Remember that old saying, "Engage brain before putting mouth in gear?" Or is the siren song of publishing utter tripe just too irresistible?
First off, January gun sales dropped from January 2021, which just so happened to have been the best January for gun sales on record, up 79% from January 2020. January 2022 was still the fourth best January, at least since the final year of the 20th Century (my data only goes back to 2000).
After January 2021 came January 2013, January 2016, and then January 2022. January 2022 sales were up about 25% from January 2019 and even more than that compared to 2018 and about the same for January 2017.
I guess you never heard of the Smith & Wesson M&P-15 2? It's a smaller, lighter version of the M&P-15 and it's been available for years. Unlike the WEE1 rifle, which ships with a single-round magazine, The M&P-15 22 comes with a 25-round magazine. How about ATI's GSG guns? There's a .22-caliber AR, a .22 caliber Schmeisser MP40, and various versions of the H&K MP5. They even have a version of the H&K with a fake suppressor. They all have 25-round magazines, too. Like the Smith & Wesson, they've been around for a long time, too. They're pretty nifty and a lot of fun to shoot.
Henry Repeating Arms makes a youth version of their lever-action .22. It holds 12 rounds and has a quick-loading tube magazine instead of side gate.
About the only thing I saw that set the WEE1 JR-1 apart was that it was lighter and less expensive, both the result of using polymer for the upper and receiver assemblies. Plus the JR-15 doesn't come with sights. As I noted earlier, the maximum magazine capacity is ten but the gun is supplied with a single-round magazine. The five-round and ten-round magazines are optional.
By the way, I don't know if you're just to lazy to get a picture of the actual gun, but it doesn't look like the rifle the kid in your picture is holding.
FYI: The WEE1 Tactical website was working just fine when I visited.
As far as it being "just like" the gun Adam Lanza used at Sandy Hook, a Ruger 10/22, which has been the bestselling rimfire rifle for years, operates just like that Bushmaster and there are not only 25-round magazines for the Ruger, there's even a loading tool to make filling that magazine easier.
I will confess I found the company's logo somewhat jarring but I have a hunch it was created in part to be a raised middle finger to folks like you, who would become incensed and give the company and its products some free publicity. Judging by the squeals of outrage, it seems to be working. Besides, how else are kids going to learn about WEE1 Tactical? It's not on TV and it's not like they are going to be advertised in National Geographic Kids, Ranger Rick, or Highlights. Thank heavens for the Internet, social media, and self-righteousness.
I am not sure about the knob. If they really wanted to make it more kid-proof, they could do like Smith & Wesson did with their revolvers and and use a key-operated lock. Of course, a knob is cheaper, but the key would work better in case the child discovered pliers.
If the parents wanted to ensure safety, they could simply go down to their local police department or sheriff's office and pick up on of the free gun safety kits distributed by the National Shooting Sports Foundation's Project ChildSafe/ The kit includes a cable-type gun lock.
It's kind of ironic that the gun industry came up with this program more than 20 years ago but none of the groups like Everytown for "Gun Safety," which is funded by billionaire Michale Bloomberg or Bloomie's other subsidiary, Moms Demand Action, has come up with something like this. If they actually cared about gun safety, you would think this would be a natural for them.
Of course, you did hear from all sorts of media types when the Justice Department gave the NSSF a $2.4 million grant to expand the scope of Project ChildSafe. From all the coverage I read, none of those stalwart journalists knew what the grant was for or maybe they just didn't care because it got in the way of their moral outrage or something.
News flash, Mike! While it's illegal in most states to transfer ownership of a firearm to a minor, it's not illegal in any state of which I am aware for a parent or guardian to purchase a firearm for their minor child to use. Josh Hawley can spend his time on other matters.
I recall youth-oriented magazines like Boy's Life running ads for rimfire rifles, especially around the holidays. Twelve was a fairly common age for a youth to receive his first gun.
Yes, I know you've got your crusade but would it really hurt you too much to check your facts once in a while?