A Child’s Life Forever Shattered

Yesterday, a six-year-old child was arrested in Newport News, Virginia.  Yes, you read that right … six years old and now in police custody.  What did he do?  He shot his teacher.  The child, a first grade student, barely out of diapers, brought a gun to school … and shot his teacher in the chest.  The superintendent of Newport News Public Schools, Dr. George Parker, said at a news conference that “we need to keep guns out of the hands of our young people.”  DUH!  Ya really think so?  We need to keep them out of the hands of ALL people!  That child did not purchase the gun … an adult bought it and left it, loaded, somewhere that was accessible to the child.  THAT is the crime here!

And while this is an anomaly, it is not without precedent.  According to the New York Times

David Riedman, who founded the K-12 School Shooting Database after the mass shooting at a high school in Parkland, Fla., in 2018, has compiled data on every school shooting — anytime a firearm has been discharged on school property — dating back to 1970. He found 16 cases involving shooters under the age of 10.

Three of them involved 6-year-old children. Two of those were ruled accidental shootings: One in 2011 at an elementary school in Houston in which a student had a gun that went off, injuring three people; and another in Mississippi in 2021, when a first-grader shot a fellow student with a gun he had brought to school and was playing with. In the third case, which attracted national attention, a 6-year-old boy shot and killed a young girl as the teacher was lining up students in a hallway.

According to Mr. Riedman’s research, there has been only one shooting at a school that involved someone under 6 years old: a kindergartner, aged 5, shot a gun in the cafeteria of his school in Memphis, Tenn., in 2013. No one was injured.

In all these cases, it is not the children who are to blame, but the adults, presumably their parents, who had the guns and failed miserably in their duties as parents to protect their children by keeping their guns unloaded and locked away!  How many lives have been ruined in these instances before they even got off the ground?  And WHY???  Because people care more about their so-called “right” to own a damn gun than they care about the lives of their children.  FOOLS!

The teacher, who was shot in the chest, has “life threatening injuries but has shown improvement,” according to a local news station.  Further details of the Newport News incident will no doubt be forthcoming, and I will do an update when I know more, but as of this writing, my inclination is to say that the parents of this child should be sent to prison for the next twelve years, at least, for they are unfit to live in the same home as a child!

88 thoughts on “A Child’s Life Forever Shattered

  1. This is so heartbreaking! The kid must be so confused and left traumatised when he thought it was only a toy gun but it was the opposite. Until today there have been a lot of cases where innocent childs have to suffer because of their parent’s reckless actions.

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    • That’s my thought, too … that poor boy. Everyone seems more focused on the teacher, but her wounds are physical and will heal, whereas the child is almost certainly scarred for life. I’m surprised the mother hasn’t been arrested yet … she absolutely should be!

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  4. You know and I have to say something else. I get so sick of hearing parents make lame excuses about how they ‘didn’t know’ or ‘can’t control’ their kids. This is so much BS. I had dour, count em, FOUR sons who knew without a shadow of a doubt that they would not get away with lying to us (it takes catching them in early lies and a countability) mistreating their siblings or us, sneaking around or not owning up. It was hard and sad work at times but parenting is a JOB if you’re doing it right. No your kids won’t like you half the time, That’s not your job. They will be tour friend once they make it to adulthood and realize the value in your loving discipline. Do you know with four kids we had a big grocery bill. We couldn’t afford to keep the house in sodas and snacks so things were metered out. My kids would check in with me after school and ask permission for extra snacks, can you EVEN imagine a parent today telling their kids no to anything as ‘trivial’ as a Coke? Yep, I’m old. 😞

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  5. I’m sorry to say it, Jill, but young parents are no longer parenting at all. From what I see online is they are too absorbed in wallowing in self pity and wanting to be famous online.,What happened to the resilience of human beings? Life will always be messy and imperfect and it is up to each individual to accept the responsibility of their lives. This sudden blame game and expecting perfection from an imperfect world is immobilizing our progress as a society. In fact, I see it going backwards. The headlines we read now could well have been written during the early days of this country, when the Wild West was at its peak. It is worse than absurd to have children exposed to guns let alone brandishing them. But we do know who to thank for it don’t we?

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    • Well, I don’t think we can make a blanket statement like that, for I’ve known young parents who did a terrific job. And, I’ve known some who were old enough and supposedly mature enough to parent, who did a lousy job of it. But to answer your question about the resilience of humans … I have no idea. What happened? Perhaps too much time spent on social media, believing the conspiracy theories and falsehoods they see there? Perhaps too much emphasis placed on ‘things’ by retailers and advertisers? Perhaps a combination of many things. Indeed, my friend, I have long said that as a nation, as a society, we are moving backward in many areas, one of which being tolerance and understanding of ‘other’. Racism is on the rise, as is homophobia, and even in the schools, some teachers are openly racist or anti-gay. It’s up to us … all of us … to care more and work harder to open the eyes of the rest of the people. Don’t ask me how, for I struggle to figure that out.

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    • Yes, that was why I threw out the 12 years figure, thinking that the boy is now 6, so in 12 years he’d be 18, legally an adult. But you’re right, they may have other children younger than he is. So, let’s just give the parents life sentences — better safe than sorry, and that way they couldn’t produce any more children!
      Cwtch

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  6. This is crazy. I remember little boys of this age, playing with bananas at the pre-school, playing as if the banana was a gun. The banana version is innocent and just role playing games, but even so, my son hated them playing those crazy gun games. He couldn’t work out why anyone would find it fun to play with a lethal weapon. That six year old would not even have had full comprehension of the implications. What irresponsible parents.

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    • As a child, I played with toy guns … water pistols, cap guns, etc., but today I find them horrifying and wish they’d be taken off the market altogether. This is a tragedy and that poor child’s life will never be the same. And why? Because somebody, likely his parents, put their ‘right’ to own a gun before the life of their child.

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        • I guess some nervous gun buyers would not understand the functioning of the working parts or be able to properly unload their weapons, never mind understanding the safety requirements. The fact that 1 in 25 Americans have a serious mental illness, such as schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, or major depression and many more are on various drugs it is a very dangerous place.

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        • Most often, contrary to what some would tell you, people don’t buy guns because they are afraid for their lives, they buy them because it makes them feel powerful, strong. I wrote a post several years ago about a family who left a gun where their child could get it. He did, and shot another of their children. The courts ordered them to give up their guns or their children, and guess what … at the time I wrote that post, their children were in foster care because they refused to give up their guns. True story. Obviously, I don’t know the circumstances of this latest episode, but my cynical side tends to blame the parents.

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          • Oh my goodness, Jill. I don’t know how parents could give up their children in favor of guns, but then if they disputed the value of the children, perhaps family services intervened and removed the children for their own safety. It may have been the best outcomeoutcome those kids. Sad, very sad.

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            • I don’t understand it either, my friend. Not everyone is wired the same, but in my book, parents who have so little regard for their own children never should have become parents to begin with! I wish our foster care system were better, since there are so many parents negligent in their duties, but sadly some foster parents only do it for the money rather than to provide a safe, loving home for the children.

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              • There are always bad eggs button the basket, but one hopes there are plenty of good eggs in foster care as well. Money or lack thereof is always an incentive to stretch the boundaries, even with caring of children.

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                • You’re right on all counts. I still, despite these last ten years, believe that there are more good people than bad, but unfortunately money (which is a man-made construct and has no actual value) rules the day. Money and politics should not enter into decisions about caring for children, but far too often they do just that.

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                  • I sooo agree with you. I love the idea of a bartering economy – it seems based on needs more so than wants. Money like shares and bitcoin could become mere polymer or paper in a blink of an eye. It is only symbolic to those that give it meaning.
                    You are right, fostering should be done not for paid income.

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                    • Have you read “One Second After” by William Forstchen? In it, the U.S. power grid is destroyed by an EMP (ElectroMagnetic Pulse) and the lights go out, along with everything else. It’s a chilling book, all the more so because EMPs are very real, Russia and presumably China have the capability of using them, and because it shows us just how much we rely on electricity for our very survival. At the point that grocery stores can no longer operate, that medication can no longer be produced, food rots without refrigeration, and more … then money as we know it becomes worthless. It’s a very well-written book and I highly recommend it — it provides much food for thought. When money is worthless, then we can only rely on our own skills and knowledge and trade those skills and knowledge to others for the product of theirs. At that point, perhaps we humans learn the true value of humanity, compassion, friendship.

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                    • That book One Second After by William Forstchen sounds really interesting and I will definitely seek it out. Thanks for the recommendation. The prospect of society being incapacitated without power looms plausibly in the future. I do hope not but can see it is possible. What skills are useful or essential in that scenario – employment wise, even in a barter economy. I could probably not trade my writing nor painting for food – so I would be doomed to starve I guess. Essential services like people with medical skills, food cultivating or cooking skills, building skills, fundamental skills perhaps? There is lots of food for thought reading your comment. – no pun intended. (P.S. It is a great discussion we are having!)

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                    • Forstchen followed it up with at least two sequels, but it is that first book that is most chilling and well worth the read! Yes, a strike on the nations power grid would definitely be the great equalizer … those with billions of dollars in their investment portfolio would be no better off than you or I. Worse, I imagine, since we do at least know how to cook our own food and take care of ourselves. No, my friend, you wouldn’t have to be doomed to starve … you would learn to make do with what you had and grow your own food. It’s amazing what we are capable of when put to the test. In the book, the man’s young daughter, who is Type I diabetic as I am, dies because she cannot get her insulin, so yes, many with health challenges would not survive. But I think that most able-bodied people would learn to adapt, and fairly quickly at that. I just hope that it would lead to people helping people, working together, rather than stabbing one another in the back. In today’s climate, I have to wonder. YES … I’m enjoying our discussion immensely!

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                    • So one looks for a sunny or windy supportive community to live, close to medical facilities with good soil, in a first world country, with free medicare and collegial, collaborative politicians, (if such exist), and go off the grid! Where could that be?

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          • I know this sounds cold but if your child is underage it is always your responsibility. I have four sons for which We always took full responsibility. They had their trips and falls but we addressed things and didn’t turn outside of our home to place blame. Of course I was also actively parenting. Too many children are being left to their own devices… literally, and parents act like they have no idea why their kids do terrible things.. it is lazy, unconscionable and there are some people who truly should not have children out there. Not to mention the ones who are emulating their awful parents.

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  7. IMO, this whole “Second Amendment” thing is behind such actions. The die-hards have continue to shout about their “Rights” to the point that even the average citizen begins to believe that Yes! They should have a gun too! And it is these “average citizens” who have NO CLUE on the proper care and handling of this deadly weapon.

    Plus, so many of the movies today are filled with DEATH BY GUNS … how can a six-year-old not be affected? No child of this age has developed the capacity to recognize the true power behind this deadly weapon.

    A VERY sad situation.

    Liked by 2 people

    • When the day comes (as it already has) that the ‘right’ of every Tom, Dick & Harry to own a gun supersedes the right of a child to live, then the 2nd Amendment belongs in the rubbish heap. We have amended the U.S. Constitution for many things, including to give equal rights to Black people, to give women the right to own property and vote, so perhaps it’s time to either ditch the 2nd Amendment altogether, or alter it to be more specific and to have life-saving limitations. Yes, my friend, it is a very sad situation.

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  8. How awful. The Republicans will blame this on mental health no doubt. That image is so scary too. These stories, especially of the ones when the kids also end up accidentally shooting them selves or another child, are so awful to read. Gun control!

    Liked by 1 person

    • The Republicans are too busy being clowns to likely even have read about this, but if they did, yes they would say the child had a mental health issue, or maybe even blame it on the teacher! Yes, gun control! But … it isn’t likely at least for the next two years. Sigh.

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  9. Jill, it is less of anomaly than it should be. Google “six year old shoots four year old” or some permutation of that and count the stories of children getting a hold of a gun. The parents should be held accountable for not locking the gun up and taking out the bullets. Keith

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    • True … I was only looking at shootings in schools, but you’re right, it is a frequent event that a child gets hold of a gun at home … and one that is not highly noted in the media, I might add. One would think it would be front page news, but rarely is it. Is the press in the pockets of the NRA as well? Yes, the parents in every such case should be held to account and never allowed near a child again!

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        • I think you’re right … sadly. Yes, people are shocked when 19 children are brutally murdered in a school shooting, but the daily shootings involving one or four people seem to go unnoticed. Yes, every single day, there are multiple shootings within ten miles of my home, but does anybody seem to care? We’ve had two shootings on my street in the past 5 years, so I’m on constant alert.

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  10. As usual this will be brushed under the Republican carpet and something to send thoughts and prayers about. I always thought your President could overrule such stupidity with a life saving legislation such as all gun owners having a gun safe and that does not infringe on gun ownership, it is just a sensible thing to do.

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    • No doubt about it. In fact, as horrifying as it is, I haven’t seen any further news about it. But then, Kevin McCarthy has occupied most of today’s news, so perhaps there’s no room for a six-year-old child whose life was just ruined. No, there are limits to what the president can do, and he cannot simply sign an executive order to override Congress.

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  11. Until it’s, one of the Republicans’ own family members who is, shot to death, the party won’t change its support for the NRA, and beside, the NRA has, already, pocketed the Republicans in the House, as well as the, Senate too, and so, fat chance for a gun control bill to even, get through the, “reading”, phase.

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    • No, I am quite certain that this won’t change the Republican’s stance on gun laws, for they are too deeply indebted to the NRA and addicted to those mega-donations they get. And if a school shooting that took the lives of 19 children couldn’t make them enact strict gun laws, this shooting that took no lives certainly won’t. Sigh.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Everything. Certain politicians are bought and paid for by the National Rifle Association (NRA) and have therefore stopped any sensible gun legislation from passing in Congress. Few people, in my mind need to or deserve to own a gun, but in this country there are more guns than people and we have the highest death rate by gun of any other nation in the world.

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  12. Pingback: A Child’s Life Forever Shattered | Ned Hamson's Second Line View of the News

  13. Not enough news there to say anything pertinent, but I certainly hope they are not going to charge this child, even if he says he intended to this. Kids are non compos mentos when it comes to understanding death or other injuries resulting from gun use. But you are correct when you say the parents of the child need to be held responsible, though if they are both imprisoned the kid and any siblings will be left parentless. (Which may be good in one sense if both parents are gun nuts, but morally wrong if the kid gets put into the foster care system.. That could turn him into a real killer!)

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