Indiana Parents Arrested For Encouraging Toddler To Put Gun In Mouth




A couple of days ago, I saw one of the most disturbing videos I have ever seen come across my Facebook newsfeed.  The video was of a one year old Toddler who was being instructed to put a gun in his mouth and say “pow”, by his 22-year old mother Toni Wilson and her 19-year old boyfriend Michael Barnes.  Authorities obtained the video after arresting Barnes in a separate incident in which he made arrangements via social media to sell a handgun to an undercover cop.

Shortly after reading about this epically terrible parenting move, I posted a comment about it on my Cappuccino Queen Facebook page.  I was immediately shocked by one of the early comments from a woman who believed that these two parents shouldn’t have been stripped of their “parental rights” after this incident.  While initially I thought maybe one of my readers was punking me, I soon realized that this chic was dead serious.  Her comment scared me possibly even more than the fact that something like this actually occurred in the first place.  What have we come to in this country where people like these two fools are being supported?  The fact that there are people who believe the rights of these criminals should come before the basic Civil Rights of this child is an appalling example of the poor state of affairs facing our nation.

While this woman’s comment was one of the most extreme, several other people said things that were also shocking.  Many folks were obsessing over whether or not the gun was loaded.  “What the hell??  Am I in some alternate reality,’ I thought, completely stunned as I read through the comments on my computer.  Other folks showed sympathy for the two idiot parents, hoping that they too find “security and love.”  Other (likely internet trolls) threw their two cents in by saying things like, “I don’t see a problem here.”  And of course, extreme gun supporters believed that these parents had a constitutional right to do whatever they wanted with their guns.

The reason I decided to write about this incident is not solely about the Internet trolls, but because I think its important to break down this situation for the folks who might not grasp exactly why what these parents did was truly bad enough for them to lose their parental rights and never get them back.

Physical Harm:  This category is perhaps the most obvious.  Most people’s first reaction was likely the danger in that toddler picking up the gun and one day actually blowing her brains out.  I guess this is the category of harm the folks who wondered whether or not it was loaded were stuck in.  I would argue that it doesn’t matter that much whether it was or not.  This toddler is being taught that it is funny to stick a gun in her mouth and pull the trigger.  She is also being taught that playing with guns is alright.  The level of danger inherent in this lesson makes it not so important (or different) if it had been a real gun or a toy gun (though it wasn’t a toy).  The physical harm aspect would be similar if some parents sat out on route 66 and encouraged their toddler to try and run across it, dodging cars, while they filmed it and laughed.

Psychological Harm:  Imagine being a little child again.  I know, its a stretch for many people to put themselves back in the shoes of a defenseless kid – but just humor me and try. So you are this baby, and you depend on your mom to protect you and take care of you.  You look up to her, and want to be just like her.  You want to do everything to please her because at that age – she is the center of your world.  (Note:  this is the same for fathers, but I am focused on the mom here because she is the bio parent to this kid.)  Anyway, now imagine your mom joking about you killing yourself with her boyfriend.  Imagine this pathetic shit bag of a father figure (the 19-year old punk pictured above) filming on his smartphone while joking about you sticking a weapon in your mouth and killing yourself – as the 1 month old biological kids of this shit bag couple watch.

Things Unseen:  Had this shit bag of a father figure not been doing something else criminal, these two fools might have gotten away with their abusive behavior.  Based on my intimate experience with this type of criminally abusive personality, I can guarantee you that this was not the first time they had done something abusive to that child.  This was simply just the first time they had been caught.  I can also guarantee you that they are not sitting in jail feeling guilty for abusing this child, they are probably too concerned with being angry about getting caught.  If the state fails to keep children away from these two, we will be reading about these children again – but next time there will be no second chances.  There is no rehab, no class, no seminar a child abuser could take to make them suddenly safe around children.


In situations like these, I urge everyone to keep their thoughts on the children.  These parents, while young, are adults; therefore, they are old enough to make choices for which they should be held responsible.  Their children did not choose to be born into this situation, much like my son didn’t choose to be born to someone who would eventually kill him in order to collect on a life insurance policy.  We should be focused on the children’s rights before ever giving a damn about the rights of their criminally negligent parents.  If teaching a child that it’s funny to kill themselves does not reach the threshold to lose parental rights, we are doomed to experience a society that will only become increasingly more violent.




  1. christina on January 14, 2015 at 7:19 am

    I could not agree more, with every single word you wrote. You are very right. I cannot believe anyone in their right mind would think this is ok, loaded, unloaded, I don’t care. A child that age shouldn’t even see a gun let alone be holding it. As a mother of 5 these people disgust me. My husband has many guns and uses them appropriately. These children deserve better parents, period.

  2. Lundy Bancroft on January 14, 2015 at 7:29 am

    Some people don’t seem to believe that children have any rights at all. I wish more people could remember what it was really like to be a kid, and how hurtful it was to constantly have adults treating you as inferior. Disrespect was routine. We were viewed as just inherently less human and complex and sensitive than adults. It’s important for people to start remembering what they have forgotten. We are all survivors of childhood. Let’s unify and fight for the rights of the child.

  3. Greta Biagi on January 14, 2015 at 7:40 am

    The kids, the kids, the kids…damnit! How can people not see that they are the key to everything? You say it beautifully here, Mama…when I saw this video days ago, I had to choke back tears. Because what does this baby girl learn to value and understand in life? Where is her foundation? How does a person, in any frame of mind, think it is alright or even funny to see a 12-month-old with a gun in her mouth? It is the danger to our children, even more than any of the other very valid and critical dangers, that has made me more adamant about gun control and adamant that we are in the midst of a massive firearms crisis in this country of ours. Let’s conjure up our forefathers and ask their intent with the Second Amendment. Based on what was available at that time, I would say fine…muskets for all. I apologize, as I might have digressed a wee bit.

  4. Angelica on January 14, 2015 at 7:55 am

    I agree with you Hera. That was crazy letting this child play with a gun like that. Fake or not, it doesn’t matter.

  5. Peg on January 14, 2015 at 8:49 am

    Dear CQ, I don’t always agree 100% with what you say but on this one I DO. I was horrified when I saw the story. What else has this child been subjected to by these deranged “parents”?

    Although I want to believe everyone is redeemable, the thought of this child ever having to deal with these “parents” again horrifies me every time I think of it. I pray someone takes away their (her – the mother’s?) rights to this child and finds a loving, stable home for her. I pray that this incident (and whatever else she may have been subjected to does not seal itself to her psyche to the point she has mental issues in the future.

    Even as a strident gun rights person this is beyond horrifying. With rights comes great responsibility. This is so beyond irresponsible I can’t even think straight. To me, these are the type of people for whom firearms should never be accessible. And that of course is a whole ‘nother can ‘o worms to be dealt with in a separate post and time.

    Kudos to you for so clearly pointing out everything wrong with what happened to this child.

    • cappuccinoqueen on January 16, 2015 at 9:00 am

      Peg, yes I agree. This shouldn’t be about gun rights at all. Regardless of a person’s belief on that issue, what these two did was dangerously irresponsible.

  6. Dawn on January 14, 2015 at 9:46 am

    You are on point with his post. I truly have my heart broken several times a week with all of the stories of worthless parents abusing innocent children. I lose sleep thinking of how these little ones live and what their lives are like. It is so unimaginable to me! The only good that comes from social media is that the parents are dumb enough to film themselves and are caught on video or in photographs. I think there has always been disgusting forms of abuse to our most vulnerable ones…it just wasn’t put right in front of us on a daily basis.

  7. Tessa on January 15, 2015 at 1:30 am

    Who in their right mind could have any other feelings other than abject horror at the thought of a child putting a gun in her mouth? It doesn’t matter if the gun was loaded or not, they have taught that child to put a gun, a lethal weapon, in her mouth and pull the trigger, God forbid there was a bullet in there this time, but what about next time, and yes there would be a next time. If you laugh at something a child does, that child will repeat over and over what the prents thought funny. So what if next time there’s a bullet in there and the child puts it into her mouth or the baby’s mouth and pulls the trigger is it still funny? The whole idea of it scares the hell out of me.

  8. derisory apodaca on January 15, 2015 at 11:11 pm

    Saw this posted on fb but just now reading your blog.
    my fury cannot be described.
    I have been screaming children’s rights for years.
    there are not enough laws to cover the stupid things people do that endangers the lives of children. I am betting this will be one of those things swept under the rug.

    • cappuccinoqueen on January 16, 2015 at 8:59 am

      Derisory…I was furious too.

  9. The Phoenix on January 13, 2016 at 4:39 pm

    Just when you think you have seen, heard or read it all… This is one of those truly WTF?!?! moments.

    I would ask what the parents were thinking, but it is painfully obvious that they don’t. No it’s not the guns fault or the child’s. This one rests purely on the shoulders of the parents. If you can even call them that.

    Not only should these two lose custody and all rights to the two kids, they should be sterilized as well. We all know you can take away their current offspring, but there’s nothing in place to stop them from making more. UGH!

  10. Andrew Miller on June 1, 2016 at 2:55 am

    This is just wrong, that mother should be jailed and the kid should be in welfare.

  11. Michael Case on October 4, 2016 at 4:11 am

    That is so shocking to think about it. What kind of parents are these people. They should be institutionalized.