Once again my post will probably stir controversy because some people will disagree with me. But that's OK - not only am I used to it but I can take it.
I read the tragic story of the 9 year old girl who accidentally shot and killed her firearms instructor when the recoil of the fully automatic Uzi sub-machine gun she was firing caused her to lose control of the weapon, pushing her up and to the side to the point where the bullets she was still firing struck the instructor beside her in the head, killing him.
I am fully supportive of the Second Amendment and the right for citizens to own guns. I am OK with training children in the safe handling of firearms, under strict supervision and guidelines. They are children, after all.
That said - I really see no logical reason why parents or firearms instructors would allow a 9 year old child to fire a fully automatic weapon. I know many adults that would be surprised and even frightened by the recoil of a weapon in fully automatic mode. Adults who would possibly lose control of that weapon and shoot the wrong thing. A child that age, no matter how well briefed he or she is, really has no concept of what that recoil will be like until they actually fire the weapon. And in this case it seems the instructor didn't take the necessary precautions, such as standing behind her with his hands ready to intercede should she lose control, before allowing her to fire.
I can hear it now. "It's their right." Actually, it's not the child's right to shoot a weapon. Children are not allowed to purchase firearms and can only shoot them if their parents allow it. And as I heard on the radio earlier today - what possible gain of those "rights" is attained by allowing a nine year old to fire a fully automatic weapon. Should she not have a few more years of experience under her gun belt before being allowed to handle one of the most dangerous firearms around - that being a fully automatic weapon?
Yes, yes - I know. The weapon is not dangerous. It's the person firing the weapon that's dangerous. And that's exactly my point.
I feel so badly for this little girl. If her life isn't ruined she will at least be scarred forever. I don't blame her. She didn't know what she was doing. And I'm not going to spend time blaming the parents or the instructor, per se, because the tragedy has already happened and two families must now live with what I believe was simply a poor and tragic decision.
When my son was nine I took him to a firing range and helped him fire my 9mm pistol. He didn't hold it by himself. He didn't fire it without me holding his wrist to make sure he did everything properly. I think he fired twice. And to tell you the truth - he didn't like it. It was too loud and the recoil scared him.
People need to keep in mind the abilities of children, not only physical but mental and emotional, when teaching them how to shoot. Consider that a nine year old might not be quite ready to fire a fully automatic weapon. Are there exceptions? I'm sure there are. If I tried I bet I could find numerous videos posted of nine-year-olds firing automatic weapons safely. Islamic terrorists train their children to do it all the time. But consider where the hearts of those Islamic parents are.
I don't think nine-year-olds in this country should be handling weapons that can react in a manner the children do not anticipate. But in the words of Dennis Miller: "That's just my opinion. I could be wrong."
Let the disagreements begin...!!