Gun control is a hotly debated issue in America and one that is sure to make the comments section on any video or article go absolutely insane.
In fact, people feel so passionately about the issue that some have gone so far to concoct conspiracy theories stating the victims of school shootings are "crisis actors" or they make up the "true origins" of shooters.
One point that a lot of gun control proponents bring up is the fact that the number of toddlers who kill and are killed by guns in American every year is ridiculously high: higher in 2015-2017, for example, than the number of people who were killed by acts of terrorism in the US.
So you can only imagine the online fury that was created after this video of 4-year-old Maverick cocking and pulling the trigger of a rifle at an NRA convention went viral.
The child was approached by huntress and outdoorswoman Kendall Jones who asked the young boy to show her what he can do with the gun. He then demonstrates his understanding and ability to engage the gun's bolt and trigger mechanism, then unloads and loads the rifle's magazine.
"That is adorable," Jones says at the end of the video clip she posted on her Twitter account.
Kendall's video of Maverick was posted with the caption, "This video is INCREDIBLE! Parenting done RIGHT."
And there were a bunch of people who agreed with her and praised the 4-year-old's parent's decision to bring him to an NRA convention.
But there was an overwhelmingly negative response to Jones' tweet - many of them from self-proclaimed gun enthusiasts and firearm owners themselves.
Agreed. I am extremely pro 2nd amendment and gun rights, but this video is disturbing. Just like a car, electric saw or anything with potentially dangerous outcome there should be an age limit. Additionally guns are a tool not a toy, which looked liked it was being promoted as.— Mark (@MadroMusic) May 7, 2018
My Dad introduced me to guns at a young age. He wouldn't even let me touch one until we were at a range after two days of lessons on trigger discipline. 20 years later I can still remember him scaring the crap out of me about what can happen if you mishandle a gun.— Matt (@Jesse_Matt23) May 8, 2018
Many said that the child was treating the gun as a toy and wasn't taught the proper way to handle or respect a firearm by his parents at all.
I’m sorry, did I miss the part of the video where he checked to make sure the chamber and magazine were empty?— Michael Vance (@mavNU91) May 8, 2018
Or the part where he even looked downrange before he pulled the trigger?— Michael Vance (@mavNU91) May 8, 2018
Or the part where he refused to do any of it because he didn’t have full control of the weapon? (It was locked in to that demo case.)— Michael Vance (@mavNU91) May 8, 2018
Because if he’s done any (or all) of those things, that would have been parenting done right. What you showed was a toddler treating a deadly weapon like it was a toy.— Michael Vance (@mavNU91) May 8, 2018
Others felt that there was a clear double-standard when it came to the young boy handling this gun, and that it was disturbing that he viewed handling the firearm like it's a game.
This video is awesome! Reminds me of the story of my uncle when he was in 2nd grade and playing cops and robbers with his next door neighbor. Except it ended with him being accidentally shot by his 7 yo best friend and dying on the laps of his siblings on the way to hospital.— Meg Cormier (@ecco_meg) May 7, 2018
If everybody in this video was black, they'd be called "thugs." If everyone in this video were brown, they'd be called "terrorists." But a white kid showing off his rifle loading skills to a white woman? Nah, that's "parenting done RIGHT"— Rich "Lowtax" Kyanka (@somethingawful) May 7, 2018
Some thought that video was sending a dangerous message to children and couldn't believe that the tenets of the NRA shifted away from gun safety.
Dang how long ago did the NRA stop being about gun safety and skills and become about selling high-powered weapons as cool toys that are fun for kids?— Seth Sanders (@SethLSanders) May 6, 2018
It's a deadly weapon originally designed to be an improved tool of necessity for the military to be operated by skilled trained soldiers. It is not a toy, this child though he can be taught the mechanics of the weapon--he is not being taught to respect the weapon. A tragedy.— Cathy Coleman (@CathyJoeGPT) May 6, 2018
I'm a gun owner, and I'm teaching my kids to handle, store and shoot firearms responsibly. This looks like a little boy playing with a rifle, like it was a toy. Which is the absolute opposite of responsible gun ownership & operation.— Ben Rudolph (@BenThePCGuy) May 7, 2018
It's rare that a "pro-gun" video receives criticism from those who are pro gun ownership, but both "Libs" and "Cons" seemed to be on the same page with a 4-year-old demonstrating a lack of respect for guns and encouragement by adults for doing so.
What do you think?