Raising a child is difficult. Anyone who has ever tried to stay calm during a toddler’s tantrum understands the meaning of “patience.” Any parent who has survived the defiant early teen years knows how challenging a child can be.
Most parents struggle with discipline, trying to find the balance between support and setting limits. Not all parents succeed, and in a time when there are almost as many guns as people in our country, it is inevitable that one of those failures would lead to near disaster.
The Huffington Post reports that a young child was challenged to a gun duel by her angry father.
According to the report, a Colorado father was arguing with his daughter one recent evening. The report doesn’t give us the age of the child, but the father was reported to be 38 years old. We don’t know what the argument was about, either, but it became so heated that the father completely lost it.
Unfortunately, in this case the household was in possession of more than one loaded gun. The furious Dad pulled out his own weapon and aimed it at his wife and daughter. Then he ordered the girl to go into another room to get her gun so that they could settle their dispute with a gun duel.
There were more than 33,000 gun deaths in the U.S. in 2013, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. These deaths included murder, suicide and accidental shootings. There was no separate category for “duel.”
In the case of the murderous father, police reported that there was some sort of a struggle and both of them fired. The mother then tried to escape the house with her child, but the father grabbed yet another loaded gun and once again shot at her. He missed, and the woman called 911.
Officers came and arrested the father, Robert Williams. He now faces child abuse charges for shooting at his daughter in the heat of the moment.
There are so many lessons that could be learned from this horror story. We could look at the need for parenting classes, or the need for increased mental health services. A case could be made for better monitoring of at-risk families.
To me, though, the most obvious answer is to limit the numbers of guns that sit loaded and available during a family squabble.
These people are incredibly lucky that they are such terrible shots.