Boy's Facebook Photo Spurs Anti-Gun Hysteria

You're a NRA certified firearms instructor and a state-sanctioned firearms hunting instructor. Your pre-teen son has passed his hunter safety test and has accompanied you on deer hunts. For his 11th birthday you get him a .22-caliber plinker that looks like an AR-15. You post a photo on Facebook of the beaming boy proudly posing with his birthday gift.

Not long after, four police officers in tactical SWAT gear confront you on your front lawn, demanding to see your weapons. With them are two state child-welfare caseworkers, insisting the Facebook photo of your son posing with an "assault weapon" is a shocking illustration of child endangerment.

Welcome to world of Shawn Moore, 31, of Carneys Point, N.J., whose home was raided on March 14 by police and social workers in response to anonymous calls expressing concern about the safety of a child -- and citing Moore's Facebook photo of his son posing with "an assault weapon" as probable cause evidence to investigate the allegations.

No charges were filed against Moore, who refused to allow police and social workers entry to his home without a warrant. Moore then wrote about the incident on Delaware Open Carry, spurring interest from media outlets nationwide.

On March 22, New Jersey Gov. Christie, citing "troubling questions" about how the case was handled, asked Attorney General Jeffrey S. Chiesa to determine "whether all applicable laws were appropriately followed, and to take any remedial, investigative, or other actions that may be required" to ensure state and local agencies don't harass legal gun owners on spurious and silly pretenses.

"Any reasonable person could have seen the photo online and realized that there was nothing wrong with a boy proudly holding his gun," writes Robert Flynn on March 27 on gather.com. "But in the liberal hysteria caused by their unreasonable fear of guns, anyone who owns one is a potential cold-blooded murderer. And anyone who exposes an innocent child to a gun must be, as liberals believe, completely insane. It is this kind of panic on the part of liberals that is the real danger to Americans, not guns."