New questions have been raised about US gun laws after a boy aged eight shot himself in the head with a submachine gun at a Massachusetts weapons fair.

The kid, Christopher Bizilj, was playing with an Uzi at the Westfield Sportsmen’s Club, blastng pumpkins. A gun instructor and his father were present.

The father’s statement: “”This is a horrible event, a horrible travesty, and I really don’t know why it happened.”

Ah, Mr. Gun-Nut Moron, it is obvious why this happened. Because your gun-loving attitude, which we presume you passed on to your child, made it happen. Why just the other day, I think I heard you saying “you can pry my guns out of my cold dead hands.” I wonder if you had to pry this gun out of the cold dead hands of your child?

Cost of a bullet: 9 cents. Cost of your son’s life: The price you pay for your politics.

Details here.

Comments

  1. #1 Mike
    October 28, 2008

    Darwin in action. Sad but maybe inevitable.

  2. #2 Nick
    October 28, 2008

    You can’t buy dildos in some states yet you can play with a goddamn Uzi. Wonderful.

  3. #3 tincture
    October 28, 2008

    Wtf? The article says he lost control of it, so it was auto? Letting 8 yr olds play w/ smgs seems kind of fucked up.

    You can’t buy dildos in some states yet you can play with a goddamn Uzi. Wonderful.

    Well to be fair, dildos could cause immorality. Firearms just cause death.

  4. #4 Philip H.
    October 28, 2008

    Greg,

    Hold on a minute here. Just because this father had a less then . . . intelligent idea of what adequate supervision for an 8 year old is, and just because he couldn’t be bothered to teach his kid which end of a gun is the business end which you NEVER point at a person, doesn’t mean the father’s politics had anything to do with this.

    If you want to make the case that irresponsible gun ownership has real, dangerous, lethal consequences, then yes, this can be a poster moment. But that’s as far as you should go. There are literally tens of thousands of parents, fathers and mothers, who teach their kids how to safely handle and respect firearms all across the country every day. And a few of us happen to be politically liberal, thank you very much. So, let’s not impugn this man’s politics just because his parenting skills are sub-par.

  5. #5 Greg Laden
    October 28, 2008

    Phillip: You are totally correct, and nothing you say differs at all with anything I think or have been saying all along. I was not thinking of overall politics, but rather, just in relation to guns.

    Indeed, it is simply true that while almost all Republicans have a single narrow minded view of gun ownership (and most Republican issues), real diversity of opinion about guns and related issues is to be found among Democrats and/or Liberals. Almost everyone I know who is a gun owner is a liberal, with only a couple of exceptions. That includes serious collectors and avid hunters.

  6. #6 Julie Stahlhut
    October 28, 2008

    The truly frightening thing is that the father is not only a physician, but the head of emergency services at a hospital. In fact, he’s the head of emergency services at a hospital that is very near my home town, and is where some of my family members have received care in the past.

    Think about it. Someone who has undoubtedly seen many deaths and injuries from firearms LET HIS 8-YEAR-OLD HANDLE AN UZI. That’s not even close to taking an older child target shooting or deer-hunting. This was a father who allowed a child of elementary school age to fire a powerful military weapon. How blithering STUPID can one supposedly educated human being be?

  7. #7 Scote
    October 28, 2008

    You wrote”Why just the other day, I think I heard you saying “you can pry my guns out of my cold dead hands.” I wonder if you had to pry this gun out of the cold dead hands of your child?”

    Sorry Greg, I just can’t agree with your extrapolation.

    When I heard the story, I, too, thought it unwise to have put a full auto in the hands of an eight year-old, since a full auto can get out of control as happened. But this wasn’t some lone gun nut handing a gun to a kid and leaving him unsupervised, this was a freak tragic accident that occurred in spite of the direct supervision of an instructor.

    One doesn’t have to be a “cold dead hands” gun nut to go to the full auto show and your holier than though rhetoric is not justified by the news reports. Would you be just as holier than thou if the kid had been injured by a .22 at scout camp? My little niece just learned to shoot at camp? You think her mother is a gun nut? You’d be very, very wrong…

    I’m a fan of responsible gun ownership and of laws to aid that purpose, but your over the top screed is not, I think, a sober one.

  8. #8 Scote
    October 28, 2008

    PS
    I think you should apply your rational thinking skills to this tragedy. I think you are falling for the vivid example rather than the trend. You are, I think, being emotional rather than rational. And, no, I’m not going where you think.

    Guns are a problem in the US. Thousands are killed every year by them. And guns in the home are one of the real problem, where guns are found by unsupervised children and lead to accidental shootings, or used by homeowners to shoot family members mistaken for intruders, or stolen by house robbers and later used for crime. Those are some of the kinds of problems that statistical you should be up at arms about, not a freak accident at a gun range with an instructor, especially since such a freak accident is not the kind that will affect you directly, unlike the more relevant gun issues–yet another reason why I think you’ve lost it a bit with this post.

  9. #9 Greg Laden
    October 28, 2008

    Scote: There is nothing sober about giving your eight year old boy an uzi and having him blow is own fucking head off with it.

    No. Dad does not get away with just being another responsible gun owner. He is accessory to a wrongful death. That he claims he has no idea what went wrong is icing. Chilling icing.

  10. #10 MarkusR
    October 28, 2008

    If there is ever an age-limit NEEDED, it is for gun use.

    My son just turned 6. The last thing I’m going to let him touch is a gun. I’ll give it at least another 10 years.

    “a freak tragic accident” is when someone is playing with Legos and suddenly chokes on one. Having an 8 year old shoot self with an Uzi is not a “freak accident”, except that only a freak would let their kid touch an Uzi.

    I don’t know why having “supervision of an instructor” makes this any less outrageous? That just shows that there is NO circumstance in which an 8 year old should handle an automatic weapon.

  11. #11 Scote
    October 28, 2008

    I think you misunderstand me.

    I did not claim that allowing an eight year-old to fire a full auto sub-machine gun, even supervised, was necessarily responsible. My point was that your over the top post included such hyberbolic sarcastic claims such as “Why just the other day, I think I heard you saying “you can pry my guns out of my cold dead hands.” Do you, in fact, know that the father is such person? Do you have evidence that he is in any way un-related to this freak accident, an irresponsible gun owner or some other such thing? Or are you just making up a convenient straw man to savage? My impression is the latter and I don’t see this post representing any kind of cool and reasoned thinking at its root, the kind I expect from SB bloggers. It is one thing to be passionate, but it is another to allow your passion to eclipse reason.

  12. #12 marilove
    October 28, 2008

    I know someone who, when he was 9 years old, was being taught how to handle a handgun. By his father. Something went wrong, and he shot his father. And his father died. It was, indeed, a FREAK ACCIDENT.

    Honestly, I don’t think an 8 year old needs to handle a freakin’ UZI — that is way too much gun for even a lot of adults. However, accidents do happen.

  13. #13 Greg Laden
    October 28, 2008

    I’m damn sure that giving your eight year old a uzi, standing back ten feet and saying “fire” is not what the manufacturer recommends. That’s my story and I’m sticking to it. The only eclipsing of reason here came when dad gave the doomed child the fucking automatic rifle.

    Honestly …

    Yes, accidents do happen, but an accident with an uzi and an eight year old are less likely to happen if YOU DON’T GIVE THE FREAKEN KID THE UZI!!!

    This is clearly an area where there has to be a law forbidding this kind of stupidity, because obviously there are people who think it is OK to do this.

    And be careful to not tag me as an anti-gun person. Live in general, and gun ownership included, is much more complicated than that. But I am against giving Uzis to the eight year olds.

  14. #14 marilove
    October 28, 2008

    No, I agree Greg. Giving an 8 year old an Uzi was fucking stupid. I’m a grown woman and would not want to handle one without some SERIOUS education and training on them. An 8 year old does not need to handle a FUCKING UZI!

    Still, I don’t know if I want to blame his father. The pain he must be going through right now is probably very great. He made a very, very, very bad decision, but I’m sure he’s veyr, very, very aware of that now.

    Anyway, I’m pro-gun … and pro-gun education and training. I wish there were stronger licensing laws — own a gun, get trained, period. Sigh. I grew up with too many cops, I think.

    Also … I wish parents were better at locking their guns up. There are TOO many children who find guns and shoot themselves or others dead. My father had quite a few handguns and shotguns and I still don’t know the combination to his gun safes.

  15. #15 Stephanie Z
    October 28, 2008

    Think of it this way, Scote. Saying that Bizjl’s judgment was warped by a constant repetition of “Gun’s are quite safe if handled responsibly” is the charitable interpretation here. The alternatives are all much worse.

  16. #16 Mike
    October 28, 2008

    I disagree with the idea that a law is the best way to forbid people from being this stupid. All another law does is get the gun lobby excited.

    Darwin WILL fix the problem.

    If giving a 3rd grader a gun too powerful for him to use seemed like a good idea to this father, what would have happened when he was 12? A snowmobile too big for him? A four-wheeler too powerful for him to handle? How about at 16? A car too fast for his experience? I’m sorry the kid died but my guess is he was doomed from the start by adults not ready to parent. Adults with no sense of saying ‘No’ when it was needed. Many kids are today are given everything they whine for by adults guilty about not giving them the thing they really need – our time and attention.

  17. #17 Don
    October 28, 2008

    Okay, I’m just a dumb foreigner, but what kind of fucked up system even allows fully automatic weapons to be available outside the military.

  18. #18 Scote
    October 28, 2008

    “And be careful to not tag me as an anti-gun person. Live in general, and gun ownership included, is much more complicated than that. But I am against giving Uzis to the eight year olds.”

    And I don’t necessarily disagree with that, but that is not the tone or the approach in your OP. That is my issue with your post.

  19. #19 Rod
    October 28, 2008

    The father and instructor, both, were completely irresponsible. The instructor probably more so.

  20. #20 Scote
    October 28, 2008

    “Okay, I’m just a dumb foreigner, but what kind of fucked up system even allows fully automatic weapons to be available outside the military.”

    It does seem odd, doesn’t it? States can out law full auto ownership, and those who can own full auto’s in other states have to apply for a special Federal Firearms License that is not easy to get. So, they are tightly regulated, and the people firing full autos at the show were either licensed or under the supervision of licensed owners. Last I heard, no crime has ever been committed in the US with a licensed full auto, though I haven’t checked the stats recently.

  21. #21 Scote
    October 28, 2008

    BTW,

    How many kids die in supervised gun training accidents vs., say, car crashes.

    The former is a rare freak accident the latter is literally an everyday occurrence.

    Don’t let vividness or novelty skew your perception of the relative risks.

  22. #22 marilove
    October 28, 2008

    Yep, Scote. There’s that as well. Accidental deaths are horrible no matter what, but it amazes that people constantly forget HOW MANY PEOPLE DIE EVERY MINUTE from car crashes.

  23. #23 Mike
    October 28, 2008

    Comparing car crashes to gun deaths is interesting but somewhat unreasonable. Our culture requires use of cars by a majority of adults. We also mandate driver safety training nearly everywhere and license tests everywhere. There is no such need or training requirement for gun usage. Very few need to hunt for food (although that may be changing) while most everyone needs to drive to earn a living.

    At some point everyone needs to determine what is acceptable risk for every activity we engage in. I loved skydiving until the instructor bounced. I like target shooting with both rifle and bow but have strict safety requirements I follow to protect me, my family and neighbors. I must drive and so I make sure I pay attention to reduce (not eliminate) my risks. Too bad the father and instructor didn’t find the risks unacceptable in this case.

  24. #24 Scote
    October 28, 2008

    “it amazes that people constantly forget HOW MANY PEOPLE DIE EVERY MINUTE from car crashes.”

    I wonder if Greg plans to “out” parents of kids who die in car crashes the way he did the father in the case? Will he have a post for each of the 112 fatal vehicular casualties that happen every day in the US, with headlines like “[Grieving Father’s Name] allows his son to get in car and die in car crash”?

    Don’t get me wrong, like marilove, I think guns need to be regulated, that people should be trained in their safe handling and that they should be kept securely locked up when stored, but I find Greg’s original post to be hyperbolic rather than thoughtful.

  25. #25 marilove
    October 28, 2008

    “We also mandate driver safety training nearly everywhere and license tests everywhere”

    I don’t see that. There is the initial driving test, but after that…everyone is left to their own devices.

  26. #26 marilove
    October 28, 2008

    And, Mike, something can be and should be said about our reliance on cars. Just because our culture “requires” it (or you think it does) doesn’t mean we should, nor does it mean the risk is or should be worth it.

    I’m 27 years old and did not get my license until I was almost 25, and I didn’t get a car until August of this year, because I had to if I wanted to keep my job. I have a unique opinion when it comes to cars in our society.

    They are dangerous, for humans and the earth, and yet … we rely on them. A lot. I honestly don’t think the risk is worth it most of the time, and I wish I wasn’t essentially forced into driving on a regular basis (Phoenix has crappy public transportation if you don’t live and work in Central Phoenix or Tempe, and my current job is just too far to make public transportation reasonable any more).

  27. #27 Stephanie Z
    October 28, 2008

    Scote, you’re getting repetitive, perhaps defensive.

    There’s one big difference between this situation and a similar car accident. Had the father given his eight-year-old kid the keys to the car and told him to take it for a spin, he’d have been arrested already.

    Seriously, all of this “Nothing to see here” handwaving whenever there’s a gun accident involving a child is part of the problem that led to this.

    Marilove, at least where I live, if you want a license before you turn eighteen, you do have to go through a training program. Of course, there still isn’t anyone nuts enough to give you a license at eight.

  28. #28 george.wiman
    October 28, 2008

    My first gun was a .22 calibre target pistol. I wasn’t even allowed to point a cap gun at another person.

    OK, car crashes vs. gun accidents. Almost everybody needs a car, but do they need a car that can go 140 mph?

    Many years ago, I knew a guy who owned a Shelby GT. Before he bought it, it had belonged to a friend of Carroll Shelby himself – so it had been tweaked by the master. That thing was awesome! Easily the match of a Ferrari or Lamborghini. Corvettes need not even apply.

    But how did my friend come into possession of such a lethal collector’s item? Simple: when the original owner’s son reached driving age, he had sold the car and bought a Volvo.

    Parenting, at least basic parenting, is not really that hard.

  29. #29 marilove
    October 28, 2008

    I am not arguing that a child should have been given an Uzi, but there is still a great risk every time you put a child into a car. And I’m not sure that this accident should be thought of as WORSE than a horrific car crash, to be honest. Accidental deaths are horrible. Period.

  30. #30 Stephanie Z
    October 28, 2008

    Marilove, I didn’t mean to suggest that you were all for arming children. Not at all.

    I disagree, though, about the relative horror of this particular tragedy. Accepting a risk on your child’s behalf that is required for everyday life is one thing. Allowing that child to court a high, purely optional risk for entertainment is another entirely.

    “Here, honey. Look at the pretty snake. Listen to that rattle, would you? What? You want to see it more closely? Well, I guess it’s okay. Stay out of striking range, would you?”

    Anytime a child dies accidentally, I am sad. This makes me ill and it makes me angry.

  31. #31 Scote
    October 28, 2008

    “I disagree, though, about the relative horror of this particular tragedy. Accepting a risk on your child’s behalf that is required for everyday life is one thing. Allowing that child to court a high, purely optional risk for entertainment is another entirely.”

    What about car crashes that happen to or from entertainment? Eh?

    We take many optional risks and we should try and look at the relative risks rationally. Greg’s OP is a hyperbolic, confirmation-biased screed that uses an atypical vivid example to falsely suggest a trend, and a a cause alleged without evidence, that does not exist.

    I’m not suggesting that it was a good idea to let an 8 year-old, even supervised, fire a full clip from a full auto, but some people in the forum are treating this freak accident as if it is indicative of a common risk. It is not.

    “Scote, you’re getting repetitive,”

    I call it **consistency**.

  32. #32 Greg Laden
    October 28, 2008

    Goodness, I certainly hope this is not a trend…. I cannot imagine why you think I suggested that in my Over the Top Original Post (OTOP).

    By the way, if my daughter was slaughtered owing to some moron’s stupidity, I got upset, and you called me over the top, I would remove your internal organs with my bare hands. I don’t think anyone who is aghast and horrified at this ghastly and horrific event is being over the top. I am rather suspicious of the motivations of people suggesting that this is simply an unavoidable accident or a run of the mill event that one should remain non-passionate about, or that because more kids die of XYZ that this child’s death and its circumstances do not warrant discussion, even impassioned discussion.

    BTW, I certainly hope that the comment recorded in the BBC story by the father does not really reflect his analysis or reaction to this situation.

    I also have to disagree partly with mike. I agree that laws can be very ineffective. Just a few minutes ago, I witnessed two testosterone poisoned moron teenagers doing the most incredible things with their cars on Route 10 (passing the 70 mph traffic on the shoulders, left and right, at about 100 mph). That is against the law but the managed to do it. But, a) difficulty of enforcement as a reason to not have a law is a very selectively employed justification, so we must be very very careful about that and b) I’m certain, absolutely certain, that if there was a law that kids under, say, 16 do not get to play with the Uzis, that this simply would not have happened. The Westfield gun club would simply not be giving the uzi’s to the little children to play with.

  33. #33 Stephanie Z
    October 28, 2008

    I call it arguing with people who aren’t there, or at least aren’t arguing with you.

    Yes, Greg’s post is vitriolic. However, I feel the tone is perfectly justified by Bizjl’s statement, “…I really don’t know why it happened.”

    Whenever the idea of mandating better gun safety comes up, people start screaming. They start talking about how relatively few deaths and injuries there are compared to, say, automobile injuries and deaths. And somehow, they always conventiently ignore the fact that car and carseat manufacturing and management is significantly more regulated than gun safety.

    These people are not merely responsible for the fact that there are no age requirements for something like handling a fully automatic weapon. They are also responsible for a general perception that a device that uses an explosion to accelerate a projectile, a device whose development was guided by the needs of warfare, is safe if handled properly.

    I’ve had a target-shooting session cut short by a misfire that blew part of the gun irreparably out of alignment. I know better, and I resent the hell out of anyone who promotes that kind of thinking.

    Greg is simply going one step further, to identify the underlying attitude that makes people jump up and start the yelling that blocks any kind of rational discussion about gun safety.

  34. #34 Vic
    October 28, 2008

    I witnessed two testosterone poisoned moron teenagers doing the most incredible things with their cars on Route 10

    When that kind of thing happens, I always assume that one of them is a renegade former KGB agent with the nuclear bomb password and the other is that CIA agent guy chasing him. This makes me feel better bout what I’m witnessing.

  35. #35 Tulse
    October 28, 2008

    this was a freak tragic accident […] Do you have evidence that he is in any way un-related to this freak accident […] some people in the forum are treating this freak accident as if it is indicative of a common risk […] Anytime a child dies accidentally, I am sad […] Accidental deaths are horrible

    This was not an “accident” — it was predictable and preventable. It was unintentional, but it certainly could have been avoided with some reasonable thought and care. Saying it is an “accident” makes it sound like an act of fate, equivalent to being hit by a meteor. It wasn’t — it was predictable and preventable.

    To be fair, almost all car crashes are also predictable and preventable, and not unforeseeable acts of fate.

    (Full disclosure: I work for an injury prevention organization.)

  36. #36 Mike
    October 28, 2008

    Greg, I’m not against a law for age appropriate gun use per se. I am just tired of giving the gun lobby anything to chew on. A law gets proposed, the NRA begins the drum beat, money comes pouring into their coffers, congress-critters get letters, lunches & largess (contributions), no law is passed.

    This situation is as far as I can imagine from a well regulated militia but if Columbine couldn’t get reasonable laws passed I don’t hold out much hope here.

  37. #37 Greg Laden
    October 28, 2008

    Actually, Westfield is practically where they invented the well regulated militia. Just a few miles south of Deerfield. Westfield itself was, if I remember correctly (did archaeology there) not there to be attacked by King Phillip, but was settled around 1720s by very nervous colonials and was probably involved in the war over the Grantlands and other conflicts before the Revolution.

    It also has the cutest little old cedar clad farm that you see off to the north as you head into the Berkshires driving west from Boston.

  38. #38 Kim
    October 28, 2008

    Just to get this out up front: I am not in favor of giving Uzis to 8 year olds.

    This kid was not new to guns, he’d shot handguns and rifles before. Assuming his father was a decent and prudent man, he’d had gun safety training. He’d experienced kickback and presumably knew how to position himself properly. Aside from age and size, he was probably more prepared to do this safely than I am as a very occasional and not very enthusiastic shooter. Still…

    8 years old is awfully small. In my experience, even adults firing an automatic weapon for the first time are often (if not always) physically braced by an instructor. I don’t understand why this wasn’t the case here (perhaps it was, which makes the outcome more puzzling). I also have a hard time understanding the geometry of the situation; if the weapon was being held properly, it seems like it should’ve been extremely difficult for it to point at the child’s head.

    So I can sort of sympathize with the father’s statement. Aside from the obvious (don’t give machine guns to small children), it’s hard to fully understand how this happened.

  39. #39 Woody Tanaka
    October 28, 2008

    “Assuming his father was a… prudent man,”

    He wasn’t; he gave a fully automatic Uzi to a third-grader.

  40. #40 Beverly
    October 28, 2008

    Okay, I’ve read about half the comments and quit where someone thinks the blogger is over the top. I read the back-and-forth comments for a bit and I agree with the blogger.

    The whole incident reminds me of handing a kid a glass glass with which to play with while in the bathtub. People do it all the time…and every once in awhile some kid gets cut-up pretty bad. I’d think parents should be held responsible in that ‘accident’ too. Or if they store left-over herbicide in a soda-can and their kid drinks it. Yeah, Darwin’s theories may be at work here…too bad it didn’t kick in a generation earlier. [sigh]

    I enjoy your work here…

  41. #41 DRK
    October 28, 2008

    I think it is a pity that fully automatic weapons are available for civilians at all. Let’s go back to the Brady Law. And I say this as someone whose husband is a gun nut with many, many rifles and pistols, all locked up in our gun safe till he takes them to the range and does target shooting. Fully automatic weapons are not for hunting or target shooting, they are only for killing people. Which they do very efficiently, this sad case being exhibit A.

    Who lets an eight year old fire something with that kind of recoil? Those are 9mm bullets in an Uzi, and even a single shot would have quite a kick. What kind of idiot would put a machine gun in the hands of someone so obviously not strong enough to control it? No amount of training or experience could make up for the fact that the average eight year old only weighs around 60 pounds. I’m sure the thing starting spurting out bullets and just bucked up towards his head and his little arms had no control over it.

    My husband took our kids shooting starting around age 10, and he started them off on guns with low recoil. He would never have let them shoot an Uzi. (They are adults now, and he still probably wouldn’t want them shooting a fully automatic Uzi).The father of that little boy, and the “instructor”, should be charged with reckless endangerment at the very least.

  42. #42 Andrew
    October 28, 2008

    I agree with DRK. The 2 hour training courses that NRA people get, making them think they know what they are doing, is pitiful. Uzi’s should be reserved for military use. Israeli military to be exact.

  43. #43 Lightnin
    October 29, 2008

    the fucking automatic rifle.

    It wasn’t a rifle, if it was, I doubt this would have happened. It was a submachine gun (fully automatic small arm that takes pistol type ammunition), specifically a Micro-Uzi. From what I’ve read, this gun has a cyclic rate of around 1250 rounds per minute (an M-16/M4 has an rpm of about 800). It’s only slightly larger and heavier than a pistol. It was designed by the Israeli army as a room clearing weapon. The muzzle climb on the Micro-uzi, even when being used by trained operators is pretty extreme.

    I agree with Kim, someone should have been bracing this kid.

  44. #44 Sam Centipedro
    October 29, 2008

    Like many other furriners here, I find these comments interesting for what they imply about American society. Why would anybody in their right mind want an Uzi as a toy? It certainly isn’t a useful tool, is it? Or am I wrong, do people shoot ducks out of the sky or splatter deer over the landscape with these things? Seriously, what can anybody do with these except feel big (“hey! I gotta gun!”). I doubt that you can even do any sensible target shooting, all you could do is loose off a load of ammunition, isn’t it?

    It’s quite shocking how your country calmly accepts the slaughter of innocents each year due to your violent and scared society being so heavily armed. Unless my country is invaded, or if I want to go hunting game, I can’t see any reason why I would want firearms anywhere near me, my family or my house. And in fact the thought of owning one scares me because I’d be worried that one day I might get drunk, depressed or angry and pull out the thing and do something stupidly murderous, destructive or suicidal.

    Yet your worship of and infatuation with guns continues. Bizarre.

  45. #45 Greg Laden
    October 29, 2008

    Sam: Well, yes, but can you explain why American Society looks like an uzi-loving gun toting mob, while most of the people commenting here are actually saying the opposite? Those saying that this was nothing other than a simple accident that really can’t be avoided, let the kids play with the Uzi’s and stop whining are really in the minority. Everyone else is supporting some degree of restriction of r control over guns, from moderate to extreme.

    Yes, the fact that we are even talking about a third grader accidentally shooting himself in the head with a machine gun provided by his father in an allegedly ‘safe’ context is a pretty American thing. I just want to note that Americans are, despite frequent rumors to the contrary, simply not all the same.

  46. #46 the real Uzibeckistani
    October 30, 2008

    Scote: I think you feel misunderestimated ?

    Anyone who has ever held an Uzi–any Uzi– knows it is too much power in a small hand unfamiliar with power imbalances and recoil. It is a sort of “thinking persons” unthinking gun, built for those who are well trained–mature enough in handling weapons so that they implicitly, instinctively understand its function. That function can only be understood by adults.

    Here are a few pics of the Uzi http://members.tripod.com/sa93/uzi.html
    and like the page owner says “the Uzi is a excellent firearm.”

    is A excellent firearm….

  47. #47 Taylor Ruble
    March 23, 2009

    The argument guns are bad, or that it somehow guns are inherently unsafe is not the reality. It is the people that make the gun unsafe.

    The father should be prosecuted for his gross negligence.

    Guns should not be persecuted because of that same negligence.

    Less than 200 children were killed last year due to accidental gun discharge. More children were killed by falling, choking, drowning, parental abuse – not involving a gun, suffocating, public transportation and auto accidents, but we dont indict cars, pools, pillows, public buses, or legos for their inherent and potential danger.

    Most gun violence in this country is carried out with illegal firearms, and no law forbidding guns will ever stop that. Look at case studies for Britain and Austrailia. Criminals still get them for one reason they freaking criminals. It is just like illegal drugs, though against the law to use them, they are still used and kill people every year.

    The theme here should be parental accountability, which Americans want no part of. I think instead of gun licensing
    we should license people to have children. The state can administer the test and qualifications. The test should compose of a written test evaluating your competency and child-rearing knowledge, a mental assessment by a state pyscologist to evaluate your mental stability, and a physical and medical evaluation to determine any history of mental illness or disease in your family. If you qualify, then and only then can you have a child, which after birth will be taken for rearing by the state. In fact, lets have the state run every part of our lives, since it doesn’t seem like any of us can be trusted with anything drano, ladders, pillows, legos, or guns.

    Maybe then, no child will ever die due to an accident and especially not by a gun, but I doubt it.

  48. #48 Stephanie Z
    March 23, 2009

    Taylor, if you’re going to come this late to the discussion, at least read it before you comment. You’ll look less dishonest–or stupid, but I’m giving you the benefit of the doubt–when you bring up something like cars that’s been thoroughly discussed already.

    Now, please explain to me how one persecutes a gun. What rights does the firearm have that we’re going to take away?

  49. #49 Greg Laden
    March 23, 2009

    First, they came for the toasters. Then they came for the cell phones. And so on and so forth.

    Actually, Taylor I am SHOCKED that you do not care about TWO HUNDRED CHILDREN killed by guns for no good reason. You are a monster.

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