Image: Daniel Furon

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In 1997, its first year of operation, children’s clothing distributor Bonnie and Children’s Sportswear Inc. sold 1.2 million items of pint-sized camouflage gear and accessories. Owner Bonnie Cason expects to double that success this year, in part due to the olive green embroidered jumper pictured here. “It’s real big,” Cason says, “because girls love it as much as boys.” Comparing this outfit to the efforts by the gun and hunting industries to “familiarize” children with weapons—notably, the National Rifle Association’s Eddie Eagle cartoon character cum safety spokesbird—Kristen Rand of the Violence Policy Center sees a trend to “reach out to smaller and smaller children.” Cason estimates that she’s sold about 50,000 of the “Daddy’s Little Deer” design.

Estimated number of firearms in the possession of U.S. citizens: 192 million One out of every three handguns is stored in the home loaded and unlocked For every child killed by a gun, three are wounded The firearm death rate of American children (up to 14 years old) is nearly 12 times higher than that of the other 25 industrialized nations combined Reduction in accidental firearm deaths of kids after a state passes a “safe storage” law making gun owners responsible for storing firearms safely: 23 percent Number of states that have such safe storage laws: 15 Rank of firearms as the cause of accidental death among children 5 to 14 years old: 4

DOES IT FEEL LIKE POLITICS IS AT A BREAKING POINT?

Headshot of Editor in Chief of Mother Jones, Clara Jeffery

It sure feels that way to me, and here at Mother Jones, we’ve been thinking a lot about what journalism needs to do differently, and how we can have the biggest impact.

We kept coming back to one word: corruption. Democracy and the rule of law being undermined by those with wealth and power for their own gain. So we're launching an ambitious Mother Jones Corruption Project to do deep, time-intensive reporting on systemic corruption, and asking the MoJo community to help crowdfund it.

We aim to hire, build a team, and give them the time and space needed to understand how we got here and how we might get out. We want to dig into the forces and decisions that have allowed massive conflicts of interest, influence peddling, and win-at-all-costs politics to flourish.

It's unlike anything we've done, and we have seed funding to get started, but we're looking to raise $500,000 from readers by July when we'll be making key budgeting decisions—and the more resources we have by then, the deeper we can dig. If our plan sounds good to you, please help kickstart it with a tax-deductible donation today.

Thanks for reading—whether or not you can pitch in today, or ever, I'm glad you're with us.

Signed by Clara Jeffery

Clara Jeffery, Editor-in-Chief

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