11-Year-Old Who Shot And Killed An 8-Year-Old Will Be Behind Bars Until He’s 19

Last year, an 11-year-old Tennessee boy shot and killed McKayla Dyer, his 8-year-old neighbor. The boy had a history of bullying Dyer, and when he asked her that day to bring out one of her puppies and she refused, he went back into his parent’s trailer, got a 12-gauge shotgun and a BB gun and poked the shotgun out the window at her. When she laughed at him, according to court documents, he “made certain the gun was loaded, cocked the hammer of the gun and shot the victim just above the heart.”

McKayla died in her mother’s arms.

His parents, who were busy watching a football game, didn’t bother to come out until police arrived. The boy’s great-grandparents attempted to blame the shooting on another child.

That boy has now been sentenced to spend the rest of his childhood, until the age of 19, behind bars. However, he’s so young that police can’t send him to a juvenile detention facility just yet, and have to set up another arrangement for him until he’s old enough.

Although their other children have been taken away and sent to live with relatives, the parents themselves have yet to be charged with anything.

Everything about this is heartbreaking. The fact that a little girl died, the fact that her parents have lost a daughter, the fact that a little boy who was clearly being neglected by his parents will have to spend the rest of his childhood behind bars and the rest of his life as a murderer. The fact that the parents will likely not be held responsible for any of this, because Tennessee doesn’t really have any Child Access Prevention laws they can be prosecuted under. This boy, like so many others, will likely come out of juvie worse than he was.

Clearly, it would be better for this kid if he could be put into the care of competent parents who could help him become a better person as an adult. But getting kids adopted at that age is tough enough when they haven’t killed anyone. Unfortunately, there’s just no good option here.

Although the government has banned the CDC from researching gun violence over the last several years to avoid hurting the feelings of the NRA, it’s clear from the headlines that there are way too many kids killing or injuring themselves or others because their parents didn’t think it was important or necessary to keep their guns out of reach. Personally, I think if a parent leaves their gun out, and their underage kid goes and kills someone or themselves with it, the parents should be the ones going to jail. Of course, we can’t have that in many places either, because the NRA opposes Child Access Prevention laws. God forbid we take away anyone’s freedom to let their child kill or injure themselves or others.

I guess it’s just too bad that McKayla Dyer was a full grown child instead of a fetus, otherwise the pro-lifers would be all over this.