A nine year-old girl shot her gun instructor with an Uzi semi-automatic machine gun at a military-style tourist gun range in Arizona this week, killing the man.
There are at least four things wrong with that sentence. In fact, this sentence should probably get picked up for use in an IQ test.
The child and her parents (none of whom have been named and one hopes this remains the case) were at the shooting range in Arizona, where it is legal for children aged 8-17 to shoot semi-automatic weapons. The range is open to the public and offers bachelorette and birthday parties, although the families motivation for the visit is unclear. Probably just burning off some back-to-school stress by blowing the shit out of some hay bales. We've all been there.
The girl was reportedly firing the weapon with the assistance of an instructor while her parents filmed the proceedings.
How was this was good idea, on any level? I’ll even knock expectations down a notch and ask how was this even an acceptable idea? Handing a nine-year-old child a lethal weapon — a loaded lethal weapon — ranks somewhere between “Wrestle a tiger after a steak bath” and “Have kids with Charlie Sheen" on the Scale of Completely Terrible Ideas.
CBC.ca reports "Instructor Charles Vacca, 39, was standing next to the girl Monday at the Last Stop range in White Hills, Arizona, about 100 kilometres south of Las Vegas, when she squeezed the trigger. The recoil wrenched the Uzi upward, and Vacca was shot in the head."
This is just...well, it’s fucking terrible is what it is. "Last Stop" gun range owner Sam Scarmardo told press that all waivers had been signed by the parents. Oh! They signed waivers! Signatures and pens — perhaps from local banks — were involved! Well then.
Scarmardo also likens the incident to, you know, just a pesky mix up: "I wasn’t there at the time, I can’t point a finger at anybody. But unfortunately, an industrial accident is what's happened here," he said.
And here we are: One man is dead and a child’s life is ruined or at very least irrevocably altered. But as for the death being an “industrial accident,” well, one hopes the wording was a genuine error of semantics, because I’m not buying that explanation. I consider industrial accidents to generally take place at a work place involving adults. Children don’t normally figure into “Industrial Accidents” unless there’s a union of tween-age forklift driving children in size two work boots punching in at the Widget Factory I wasn’t aware of.
Personal gun-stance aside, I don’t think it’s unreasonable to at very least recommend that anyone under a certain age, weight, height and strength requirement is barred from using semi-automatic weapons. On average, nine-year-old girls have a body weight equivalent to four feathers in a gossamer sack. Many of them cannot even control their bladders overnight, and yet someone thought it was a good idea to hand over control of a veritable killing machine.
CNN law enforcement analyst Tom Fuentes said "To put an Uzi in the hands of a 9-year-old ... is extremely reckless.” Hey, Mr. Fuentes; you spelled “crazy” wrong.
Image source: WikiCommons