It seems unlikely that the shooter is blameworthy; hard to imagine that he should have known better – at four-years-old. Can’t see how the six-year-old could have done anything to provoke it, either. Not likely that he was threatening death or serious bodily injury such that the four-year-old was justified in defending himself. Who, then, gets the blame?
The obvious answer: the parents. Somehow, some way, this four-year-old had access to his father’s .22 caliber rifle. Had the father acted responsibly and made his gun inaccessible to his four-year-old, the needless death of a six-year-old would not have occurred – at least not like this, not then. Pro-gun, pro-gun control, it doesn’t matter; this is, and should be, a “WTF?” moment for everyone.
Why? Because right now, as it currently stands in New Jersey - one of the least gun friendly states in the union - the father is potentially guilty of only a mere disorderly persons offense. The same charge one would get for shoplifting something valued less than $200. WTF.
Can we not agree then that this father, this irresponsible gun owner, is a perfect example of why stricter gun laws, at least in some measure, are needed. Has the discourse surrounding guns in this country really come to a point where we cannot agree that the moral turpitude of the father’s actions is greater than that of shoplifting something valued less than $200? Can it really be argued that the second amendment prohibits us, as a society, from condemning this man’s actions to a greater degree than shoplifting? I certainly hope not.