After a celebrity was shamed for sharing a video of his 7-year-old daughter firing a rifle, he fired back, quickly shooting down the criticism.
Carey Hart, a former professional motocross competitor and the husband of A-list entertainer Pink, became the target of social media trolls after he posted a video on Instagram. The footage featured his 7-year-old daughter Willow shooting a .22 rifle, and it’s as if Hart knew it was going to ruffle some feathers.
“Haven’t poked the parent police bear in a few days,” Hart captioned the clip, seemingly anticipating an uproar. “Willz and I shooting the 22 rifle. She is getting pretty good. Can hit a 12 inch pie plate from 30 yards. Started her shooting at 3yrs old. For the record none of us hunt, just enjoy shooting for sport.”
“I’m raising the kids with knowledge of firearms, how to handle them, shoot them, store them, and avoid them in uneducated hands,” Hart wrote, explaining why his daughter is shooting and why he thinks knowledge of firearms is important in his family. To drive home his point, he concluded his caption with the hashtag “#knowledgeispower.”
In the video, Willow, who’s wearing ear protection, asks her dad, “Can I go?” Hart responds, telling her to fire at will when she’s ready. “Wait, is the safety on?” she inquires after hesitating. Then, she goes on to fire the rifle, but unsurprisingly, there were plenty of people who weren’t impressed. Instead, they were eager to call Carey Hart an irresponsible father for allowing his 7-year-old daughter to use a gun.
Carey Hart quickly shut down his critics with his overt support of the Second Amendment after one naysayer commented, “There is absolutely no reason why a three-year-old needs to be shooting a gun. It is just indoctrinating the toxic American culture that guns are somehow ‘cool’ and a ‘hobby.’”
“That is your opinion. I never slam people for speaking their opinion. I enjoy debate and shedding light on subjects that are sensitive like this,” Hart responded. “Now when you disrespect my country or ‘culture’ I feel I have every right to get nasty,” he continued. “I think this is an extremely important topic of education,” he added later, noting that he also planned to purchase a bow for his daughter.
After another Instagram user said Hart should be afraid of his daughter losing control of the weapon and shooting him in the face in error, he simply fired back, “You’re completely ignorant,” according to The Blaze. When another questioned his support of guns as a celebrity and warned that people “mimic you,” Hart made it clear that’s exactly what he hoped for.
“I hope they do mimic me! I hope they spend quality time with their kids, teach them life skills, and education,” Hart responded, according to USA Today. “I’m not sure where you live, but in America firearms are legal and not going away. So I choose to embrace it. Take the taboo out. Educate them so they don’t become a statistic. Many forms of shooting are an OLYMPIC sport.”
Creating controversy among parents wasn’t anything new for Carey Hart. He’s actually had a string of incidents that raised ire from parents, including being criticized for allegedly exposing the public to his sick son when he had contagious hand-foot-and-mouth disease, putting his son Jameson on a dirt bike as a young toddler, and threatening to shoot California wildfire looters “on site.”
So, it’s no surprise Hart was expecting some push-back over the video, but he also received plenty of praise from like-minded fans. “I think this is great. You two get to spend time together and you are teaching her about the guns and safely doing it. I like to shoot at targets but would never hunt, that’s just not my thing. Bravo to you,” one approving follower commented.
“This is Great!” another wrote, adding that they too felt gun education was important. “We feel the same way as parents. Educate your kids on safety, and reality of damage done by bullets. No fairy tales, and our kids will know how to handle and safely store our weapons,” they explained.
“As a wife of a police officer and firearms instructor I would much rather teach them to respect and be familiar with the guns than to fear them,” another wrote. “Curiosity at one point will happen and thanks to proper education your girl will already have knowledge. Good for you! Now that said medical professional in me says bravo for the ear protection.”
Even with all the push-back from the naysayers and critics, the reaction to Carey Hart’s Instagram post was overwhelmingly positive with most commenters seeing the video as evidence that the celebrity was a good dad. The video was even called a “parenting win,” as Hart was praised for a “job well done” and complimented for “bonding” with his daughter, teaching her safety first, and educating his child.
One fan even wished more parents were like Carey Hart and his wife Pink: “The interviews I have watched show me two well adjusted children with intelligent and loving parents. If more people were like the pair of you, I wouldn’t be worried about today’s society. Keep being you and if anyone’s offended by these parents go watch and follow someone or something else.” That seems like pretty solid advice.