Solano County Deputy District Attorney Jeff Kauffman said today that his office had filed felony child endangerment charges against Michael and Daniela Shanahan of Vacaville in connection with the Sept. 23 shooting death of their 2-year-old daughter, Ayana Shanahan.
Each parent faces two counts of child endangerment resulting in death or injury — one count each for the endangerment of their 8-year-old son, identified only as "A.R.", and one count for the endangerment of the little girl.
In addition, both will be charged with first-degree criminal storage of a firearm accessible to a child.
Daniela Shanahan also was charged with being a previously convicted felon with firearms and ammunition in her home. She reportedly had suffered a prior conviction for felony drunken driving in Napa County.
Why didn't they charge the 8-year-old boy? Isn't that what they do in Arizona? Wouldn't that be more consistent with all the personal responsibility theories I keep hearing about?
Perhaps it's because in California they're enlightened enough to realize that gun owners have to behave more responsibly than this. Perhaps in California they realize anything an 8-year-old does is the result of his education and training and the example of his parents.
What this boy did, presumably the first time he got his hands on a real gun, which to an 8-year-old must feel a lot heavier than any of the plastic toys he'd have been used to, was to point it at the head of the nearest female and pull the trigger. It could all be a coincidence, kids learn some of this stuff from television, but it is a type of sad metaphor for the country at large, don't you think. Guns are bad news for women.
What do you think about the prior drunk driving conviction that Mrs. Shanahan had and the fact that it made her a prohibited person? Is that a good law? Should felony drunk drivers lose their rights to own guns and have them in the house?
A subsequent police search of the home reportedly turned up several firearms, some of them believed to have been previously inherited from other family members.
What's a normal healthy family in California to do when they inherit guns from their relatives? They'd have sentimental value in addition to being useful in case of a home invasion.
What's your opinion? Should people like this be entitled to leniency because they've already paid such a heavy price in losing a child?
Please leave a comment with your opinion.