Bill's Vacation Gift From Dad! (Comic Ads #34)
|Comic Ads are more than just the mountain of Hostess Ads we know and love. Over the years, many a company has used one page comic ads to shill their products in the pages of comic books! So I thought I'd do a list series that showcases those ads, and shows you what issues I've found them in. To me, these are as much a part of comics history as any superhero, and I love 'em for the nostalgia they bring. I hope they do the same for you. Enjoy.|
So, four years before we got to see The day Bill told off his boss, we were treated to this much earlier story of Bill, and the gift of guns and gun safety from his dad! Apparently, Bill got the confidence to tell off his boss because he had the confidence of knowing if the boss got too lippy, he could put a BB in his eye from over twenty feet away! And he might even win a nifty NRA medal while he was doing it. Only with a Daisy folks!
I only ever got to shoot a BB gun that belonged to one of my neighbors, but they were fun, as long as you didn't tip the gun the wrong way and spill the BB's out. What kills me now is how these guns were made to look like real shotguns and handguns. If you're thinking that those real-looking guns probably got a few kids shot, you'd be absolutely correct. And that fact is why toy manufacturers were pressured into putting safety-orange tips on the ends of their guns, and eventually into manufacturing the guns in toy colors altogether.
And then some idiot decided that it would be cool if real guns could come in dayglow pink for girls, or to stamp Hello Kitty on the side of a handgun. Yes, that stupid f***ing gun to the left is for real. This is something that should be labelled negligent on the part of the manufacturer, and should be punishable by law to have one anywhere near children. Severely punishable.
And now air guns and paintball guns have gone back to looking like the real deal. F*** this country is stupid sometimes.
Here's the thing though: the right to bear arms is the USA's Second Amendment, right after our First Amendment freedoms of religion, speech, press, assembly, and petition. We've largely gotten away from this- hell, I've shot a gun once in my life, and my dad's a retired cop and firing range instructor! My grandfather was a hunter who owned a hunt club and held regular turkey shoots (shooting competitions) where my mother learned to shoot! It's therefore ridiculous that I've never learned the proper handling, care and firing of guns! We honestly have a responsibility to know about this, and to pass it on to our kids. If we don't live up to that responsibility, some idiot winds up in charge of guns that makes that Hello Kitty crap you see above.
The mindset was there until sometime in the Eighties (perhaps about the time the Menendez brothers shot and killed their parents), and that's why it wasn't weird to advertise real-looking BB guns in comics, or to think about teaching your kid "training in marksmanship and safe handling of guns," as Bill's dad says in the ad. It's funny and weird to read this ad today, but notice that Bill's dad thinks and talks seriously about Bill owning a gun rather than borrowing one, and about learning to handle them safely. There is nothing irresponsible about this ad. As with too many things in life, guns are only dangerous if someone isn't trained properly in how to use them.
Just as a side note, who the hell has a twenty foot room in their house? I mean, the living room, if you're lucky, and it's unlikely that mom and dad are going to let you set up in there. So yeah, that part of the ad is odd. But what's probably oddest is the look of fervent glee on this kid's face as he talks about his NRA medals. Brr...scary.
Below, you can see the double page spread together. I split it apart above, so it could appear bigger and more readable. Thanks for reading.
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