Tuesday, October 28, 2008


An 8 year-old boy is dead due to an accidental gun wound. Usually this kind of thing happens in the home--a kid stumbles across his parent's gun, it's not properly secured, and tragedy ensues. This, however, was at a gun fair. The boy was firing an Uzi submachine gun. Apparently this was the chain of events:

"The weapon was loaded and prepared by the instructor and handed to the 8-year-old boy. The 8-year-old boy fired the weapon, the front end of the weapon raised up to his head, and a round struck him in the head."

It's a horrible situation and must be devastating for the family. But why was an 8 year-old allowed to handle an Uzi at all? Even if it was prepared by an instructor, and even if this could have happened to a 48 year-old, this seems particularly wrong for a child. It's a horrible mistake that could have been prevented by not letting kids handle Uzis. (And this was in Massachusetts, not West Virginia.)

This isn't little Walter Cunningham helping his father hunt squirrels so his family can eat. This was just a wretched event. I don't think guns should be outlawed, but how is it reasonable for an 8 year-old to handle a major weapon, even in the presence of professionals and parents?