11-Year-Old Left Home Alone With Loaded Gun for 'Protection'

This dad's heart might have been in the right place, but his head definitely wasn't. New Mexico man John Ruiz is charged with leaving his 11-year-old daughter with a loaded pistol while he got a tattoo on his head. Reportedly, he left the little girl with the gun so she could "protect" herself if need be while he was away. I guess a babysitter was out of the question?!

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The heat-packing little girl caused a commotion when she went to the pool at her apartment complex -- with her gun. A neighbor called police, who were shocked to find that the girl's dad is the one who gave her the weapon, apparently telling her to keep it by her side in case of a break-in.

First off, if you're that scared of a break-in, then perhaps leaving your child alone isn't the wisest idea. Secondly, a kid alone with a loaded pistol is never, never acceptable. All you have to do is read the news to see how many children shoot themselves or someone else every year because they got ahold of a gun.

Reportedly, the little girl told police this wasn't the first time her dad had left her alone with a gun. He had done it several times when he went on errands and told her to use it for protection.

The dad's heart might have been in the right place here, but the road to hell is paved with good intentions. I don't care if, at 11 years old, she can shoot a pin off a log at 20 paces. A child is not capable of clearly determining what is a threat and what isn't. Plenty of adults can't even do that! A child doesn't have the capacity to determine when it's appropriate to use a gun and when not -- witness how she casually brought it to the pool area.

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A child is not an adult, period. And guns are not for children.

The little girl remains in state custody even though the dad has been released from jail. He may care about his child, but he is teaching her some bad habits that could easily become deadly for her or another child or adult.

Do you think he deserves any sympathy? Was he just trying to protect her?

 

Image via KOAT

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