The above crib pays homage to the prodigious gun designer John Moses Browning (who created among other classics, the M1911 pistol that was standard-issue for the army for nearly 75 years andinteresting triviais the state gun of Utah). The front railing of the crib was designed to emulate the stocks of two 1895 Winchester lever-action rifles, the crib poles are made of steel rifle barrels, the headboard features Brownings buckmark insignia and cut-outs of the Auto 5 shotgun. There are additional, subtler gun details that you can read about at Guns and Tactics but rest assured that a great deal of thought, planning, and design ingenuity went into this piece.
The crib was created by gun-lover Aaron Coston when he learned that his wife was expecting their first child. He built it specifically to highlight the aesthetic and formal aspects of Brownings designs:
so many youth these days are indoctrinated with the idea that guns are bad. Guns are evil, and they’re only used to hurt people. I wanted my child to offer the contrasting truth as he grew up, that guns are beautiful, they aren’t evil, and the best time to start was right away.
This crib points out an interesting aspect of our built environment and the way that we use objects to train our minds. Coston thinks that placing his child in the environment of the Browning Crib-because it is a well-crafted, beautiful objectwill encourage the child to appreciate the beauty of guns. So the crib is a teaching tool, a device that lets this dad tell a particular narrative about the place of firearms in society and culture. But it is also a way for Coston to affirm his own relationship with firearms and it probably serves as a reminder to him and his wife that guns are very much a part of their lives and the life they want to give their child.
Im been writing a fair number of posts lately on guns and children and war toys. I think Im so fascinated by this because objects created for children can reveal underlying social ideas about what makes a good life and a good human being. What are the objects that will train future citizens to be awesome? How should they think about those objects? As this crib demonstrates, there is a (not insignificant) portion of the US population that sees firearms as meaningful tools for citizenry.
images and information via budsgunshop.com