I can't believe I'm even having to write this article, but I live in 'Merica, so I shouldn't be surprised, I suppose.
A 9-year-old girl killed her instructor on the firing range with an Uzi in Arizona. Later in the article, the revelation that this isn't the first accident involving a child and an Uzi; an 8-year-old in Massachusetts killed himself with one at a gun show.
I am not anti-gun. I am not pro-gun. I am fine with adults owning guns for protection (within reason), for firing on a range, and for hunting. I am fine with older kids learning to hunt with rifles. However, it's wrong to put an instrument of death into the hands of a young child. A weapon designed only for killing is not something that should be included in childhood recreational activities. I have several problems with this idea.
First, a child has not developed the judgment necessary to respect the danger guns represent. How many children her age even have a grasp on the concept of death? Why put a weapon designed for hitting multiple targets at once in a military situation into the hands of a person who isn't even allowed on a battlefield?
Secondly, a young child isn't going to be able to handle the recoil of an Uzi. These are not toys, and should not be handled by non-military personnel. A child doesn't have the strength to keep this gun stable.
Next, there is no reason to teach a child how to "safely" use a sub-machine gun In what situation would a 9-year-old actually use an Uzi? Do the parents think their child will fight in the upcoming revolution or something?
Finally, a child should be shooting squirt guns, Nerf darts, or, at most, an air rifle. A paint gun might be within reason. It is not reasonable to have a nine-year-old firing real guns, unless it's for hunting with family or something along those lines.
I'm truly angry at this incident. The parents, the instructor, and the owners of the gun range are all responsible for this senseless death. I hope some rules change at the range over this horrible tragedy. I call it a tragedy only because of the scars it will leave on the child's mind; the adults in this situation should have known better.