I began shooting when I was 4 years old. The .22 rifle was too heavy for me to hold, so my dad let the front stock rest in his open hand while I held the rest of the rifle, aimed and fired at targets. By age 6, I was holding the rifle by myself and had become a pretty good shot. I killed my first rabbit at age 6 and was so proud of myself. At age 9 I was hunting birds with a shotgun, rabbits with a rifle and deer with a bow and arrow.
When I was ten, I begged my dad for my own rifle, but he said they couldn’t afford to buy guns for my two older brothers and me, so we either shared or borrowed from my grandfather. Oh how I wanted to have my very own gun to hunt with, but it wasn’t until some years later that I was finally able to afford to buy my own.
There are millions of boys in America that have grown up in families that like to hunt, fish, camp, hike and target shoot. Most of those boys were probably like me, longing to have their very own gun. Some of them are fortunate enough to realize that dream and I couldn’t be happier for them.
One of those lucky lads was Josh Moore. A few days before his 11th birthday, his dad, Shawn Moore, presented him with his own .22 caliber rifle which appears similar to an assault-style rifle. Josh was so excited. He dressed up in his hunting camos and posed with his new rifle and huge grin. Like many proud fathers, Shawn posted the photo on his Facebook page.
It wasn’t long before the Moore family’s joy turned to fear and bewilderment. Shawn was at a friend’s house when he received a frantic call from his wife. She told him that four police officers and investigators from the state child welfare office were at the house demanding to see the family’s guns. Shawn returned to the house as soon as possible and called the Evan F. Nappan Attorney at Law firm in Eatontown, New Jersey because they specialize in Second Amendment cases. He kept the attorney’s office on speaker phone as he confronted the police and child welfare agents.
Shawn asked them if they had a warrant and when they said no, he asked them to leave. He described what happened:
“They said they wanted to see into my safe and see if my guns were registered. I said no; in New Jersey, your guns don’t have to be registered with the state; it’s voluntary. I knew once I opened that safe, there was no going back.”
“I don’t like what happened. You’re not even safe in your own house. If they can just show up at any time and make you open safes and go through your house, that’s not freedom; it’s like tyranny.”
Evidently, some liberal saw the photo of Josh and his new rifle on Shawn’s Facebook page and called the child abuse hotline and reported the incident. Kristine Brown, spokeswoman for the state child welfare department said that when they receive a report of suspected neglect or abuse that they are obligated to investigate it. She commented on the incident, saying:
“It’s the caseworker’s call. It is important to note the way an investigation begins is through the child abuse hotline. Someone has to call to let us know there is a concern.”
How does a photo of an 11 year old boy, dressed in hunting clothes, holding a hunting rifle constitute neglect or abuse? It doesn’t. The only abuse in this case was on the part of the caller. Authorities need to trace the caller down and charge them with making a false report with malicious intent to harm and/or harass.
When will people get it into their thick skulls that just because you don’t like something, it doesn’t give you the right to dictate that onto everyone else. If you don’t like guns, fine, don’t own any, but stop trying to impose your personal feelings on others. It’s no different than what New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg has been doing to the citizens of New York by imposing bans on painkillers, sugary drinks, large drinks, etc.
Josh Moore – If you ever see this post, I want to wish you all the happiest hunting experiences with your dad. Those times are precious for both of you and you both will fondly look back on them for years to come, I know I do with my dad.