12-Year-Old Who Shot Intruder Needed a Parent More Than a Gun

12 year old shoots intruderA brave 12-year-old girl hid in her closet with a gun from an intruder and shot him in the chest when he tried to open the door. Her reaction was incredibly courageous. She may have even saved her own life (though some say he was just homeless and looking for food). But what was a little girl doing home alone? And why would her mother tell her to get a gun of all things?

Her single mom says she sometimes leaves her kids alone because she has no choice. I feel for her. I really do. Twelve is just at the age where it would be OK to be alone for a period of time. But I differ on whether I think a 12-year-old should be in a house with a loaded gun.

Sure, this story has a happy ending, but what if it didn't? As a mom, I can't even imagine getting a call saying my daughter was experiencing a home invasion. And sure, a 12-year-old can be trained on a gun. But still. It's just a bad idea.

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This woman is very lucky her daughter's story went down like this. A child that young should not be alone, dealing with an intruder and holding a loaded gun. It's just wrong.

Thinking back to being 12 myself, I am sure I could not have handled this as maturely. I also know that 99.9 percent of the 12-year-olds I know should not ever have loaded guns. Ever.

So while this story has an amazing, kick ass ending, all is not well that ends well.

Regardless of how much of a break I want to give the mom (and I do), the reality is, this is not a great situation. A 12-year-old may seem mature. She may act mature. She may even trick you into thinking she can handle adult responsibility. But she is still very much a child.

Twelve is too young to be dealing with all this and, even though I was babysitting at 12 myself, I would not hire a 12-year-old to stay with my kids unless I was home, too. She could be a "mother's helper," but not a babysitter.

Other people may feel otherwise, but I think that is a lot of responsibility to put on the shoulders of a little girl. Sure, this story ended well. But I can think of 10 other ways it could have gone.

Do you think 12 is old enough to be home alone with a loaded gun?

 

Image via Ardyiii/Flickr

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