5 to 14 years old: 4

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