Just when I thought gun nuts had exhausted every stupid and dangerous thing they could do with their guns, there comes news of this: a nine-year-old girl, firing an Uzi, shot and killed a gun instructor on an Arizona firing range. Here's the article that appeared in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch--
PHOENIX • A 9-year-old girl accidentally killed an instructor with an Uzi at an Arizona shooting range as her parents watched. Immediately after the shooting the girl said that she felt the gun was too much for her and had hurt her shoulder, according to police reports released Tuesday.
Her family members were focused on the girl because they thought she was injured by the gun's recoil and didn't immediately realize instructor Charles Vacca had been shot until one of his colleagues ran over to him.
The family, whose hometown hasn't been revealed by investigators, had taken a shuttle on Aug. 25 from Las Vegas about 60 miles south to the Last Stop range in White Hills, Ariz.
The report did not say why the family had gone to the range or why they let the girl handle the Uzi.
After arriving, the girl, her parents, sister and brother took a monster truck ride before heading out to the shooting range.
The girl's father was the first one in the party to handle a weapon. After he fired shots, Vacca instructed the girl on how to shoot the gun, showed her a shooting stance, and helped her fire a few rounds.
Then, he stepped back and let her hold the Uzi by herself. She fired the gun, and its recoil wrenched the Uzi upward, killing Vacca with a shot to the head, according to the report.
The girl dropped the Uzi, and Vacca fell to the ground. The girl ran toward her family, who huddled around her as she held her shoulder. Another instructor rushed over to help Vacca. The other children were then taken away from the range, according to the report.
The report describes the family as shaken by the accident.
Prosecutors are not filing charges in the case. Arizona's workplace safety agency is investigating the shooting-range death.
County prosecutors say the instructor was probably the most criminally negligent person involved in the accident for having allowed the child to hold the gun without enough training. They also said the parents and child weren't criminally culpable.
The girl's mother had video-recorded the accident on her phone.
"All right, go ahead and give me one shot," Vacca tells the girl in the video. He then cheers when she fires one round at the target.
"All right full auto," Vacca says. The video, which does not show the actual incident, ends with a series of shots being heard.
The shooting set off a powerful debate over youngsters and guns, with many people wondering what sort of parents would let a child handle a submachine gun.
It is hard to grasp what it is more shocking: the fact that idiotic parents would let a child handle a weapon of any kind, much less a submachine gun...or that the Arizona authorities are not filing charges. It is incomprehensible to me that this is not considered, at the very least, a case of negligent homicide or involuntary manslaughter. The gun-nut parents should be locked up and never have the opportunity to wield firearms again...or let their children anywhere near firearms.
It is not shocking to me that this sort of accidental shooting happens every day in a country that not only condones but encourages widespread, indiscriminate gun possession and usage nearly everywhere people gather. It is the single sickest aspect of the right-wing bully culture that has reared its ugly head in 21st century America. And we on the left who do nothing about it are simply cowards. Meanwhile, more gun deaths occur in this country than in all other countries of the world combined.
I can already hear the NRA response to this incident. "This obviates the necessity for all children to have proper gun training in this country. If every nine-year-old knew how to handle a machine gun, this tragedy could have been avoided." Yes, that's the logical solution--more guns in more children's hands. It certainly would gun makers profits soar. And, by the way, for those of you who are oblivious to gun makers' greed and callousness, that's the whole point of the more-guns-for-America propaganda: it's not about Second Amendment rights, or opposing government tyranny, or preparing for a civil war with the Kenyan President. It's about more money in the pockets of gun makers and their public relations firm--the National Rifle Association.