We're not sure that the district attorney in the case sees things the same way. He declined to press charges against the father, which is a good decision on purely humanitarian grounds. The law has absolutely no punishment as harsh as this man's life must now be. We get that, and feel an immense pity for him.
What concerns us is the statement issued by DA Robert Kochems, at least as reported by the Daily Mail (we can't find the original online; also, fair warning the story has some absolutely heartbreaking Facebook photos, which probably do not belong in the press). He says that the father did indeed commit a misdemeanor because of his evident "lack of understanding, practice and/or training" with firearms safety. Kochems says that he wants "the community to learn" from this, rather than to go through "a polarizing case." So ... not enforcing the law is for our own good? It's a stretch, but maybe it will work. We'll give him a pass on this idea.
Our real problem, though, is this:
Kochems declined to comment beyond his statement, which stressed his belief in a constitutional right to own firearms.
'I own a number myself,' the statement said. 'Further, with the reduction of public safety forces firearms ownership may be becoming more necessary.
'Persons who make the decision to own a firearm for personal protection must realize that their primary purpose in owning the firearm is to kill someone or something. They have an obligation to know how the firearm works not just on the day they purchase it but on every occasion that they touch it and always remembering its purpose.'Holy crap. His argument, at some level, is that he won't press charges because of the 2nd Amendment, and because the police can't do their jobs, so therefore ... people need to train to kill each other? First off, that's as dystopian a worldview as we've heard this week. And secondly, those, in our opinion, are the reasons to make an example out of this poor S.O.B. of a father -- since he exercised his right to keep arms in a manner that was, as Kochems says, so profoundly irresponsible.