This month, news of a toddler holding and waving around a loaded firearm in Indiana quickly went viral.
This was understandably disturbing to many Americans, given that we’ve seen incidents like this before where a child with a gun has accidentally hurt or killed either themselves or others.
Video of the Indiana toddler walking around his apartment complex, completely without any parental or adult supervision, rapidly spread.
Now, an update to the story reveals the young boy’s father has been criminally charged, according to the Tampa Free Press.
What Americans Should Know About This Story
Shane Osborne is the father of the toddler who was viewed roaming around his apartment complex and wielding a loaded gun. Because of the incident that transpired, Osborne is now looking at a felony neglect charge.
Authorities were alerted of the incident after others residing in the apartment building reported what was happening. According to the father, he was sleeping during the time and therefore unaware that his son was with a gun and outside of the apartment.
NEW: Neighbors who saw a toddler in diapers wandering around a Beech Grove, Indiana, apartment complex with a loaded handgun called police. The incident was caught on building cameras. The father – who lied that he didn’t own a gun – was arrested. #inlegis https://t.co/FPpHFNi4rn pic.twitter.com/UGic373G4L
— Shannon Watts (@shannonrwatts) January 15, 2023
Osborne furthermore lied to the police, alleging the firearm wasn’t his, but rather belonged to a cousin. However, Indiana law enforcement didn’t buy it.
So far, the toddler is back in the custody of his mother while Osborne contends with legal issues. It’s also not his first run-in with the law.
Since the father has previous convictions of forgery and felony theft, he is legally prohibited from owning firearms in the first place. This, alone, could make the situation even more precarious for Osbourne.
A Lesson for the Rest of Americans
What happened in Indiana could have been a lot worse. Thankfully, the gun was not discharged by the toddler. However, there is a lesson to be learned from all of this.
For starters, it’s critical for firearms owners to ensure their weapons are safeguarded from children getting access to them. This can not only spare unnecessary injury or loss of life, but it can also help gun owners avoid significant legal problems, such as the ones Osborne is now facing.
Social media has been ripe with Americans weighing in, sharing their thoughts, and condemning the father for not taking the necessary steps to keep his toddler from accessing a loaded firearm.
NEW: The initial hearing for Shane Osborne, the Beech Grove dad arrested on a felony child neglect charge, has been moved from today to Thursday afternoon. https://t.co/h5WkH9T5M7
— Jennie Runevitch (@JennieWTHR) January 17, 2023
In the weeks ahead, the country can expect additional updates on how things turn out for Osborne in the legal system. So far, it’s not looking very good for him.
What do you think about a toddler roaming around an apartment building with a loaded firearm? Do you believe the father should bear legal responsibility for what happened here?
Please feel free to share your insight about this latest update below in the comments section.