From Alabama to Germany, mass shootings have been the alarming subject of the latest news headlines. The United States is the most heavily armed country in the world, and now our nation’s gun culture is attracting a new and younger generation. MSNBC explores that young gun culture in the world premiere of Firecracker Film’s “Locked and Loaded: Kids and Guns in America,” Sunday at 10 p.m. ET.
“Locked and Loaded: Kids and Guns in America” profiles two American families, one from Massachusetts, the other near Washington, D.C., who believe that guns are as much a part of growing up as family dinners and apple pie. One of the parents in the film proudly states of his young son: “He’s the first 5-year old in Burgess Elementary School System that’s ever shot an M16.” The documentary also features an interview with gun show operator and former Pelham, Massachusetts Chief of Police, Ed Fleury, who was recently indicted after an 8-year-old at one of his gun shows tried to shoot a machine gun, lost control of it and fatally shot himself in the head.
The Second Amendment explicitly grants the right to bear arms, and some 60 million Americans now take advantage of that right. In America, you can buy a firearm at the age of 18, three years before you can buy a drink. However, children can fire a weapon at any age, as long as they are accompanied by a parent. The youngest person to receive a gun license in the U.S. was just 11 months old. And, despite an average of one child dying from a gunshot every 3 hours, American gun lovers continue to arm themselves and at younger and younger ages.
Michael Rubin is vice president, long-form programming, MSNBC. Scott Hooker is senior executive producer, documentary produc