The picture is of a 10-year-old from New Jersey holding what appears to be an assault rifle – actually a hunting rifle done up to look like an assault rifle. A neighbor saw the photo posted to Facebook and called the New Jersey Department of Youth and Family Services, which aggressively came to the family’s home along with police. The police demanded that the father open the safe, which he refused to do. Police, lacking a warrant or criminal charges, left.
No laws were broken, and the police pretty much did what police do – take a heavy-handed approach in the hopes that the person on the other end doesn’t quite understand what his or her rights are. The father did understand, and the police left empty-handed. Not that it could have ended any other way, since nothing was technically amiss – New Jersey doesn’t require guns to be registered, and the son was trained and had a hunting license.
So, it’s more or a less a story about how you maybe shouldn’t share everything on a public social networking site. With this incident behind them, nothing will likely change for the father and son regardless of how responsible with firearms they are – it looks like we’re well on our way to not addressing gun control once again, anyway.
As for what’s to be said about the image of a 10-year-old holding what looks like an assault rifle and smiling – I’ll leave that up to you.