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Young Gun Expert Pictured in Rolling Stone: ‘Inaccurate, Biased Article’

Teenager Morrigan Sanders wants RS to actually interview her next time: "He should've gotten the opinion of women who shoot."

by
Patrick Richardson

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April 11, 2013 - 12:00 am
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A picture of a young girl holding a pink AR-15 appeared in Rolling Stone last month. The girl, Morrigan Sanders (daughter of Baen author Michael Z. Williamson), was much younger when that photo was taken, but she’s still a gun nut.

The problem: Rolling Stone writer Tim Dickinson’s accompanying article is titled “The Gun Industry’s Deadly Addiction,” and he never contacted Morrigan for comment. Rolling Stone did not violate any law by using the photo — they purchased it from the photographer — but Dickinson was perhaps unaware that Morrigan is something of an Internet icon, with hundreds of photos of her and her signature pink AR all over the Internet. She is also well-informed and capable of challenging the gun-control agenda.

Now 15 years old, looking forward to a career in acting or perhaps music, Morrigan told PJ Media that she appreciated the publicity but that Dickinson wrote a terrible piece to accompany her picture:

Great picture, bad article. … It was doing what media often does, laying it all on one-sided, and not necessarily having the best writing. The writing was the largest problem for me. When I saw it, it seemed to me that it had many inaccuracies, was biased, and not supported by sources. I was more worried about the fact he only had his opinion, rather than the opposition’s opinion as well.

Her father agreed — he was not so much angry, but amused:

They made so many assumptions about young and female shooters, and implied a stereotype. Great to see liberal tolerance in action. The biggest problem is it was wrong. I would have rewritten it to be factual, informative, sourced, and non-bigoted against shooters and women.

Rolling Stone appears to have used the picture of Sanders because the argument the article makes is akin to the one used to move public opinion against the tobacco industry: namely, the industry is marketing directly to kids and women. Per Dickinson:

To goose future growth, the gun industry is aggressively marketing guns to children as young as the first-graders slaughtered in Newtown. “By the time kids are in fifth grade, or even before, they’re already being pulled away by the allure of video games, organized sports or other activities,” said Bud Pidgeon, president of the U.S. Sportsmen’s Alliance, which along with the National Rifle Association and three other prominent gun groups oversees Families Afield. In less than a decade, Families Afield has pushed more than 30 states to jettison regulations that protect kids from guns — removing age restrictions on hunting licenses or no longer requiring that children take a gun-safety course before going hunting with Dad.

Rolling Stone also noted that there are magazines dedicated to young shooters, and programs specifically for them. The obvious problem with Dickinson’s argument: children do not and cannot purchase firearms legally. Their parents must do it for them. When a child takes up shooting, typically the parent is a shooter introducing the activity to the child — no advertising can bypass the parental supervision. Matching the typical experience of most kids who shoot, Morrigan didn’t get a gun because she was “targeted” by the gun industry to adopt an “addiction.” Her father gave her one and taught her to use it:

I was four and [Williamson] gave me my first single-shot .22, I had a lot of fun shooting it. I understand how a gun works — knowing its weak points, strong points, the ways you use it helps. It has given me a respect for guns.

Her favorite weapon now is a heavy-caliber revolver, also given to her by her father:

[It is a] second model Smith & Wesson made in 1916 in .45 Long Colt, originally in .455 Webley British during World War One. I love the feel in my hands and it has a nice level of kick to it. Mine also has great action and it just had its 96-year tune-up.

Williamson points out that not all children are ready for a gun that young: indeed, he did not see the proper level of maturity in his son Eric until later, and kept guns out of his hands until later:

It’s different for every child. My son wasn’t really ready until seven.

She expressed an interest and was able, with supervision, to behave safely on the range. She treats guns and other tools with respect and doesn’t play around with them. This is also noticeable as she learns to drive. She’s cautious, thoughtful, and thinks ahead.

Rolling Stone also accused the gun industry of targeting women as well as children, yet the obvious sexist infantilization of adult women present in such a charge went unanswered in the article. Rolling Stone:

To target urban and suburban women, gunmakers have adopted a two-pronged marketing strategy. One: Feminizing the weapons by dressing them up in hot pink. Two: Marketing powerful guns to women as the only surefire protection against sexual and violent predators. Shooting Industry Magazine publishes a column called “Arms and the Woman,” which advises that “every gun store should have at least one pink gun on display.” This is a crowded field: Sig Sauer offers a ladies’ version of its conceal-carry “Mosquito” pistol with a “pink-coated polymer frame” that it calls “the ideal choice for hours of shooting fun.” In a similar vein, GunGoddess.com sells a kit to trick out an assault weapon with a pink hand guard, pistol grip and butt stock – transforming an AR-15 into something that looks like it belongs at a Hello Kitty convention.

Morrigan took particular issue with the prior passage:

[The article is] implying that women can’t decide for themselves whether or not they should own a gun, and that the industry can manipulate people to own a gun. I think he should’ve gotten the opinion of women who shoot first, instead of making a blanket statement that isn’t true. … Industries can market to the public but have no real way to force others to buy their product.

Comments are closed.

Top Rated Comments   
Thanks to Morrigan for speaking out on behalf of our youth who participate in hunting and competitive shooting sports. As a shooting sports coach, I volunteer several hours each week working with youth to help them develop safety skills, competency in using firearms and enjoyment of a life long sport, as well as being proficient competitors in the various disciplines.

Our youth don't come to the ranges alone, they come with their families. Unlike what we frequently see in many youth sports, shooting sports is a friendly competition and heavy on sportsmanship. A few months ago, my son was competing for $150,000 in scholarships when he experience a trigger malfunction on his BT-99. The young man next to him immediately offered him the use of his Beretta so my son could complete the match and post a score. This wasn't an exceptional event, but rather something that you will see year round.

All of my children have been competing since they were 8 years old and 3 of them have go on to become certified coaches. Now, as young college students, they each donate several hours a week to teaching the next generation.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Michael Z. Williamson tells me he takes a small issue with the story. He said Morrigan is "not a gun expert."

Not perhaps by his standards as Mike is absolutely an expert by any definition.

By the standards of people like Tim Dickinson and Josh Sugarmann? She certainly is.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
I think I understand now.
"Progressives" "teach" children as young as first grade that human activity will drown polar bears, even though this is false, and that is a good thing.
"Conservatives" teach children that our nation is a beacon of freedom and opportunity and this is bad, even though it's true.
"Industry" offers people products they like, and works to make the products attractive, and that is bad and creates "addiction".
"Organic food" producers offer people products they like, and works to make the products attractive, and that's good even though there's no advantage to organic products and they are environmentally less friendly than conventional products.
Got it.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
All Comments   (37)
All Comments   (37)
Sort: Newest Oldest Top Rated
Maybe I should have read the RS article, now that I know who gungoddess.com is thanks to them.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
In January I was finally persuaded by Obama & the rest of his well-protected (by armed guards) ilk, to protect myself. I don’t qualify for the protection offered by the Secret Service, nor can I afford private 24/7 security. It had been over 20 years since I had last fired a gun. A little training at the range and regular practice and I’ve received comments from others at the range like, “I won’t be breaking into your house!”
Thanks to Obama,The Greatest Gun Salesman ever, the gun and ammo industries are barely keeping up with demand. And concealed carry permits are at an all-time high. A recent post on cnsnews.com by Gregory Gwyn Williams, Jr. states “During Barack Obama's presidency there have been 32 background checks for gun purchases every minute. Since February of 2009, the first full month of Obama’s presidency, there has been 70,291,049 background checks for gun purchases, according to data released by the FBI.”
Single, armed woman
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
The girl in the photo is not the only female in America with a pink AR15. Ann Barnhardt has one too. Her website used to have a picture of her pink AR15 - and some of her other guns - but I don't see it now. The site used to mention who powder-coated it for her so that other gun enthusiasts could get their weapons colored as they like.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Imagine that! Her favorite handgun is my favorite, too: the S&W M1917. Hard to find though.

Too bad that this story wont make the national news. It's a great FU to gun control advocates.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
It's not a 1917. Those are .45 ACP. This was a Second Model, Fourth Change in .455, accepted by the Enfield Arsenal, and converted after the war.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
I also have a pristine Colt 1917, however.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
I have a little newer reiteration of the 1917, A S&W 25, In .45 Long Colt, And yes it operates with authority, And you don't need to worry about the bullets expanding, They arrive already full sized.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
so shooter videos make people into killers but children watching hours of leftist-produced violent TV and movies do not? yeah we should just dump the 1st amendment too- /sarc
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
I've been saying this for years. As a young 13 year old caller to Rush Limbaugh's program so precociously noter: "Liberals don't want to know the truth". Tobacco ads kill, but ads for "Entertainment" depicting violent fantasies don't? If what the entertainment industry (and I include the Main Stream Media in this) depicts has no impact on their audience, why do they advertise?
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Oops! "Noter" should be "Noted", of course.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Why can't more people see how mainstream media has for a really long time been corrupting the younger generation?Went to public school,but I had already been shown rights/wrongs from family.If families did as should.then others wouldn't get sucked into things.LIz
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Yes, the sale of sporting goods for hunting and bulls-eye competition is falling off a cliff. But we were not the ones who ever claimed that sporting purpose was the only (or even most important) reason to own a gun. That was the anti-gunners' idea.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Thanks to Morrigan for speaking out on behalf of our youth who participate in hunting and competitive shooting sports. As a shooting sports coach, I volunteer several hours each week working with youth to help them develop safety skills, competency in using firearms and enjoyment of a life long sport, as well as being proficient competitors in the various disciplines.

Our youth don't come to the ranges alone, they come with their families. Unlike what we frequently see in many youth sports, shooting sports is a friendly competition and heavy on sportsmanship. A few months ago, my son was competing for $150,000 in scholarships when he experience a trigger malfunction on his BT-99. The young man next to him immediately offered him the use of his Beretta so my son could complete the match and post a score. This wasn't an exceptional event, but rather something that you will see year round.

All of my children have been competing since they were 8 years old and 3 of them have go on to become certified coaches. Now, as young college students, they each donate several hours a week to teaching the next generation.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Three cheers for you and your family! And thank you.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Michael Z. Williamson tells me he takes a small issue with the story. He said Morrigan is "not a gun expert."

Not perhaps by his standards as Mike is absolutely an expert by any definition.

By the standards of people like Tim Dickinson and Josh Sugarmann? She certainly is.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
"not supported by sources"

I very seldom see a liberal article or blog that uses sources to support their claims. Places like pjmedia, though, have hypertext links ALL OVER their articles.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
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