MILTON, Pa. — Keystone Sporting Arms, the manufacturer of the Crickett, the .22 caliber “children’s gun” marketed as “My First Rifle” which was used by Kristian Sparks, 5, in the recent accidental shooting of his 2-year old sister Caroline in Burkesville, Kentucky, has opened its first “children’s funeral parlor,” called “My First Funeral.”
“Keystone clearly sees the opening of a children’s funeral parlor to be a logical extension of its brand,” an attorney for Keystone, John Renzulli, said. “It creates a synergy between the gun line and the cemetery. It’s almost literally a cradle-to-grave business model.”
Keystone has reportedly chosen Newtown, Connecticut—where the Sandy Hook massacre took the lives of 20 children—as the site for the inaugural “My First Funeral” home.
“We’re a little late getting into the Newtown market, but since Newtown remains a haven for rampant gun use, we’re confident our strategy will pay dividends in the near future,” Renzulli said.
He added that Keystone, which sells over 60,000 “kid’s rifles” a year in colors including hot pink and blue, hopes to apply that same marketing strategy nationwide.
“It’s a tragedy 2-year old Caroline is dead, but what’s done is done. And now that she’s ‘done,’ we’re sure she would like nothing better than to be buried in a pink casket, with little stickers of bunny rabbits on it,” said Renzulli.
Other features of the children’s funeral home will include cartoons featuring Elmer Fudd blasting Bugs Bunny with a rifle in one scene, and Bugs alive and kicking in the next.
“It’s our contribution to showing kids that guns can be fun as well as deadly,” Renzulli said.
“By having a friendly, welcoming place designed specifically for children’s funerals, we teach kids not to fear death, so that by the time half their friends and neighbors have been killed, it’s no big deal anymore.”
Wayne LaPierre, the vice-president and spokesman for the NRA, issued a statement, saying, “The only way to stop a 5 year old with a rifle is with a 2 year old with a rifle. If Caroline had been carrying, this senseless tragedy could have been avoided.”
John A. Phelps Jr., the chief executive of Cumberland County, whose seat is Burkesville, summed up the attitude of most local residents when he said, “Hey, accidents happen. Heck, ninety-five percent of births here result from ‘accidents,’ so it all evens out.”
Said Renzulli, “It’s heart-warming statements like that one that insure ‘My First Funeral’ homes will remain a lucrative business for many, many years.”