Every once in a while...ok, let's be honest, quite often, I encounter someone that makes me feel like a pretty darn good parent (at least in comparison).
By the time I arrived at the shooting range, the couple had gotten the baby into their car to go home. I approached the (very young) parents, and instructed them to never, EVER, bring the baby back to the shooting range again. The father just stared at me like he wanted to punch me, and the mother had a perpetual smirk on her face like she was going to start laughing.
"You have probably already given the baby some hearing damage by exposing him to these gunshots out here...not to mention all the lead," I said.
More blank stares and smirks...then the dad said, "Well we put the blanket over top of his stroller to muffle the sound. I stuck my head under there and it was just like wearing earmuffs."
I lectured him about the fragility of a baby's eardrums, and told them that if I ever saw the baby at the shooting range again that I would pursue Child Endangerment charges.
"Well, we are taking him to the sprint car nationals next weekend, so he will be exposed to even more noise," the father said (purely to piss me off) as he climbed into the car to leave.
They drove away and I looked at the Range Officer in disbelief. How could a parent be this stupid?
After I left, I called a deputy to find out whether Child Endangerment would really fit the bill. He said that he didn't think it would, but it was definitely a candidate for the Dumbass Parent of the Year Award. It was one of those moments when I really wished I could give someone a ticket for being stupid.
I hung up and called DHS.