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South Jersey youngster could teach all adults something about gun control

Nine-year-old Shyanne Roberts has captivated the firearms community for testifying against gun control in New Jersey.
Nine-year-old Shyanne Roberts has captivated the firearms community for testifying against gun control in New Jersey.
Courtesy Dan Roberts

Nine-year-old Shyanne Roberts may not seem like a formidable target for speaking against a new magazine limit in New Jersey, but she might be worrisome to somebody because over the weekend she was dubbed the “new poster child” for gun advocates and highlighted by the on-line Inquisitr, and this kid just might be able to teach grown-ups a few things about gun control.

Well, some lawmakers, anyway. Others seem to get it.

The fourth-grade honor student attends Main Road Elementary in Franklinville. In a telephone interview with this column, Shyanne revealed that she began shooting at age five, while seated on her dad’s lap. She started competing two years later and now, at the ripe old age of nine, she recently told Garden State lawmakers, “Everyone is upset about bad people doing bad things to others, but punishing the people who didn’t do anything wrong is not the way to stop bad people.”

But North Jersey Record columnist Mike Kelly didn’t care for Shyanne’s pro-gun activism. “I think it’s creepy,” he wrote over the weekend. Readers of his column are posting some interesting reactions.

Shyanne Roberts is not the first young shooter to confront gun prohibitionists. Last year, in Maryland, 15-year-old Sarah Merkle testified in opposition to a gun law proposal and the video of her remarks went viral. Likewise, Miss Roberts’ appearance last week has been viewed by tens of thousands of fans on YouTube.

Anti-gunners like to portray this sort of appearance as some sort of child exploitation. They don’t say the same thing about having children show up with signs at a gun ban rally. Of course, they will insist, that’s different. These are the same folks who have habitually called firearms owners "gun nuts" and other choice names.

Miss Roberts has been competing with a Ruger Model 10/22 semi-auto rifle, a Walther P22 semi-auto pistol and a single-shot .22-caliber bolt-action Cricket rifle. This year, to columnist Kelly’s horror, she is upgrading to an AR-15. She also has eyes on a Remington Model 11-87 shotgun in 20-gauge and a Glock 19 pistol.

She looks forward to what may become an interesting career as a shooter: “I would like to get a national title and be an example to other kids that kids and guns don’t always equal bad things.”

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