Baby Bubba’s Got a Gun: True Story

Facts matter: Sign up for the free Mother Jones Daily newsletter. Support our nonprofit reporting. Subscribe to our print magazine.


Here’s a bizarre tale out of Illinois. A local newspaper columnist decided to see what would happen if he applied for a gun owner’s ID card for his 10-month-old son and, well, here’s the story…

Little Bubba Ludwig got a 12-gauge Beretta from his grandfather as a present. While it’s illegal for minors to buy a gun in Illinois, it isn’t illegal for them to own one, and if Bubba was going to legally own his he needed a Firearm Owner’s Identification Card.

So like any good (and mischievous) father, Daily Southtown columnist Howard Ludwig sent in a picture of his son (featuring a toothless grin), filled out the appropriate form (2 feet, 3 inches; 20 pounds), and mailed in five bucks. A month later — boom — Baby Bubba’s got a gun. He’s even allowed to carry it unloaded under state law, but as his father says, “he can’t walk yet, so that’s not an issue.”

Check out the father’s column on the whole thing here. (Via Fox News and Wonkette.)

I can’t tell what to make of this story. The family in question — particularly the father who wrote the column — seems to see it as just good fun. They’re responsible gun owners, after all, and while this whole episode is kind of absurd, little Bubba will be taught how to use his gun only when he’s good and ready. And when that time comes he’ll be taught all the proper safety procedures by a family with a long history of responsible gun ownership.

At the same time, good God — is Illinois insane? Have we reached the point where we are so afraid of gun control that we have no restrictions whatsoever? Why have a gun owner’s ID card at all when a bureaucrat somewhere in the state house will stamp “APPROVED” on an application featuring the grinning mug of a 10-month-old baby?

And do you think the NRA would support a bill titled “Keep America’s Cribs Gun-Free”? I’m guessing no.

THE TRUTH...

is the first thing despots go after. An unwavering commitment to it is probably what draws you to Mother Jones' journalism. And as we're seeing in the US and the world around, authoritarians seek to poison the discourse and the way we relate to each other because they can't stand people coming together around a shared sense of the truth—it's a huge threat to them.

Which is also a pretty great way to describe Mother Jones' mission: People coming together around the truth to hold power accountable.

And right now, we need to raise about $400,000 from our online readers over the next two months to hit our annual goal and make good on that mission. Read more about the information war we find ourselves in and how people-powered, independent reporting can and must rise to the challenge—and please support our team's truth-telling journalism with a donation if you can right now.

payment methods

THE TRUTH...

is the first thing despots go after. An unwavering commitment to it is probably what draws you to Mother Jones' journalism. And as we're seeing in the US and the world around, authoritarians seek to poison the discourse and the way we relate to each other because they can't stand people coming together around a shared sense of the truth—it's a huge threat to them.

Which is also a pretty great way to describe Mother Jones' mission: People coming together around the truth to hold power accountable.

And right now, we need to raise about $400,000 from our online readers over the next two months to hit our annual goal and make good on that mission. Read more about the information war we find ourselves in and how people-powered, independent reporting can and must rise to the challenge—and please support our team's truth-telling journalism with a donation if you can right now.

payment methods

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our free newsletter

Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily to have our top stories delivered directly to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate