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I Can’t Stop Watching This Video of a 4-Year-Old Dry Firing a Rifle

Parenting isn't ultimately about politics or even joy. It's about taking responsibility.

Twitter/Kendall Jones

It’s always a delight to scroll through social media and see a video of a toddler having fun. A beaming kid can provoke vicarious smiles and chuckles, which is why videos of cute kids playing are one of the foundational pillars of the internet. But so is outrage, which happens to be a fairly reasonable reaction to the video of happy 4-year-old named Maverick playing with a modern bolt-action rifle at the national NRA conference recently posted by “huntress” Kendall Jones. Maverick is very happy. Adults concerned for the safety of children, not so much.

Me? I’m just mesmerized. There’s so much there to unpack.

The video shows Jones talking to a little boy giddily dry firing a rifle on the bottom rack of a lighted display. “Show me what you do with a gun,” she says. Little Maverick with a big grin stretched across his face, pulls back the rifle’s charging handle before ramming the bolt into the breach and dry firing the gun with a loud click. “Do it again!” Jones enthuses before telling the boy to remove and replace the magazine which he does while giggling.

Jones’s tweet for the video reads, “Parenting done RIGHT!” This is an odd sentiment because Jones is clearly not this child’s mother and for the other obvious reason.