Back in 2014, photographer An-Sofie Kesteleyn came across a story about a 5-year-old boy in rural Southern Kentucky who accidentally shot and killed his 2-year-old sister while playing with his gun. Yes, his gun. A small rifle manufactured specifically for children, in hot pink, orange, royal blue or multicolor swirls and advertised with the slogan “My First Rifle.”
Knowing little about firearms or American gun culture, An-Sofie, then 26, wanted to learn more about what she had seen and so she traveled to the United States, going from gun shops to shooting ranges looking for families who had bought one of those playfully colored guns for their children. She was surprised to find that the families of the children she photographed were all hypervigilant about gun safety. They kept the guns locked in safes and carefully taught their children how to carry and use firearms properly. They all firmly believed that by training their children they were ensuring their safety – protecting them from both gun accidents and potential attackers.
So here are some of those pink, orange and blue guns that will definitely provoke some thoughts on your side. Please do share them!