Parenting and Firearms

On Friday, January 6th, 2023, a six-year-old male child shot his first-grade teacher. The “properly secured” firearm owned by the child’s mother was smuggled into the school in the morning. At around 2 pm, the child shot the teacher without warning. The bullet traveled through her hand and into her chest. The teacher was able to escort the other children in the classroom to safety before seeking medical aid herself. 

Last week I mentioned the child’s mother had reached a felony plea agreement to serve 18-24 months in prison on the federal charge of lying on the ATF Form 4473 about her current or prior drug use. 

As a reminder, lying on a 4473 is now punishable by up to 15 years in prison. But as has become painfully obvious lately, this crime is either not a priority for the ATF and US Attorney’s or is eligible to be sent to diversion if you are well enough connected. 

The federal plea deal has nothing to do with the state charges surrounding the shooting. There she has been charged with felony child neglect and misdemeanor recklessly leaving a loaded firearm so as to endanger a child.

At first glance this sounds like another stereotypical child-gets-hold-of-a-gun story the gun-control zealots love to put out as an example of why guns are bad and more gun-control is needed. That is not the case here. 

As for the firearm itself, the child’s mother has maintained that the legally purchased firearm was secured on a top shelf in her closet and had a trigger lock.

“Our family has always been committed to responsible gun ownership and keeping firearms out of the reach of children. The firearm our son accessed was secured.”

Under Virginia law, it’s a misdemeanor for an adult to leave a loaded, unsecured firearm in such a way it could endanger a child under the age of 14. It is prohibited for a person to unknowingly allow a child under the age of 12 to use a firearm.

Then there was the lack of concern and action at the school.  According to the family, the child suffers from “acute disability and was under a care plan at the school that included his mother or father attending school with him and accompanying him to class every day.” Yet on this day, the mother dropped the child off and did not attend with him, yet the school took no action. The child had a history of random violence, including attacking students and teachers alike.

The school administration was warned three different times by teachers and staff members over several hours starting at 11:15 am that day the child may have a weapon at school but failed to take it seriously. His backpack was searched once, but no firearm was found. Neither security nor law enforcement were contacted. One administrator said to “wait the situation out because the school day was almost over”. The incident was downplayed by the school administration as the boy had “little pockets”. 

Since the incident, two administrators have been terminated and the teacher who was shot has filed a lawsuit against the school, the administrators, and the school board. The response from the school to the lawsuit? While acknowledging the teacher was “clearly injured while at work, at her place of employment, by a student in the classroom,” it should be covered by worker compensation instead of a lawsuit. The board rejected the teacher’s claim she could reasonably expect to work with young children who pose no danger, pointing to numerous incidents of violence against teachers across the U.S. and in Newport News.

A good friend of mine asked how many jobs do you know where there is a reasonable likelihood of being shot as part of the job AND you are not allowed to carry a firearm for self-defense? 

The clear negligence of the parent’s firearm storage and the school’s lack of response aside, there is a question of parenting. This 6-year-old child did not have a random, violent temper tantrum, this was a premeditated attack. The child knew his mother was not going to be attending school that day, was able to access and enable the “properly secured” firearm, hide it while the mother drove him to school, during the first part of the day, then without provocation, aim and shoot his teacher. 

Was the child never taught the difference between right and wrong? 
Why did the child feel it was okay for him to steal a firearm from the parent?
Who taught the child that shooting another human being was acceptable?
Where did the child learn this was an acceptable response to a disagreement with their teacher?

I’ve known lots of six-year-old kids in my life (including my own), most with firearms in the home. NONE of them would ever have considered a) touching a firearm without permission or b) using it in an act of violence. The difference is being an actual parent. There are FREE programs available for children of different ages to help parents talk to their children about firearms and safety, you must only care enough to ask. 

This incident wasn’t a gun-control failure, it was a parenting failure, clear and simple. Someone taught this child about this level of violence. Someone taught that child it was acceptable to shoot someone if you felt had wronged you. The child acted the way they were taught. 

Personally, I don’t think the mother can get enough time in prison. I just hope the child winds up with someone who can undo the damage. 


#Oddstuffing, #Constitution, #BillOfRights, #SecondAmendment, #2A, #GunControlFails, #CrimeAndViolence, #ParentingFail, #EddieEagle, #GunVote, #medium, #mewe, #parler, #gab, #gettr, #truthsocial,

Safe Storage Laws – Punishing Crime Victims

One of moldy oldies of the gun control movement is experiencing resurgence these days. Safe storage laws are once again being pushed in communities and states around the country. And as always, it has nothing to do with safety, only control. It is just another way for gun control zealot politicians to intimidate, harass and punish law-abiding firearm owners and minimize their Second Amendment rights, at the expense of the very people who they claim they are trying to keep safer. 

Firearm storage inside the home is a very personal subject. Most people who own firearms for self-defense choose to have them ready in case they are needed. In those situations, seconds really do count. Unlocking a safe, removing a cable lock and then loading your firearm essentially renders it useless as a self-defense tool. 

That of course is the idea behind safe storage laws. Anti-gun politicians don’t want you to be able to defend yourself in an emergency. They want you to be 100% reliant on the government for your safety. Also keep in mind that your local law enforcement agency has no legal responsibility for keeping you safe.  Many lawsuits against law enforcement from victims of violent crimes due to government inaction or negligence have been dismissed, as the police have no duty to protect you, even if they could have and simply decided not to. 

So even though the government knows they can not adequately protect you in public or in your home, they want to make sure you are not able to protect yourself either. By passing so-called safe storage laws, you are required to keep your self-defense firearm unloaded and disabled in your own home. AND… if you do leave your firearm unlocked in your locked home and it is stolen, you have committed a crime. 

Consider the following scenario. You leave your house in the morning for work, give your dog a new chew toy, lock the doors and set the alarm. While you are gone someone breaks into your house. They do this because they know the chances of being caught are low and the chances of any real penalty coming out of it if they are caught are practically non-existent. 

In the quick ransack of your house, burglars find your non-government approved firearm storage spot in a Ziploc bag in the refrigerator’s vegetable crisper drawer.* They take this firearm and commit yet another crime and injure or kill someone with it. What happens to you? You are arrested for improper storage of a firearm. 

Now let’s change this scenario a little. Upon breaking into your home, the burglars find your new 10” Wustoff cook’s knife. They take this knife and commit yet another crime and injure or kill someone with it. What happens to you? You are NOT arrested since you were the victim of the crime of burglary and had no involvement in the commission of the crime using your stolen property. 

Let’s change that scenario one more time. Upon breaking into your home, the burglars find your car keys. On the way out the door they go by the liquor cabinet and grab a bottle of Jack Daniels. They take your car and liquor, get drunk and drive the wrong way down the interstate and injure or kill someone. What happens to you? You are NOT arrested since you were the victim of the crime of burglary and had no involvement in the commission of the crime using your stolen property.

I’m not aware of any other situation where the victim of a crime can be criminally charged as a result of being a victim of someone else’s crime. By creating these feel-good but useless public safety laws that criminalize legal behavior inside of your own home, you become both the victim and the criminal with no action necessary on your own part. 

The other side of so-called safe storage laws concerns children gaining access to unsecured firearms. As someone who has been involved in firearm safety for decades, I can honestly tell you there is no excuse for this. There is also no excuse for the bad parenting that lead to it. 

My story: As a child growing up, my family owned firearms, as did most of our relatives. Some were stored unsecured and loaded for home self-defense. I knew where these firearms were in our house and those of our relatives. Did I ever touch them without permission? HELL NO!! Why? Because I was taught the difference between right and wrong, as well as a respect for firearms. 

In my home as an adult, I also kept loaded firearms for self-defense. Did my son ever touch them? HELL NO!! Why? Because he too was taught the difference between right and wrong, as well as respect for firearms. To this day, I wouldn’t even question if my now adult son walked into my house and found a loaded firearm sitting on the dining room table, he would ask before he handled it.  

The National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF) has an excellent – and free – program called Project ChildSafe. It combines information, education and gunlocks distributed for free by law enforcement agencies around the country. The National Rifle Association (NRA) has a child firearm safety program available – also free – called the Eddie Eagle GunSafe Program. It teaches children what do if they find an unsecured firearm. Both have been successfully educating children and youth about real firearm safety for years. 

Firearm safety and storage is a very personal subject. What works for me in my home may not be appropriate for a home with young children living or visiting in the home. There are solutions for everyone that does not sacrifice safety or security. What doesn’t work for either is a one-size-fits-none government mandate that firearms shouldn’t be available for self-defense. How does being a helpless victim keep anyone except the criminals safe? 


#oddstuffing,  #Constitution, #BillOfRights, #SecondAmendment, #GunControlFails, #NSSF, #NRA, #ProjectChildSafe, #EddieEagle, #SelfDefense, #HomeDefense, #mewe, #medium,

*Note to self: Move firearm out of vegetable crisper drawer.