Kids and Guns – Again

Let’s just consider for a moment how asinine and pathetic this headline is:

“Conn. Senate OKs machine gun ban for kids” (msnbc.com – 4/30/09).

The bill bans children in Connecticut under the age of 16 from handling or firing machine guns. It was passed after an 8-year-old boy accidentally shot and killed himself while firing an Uzi submachine gun at a Massachusetts gun show (see Boy, 8, accidentally kills self at gun show – msnbc.com – 10/27/08).

The child, from Ashford, CT, was firing the weapon under the supervision of an uncertified 15-year-old boy, according to Police Chief, club indicted in boy’s Uzi death (msnbc.com – 12/4/08). Unfortunately the boy lost control of the weapon when it recoiled and shot himself in the head. The gun show he was at was called the Machine Gun Shoot and Firearms Expo. Organizers promised shooters would have certified instructors.

Pelham, Massachusetts police chief Edward Fleury owns COPS Firearms & Training, the sponsor of the show, and according to Hampden County (MA) District Attorney William Bennett Fleury wrongly told the two men who brought the Uzi to the Westfield Sportsman’s Club (site of the show) that it was legal for children to use under Massachusetts law. 

The boy’s father, who claimed his son had fired handguns and rifles but never an automatic weapon, chose the Uzi because he thought its small size made it safer. Bennett said the weapon’s size makes it deceiving and its “rapid rate of fire made it more likely that an 8-year-old would lose control and the muzzle of the weapon would come close to his face, which is what happened here.” (Again see Police Chief, club indicted in boy’s Uzi death). The boy’s father was standing about ten feet behind him and reaching for his camera when the child fired the weapon.

The gun laws in this country are a joke and need to be stricter. You would never see a headline like the one cited above in countries like England and Singapore, both of which have strict gun control laws. And contrary to claims made by pro-gun advocates England and Singapore are not police states as a result of serious limitations on civilians owning weapons. Singapore is actually a very prosperous country and you’d be hard-pressed to find any instances of some lunatic walking into a school or office building there and opening fire with a handgun or automatic weapon.

According to the Violence Policy Center, a Washington, D.C.-based nonprofit organization, states with high gun-related death rates have “lax gun laws and higher gun ownership rates. The report defined states with “weak” gun laws as those that add little or nothing to federal restrictions and have permissive laws allowing civilians to carry concealed handguns.”

So much for the NRA’s “responsible gun ownership” argument.

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