Yesterday near Lake Havasu, a firearms instructor was shot to death by a 9 year old girl he was training. As she was shooting an uzi, the force from the blowback was so strong the girl lost control and the gun recoiled backwards with aim at the instructor.
To the credit of the American media, I didn’t find anyone using this instance to call for gun control. However, I did find a British website that did. The author merely presented the idea that this would lead to gun control discussion, however, the commenters were very critical of us. Several of them said [why would a 9 year old girl need to learn how to fire an uzi.]
Of course, they are completely missing the point. She didn’t go to learn how to fire an uzi, she just thought it would be fun. I personally have no interest in firing a gun, but people who do will tell you it’s really fun. Fun, sometimes, is a little bit dangerous.
The gun range has a policy that’s very standard. Children can use the range if they’re over 8 years old and accompanied by an adult. It’s standard procedure for the instructors to have a tighter grip on the gun when it’s a younger child. So the guy got a little complacent with his grip and paid with his life.
However, these types of deaths are so rare, that when looking for a incident to compare this to, both CNN and the Washington Post had to go back and cite a training incident at a gun show in Massachusetts 6 years ago. So while obviously deaths of this type are unnecessary, far more people are losing their lives to unnecessary bad health habits than at gun ranges. Then again, these British commenters probably would like to legislate my diet as well.
I would happily regulate a bad policy to prevent an unlikely death. It costs us nothing to disallow children from firing a hard-to-handle weapon in full auto. We don’t allow 9 year-olds to drive a car without adult hands on the wheel either.
I do favor regulating bad habits via tax penalties, like they do on alcohol and tobacco. I’m already paying more than I should have to for the ER visits of indigents with Type II diabetes. If you wreck your body through preventable misbehavior, insurers should be able to charge you more for coverage.