Monday, October 27, 2008

Too Young

Too Young

I know that a lot of people think that you are never too young to take your kids shooting. I do not agree. And especially with an automatic weapon. From October 27, 2008 Fox News:

WESTFIELD, Mass. — An 8-year-old boy died after accidentally shooting himself in the head while firing an Uzi submachine gun under adult supervision at a gun fair.
The boy lost control of the weapon while firing it Sunday at the Machine Gun Shoot and Firearms Expo at the Westfield Sportsman's Club, police Lt. Lawrence Vallierpratte said.
Police said the boy, Christopher Bizilj of Ashford, Conn., was with a certified instructor and called the death a "self-inflicted accidental shooting."
As the boy fired the Uzi, "the front end of the weapon went up with the backfire and he ended up receiving a round in his head," police Lt. Hipolito Nunez said. The boy died at a hospital.
The boy's father and older brother were also there at the time, a gun club member and school official said. Francis Mitchell, a longtime member and trustee of the club, said he was told the boy's father was supporting his son from behind when the shooting happened.
Although the death appeared to be an accident, officials were investigating.
Yes, this is a one in a million accident--but it should have been a zero in a million accident. I am still trying to figure out what happened, since the recoil on an Uzi isn't that severe--but the simple fact is that most sensible people recognize that it would not be prudent to have an eight year old drive a car (even on private property), even with adult supervision. There are simple size disparities between a gun (or a car) intended for adult use and a child that make this higher risk than it needs to be. I am not proposing or suggesting that there needs to be any more regulation; Massachusetts already has more regulation in this area than I would have guessed. Rely more on your brain, and less on the government.

Many years ago, my daughter and I went to a submachine gun class at Front Sight. After the first day of classroom instruction and handling unloaded weapons, they were of the opinion that at 15, she was a bit too small to handle a full auto weapon. Not too immature, but too small. She accepted this graciously. By this action, Front Sight's staff demonstrated that they were putting safety above happy customers.

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