Sunday, August 7, 2011

And the Winner Is...

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).

Tonight I got a phone call from the "Range Officer" at the pistol/rifle hooting range on one of the wildlife areas. He reported that someone brought a baby to the shooting range. The baby was in a stroller, with no ear protection, inside the fenced in shooting range. A blanket covered the baby (it was 90 degrees today), and the child had been bawling for the last half hour.

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.


  1. Seems to me the range could adopt a rule against having babies on the line to take the matter out of idiots' hands. (Which is why I reported it to the owners of a shooting range when I was out shooting skeet and a family, picking up spent shells at the end of their shoot, let their TODDLER CRAWL OUT BEYOND THE SAFE ZONE. Stupid, stupid, stupid.

    And sadly, these people have already perpetuated their genes. :-(

  2. Some people really do see their kids as pets. Just things you have to feed and clean up after. If they aren't acting sick they must be fine right? I remember as a kid shooting a gun for the first time and hear that numbing ring noise in my ears. I was older maybe 10-11 but I remember thinking then that ring can't be a good thing. I can't imagine what it would do to a babies ears.

  3. Our son, who survived our parenting and is now 27, was raised with the refrain, "See, it could be worse!" when we've run across stories like this.

  4. It's sad to believe that people like this can have kids without a license.

  5. I've decided it takes a police department to raise a child. There are many days I do more parenting than policing. I like the idea of a Dumbass Parent of the Year Award but truly, it would be hard to pick a winner.

  6. Is it just me, or, am I on to something? Seems almost daily that we can read somewhere where some parent has excelled at being slower than the speed of "Stupid". History says, FC, you will not be the first or the last, to file a complaint about this particular couple!

  7. I'm a pediatrician. I feel your pain. One of my instructors used to walk away from people like this and mumble ".... but you need a LICENSE to catch a fish..." :-)

    Bookmarking you!

  8. Thanks for reading Kathy...I can only imagine the things you see on a daily basis. Doesn't seem quite right does it? A license to fish but not to breed.

  9. if you think this kid was a dullard... you shoulda met his parents..