A young girl of nine years of age accidentally shot a gun instructor to death when handling a powerful automatic gun, an Uzi submachine gun, in the state of Arizona USA. This incident has since its occurrence sparked many a debate: should there be an age limit to handle guns, should young people manipulate powerful weapons beyond their abilities even if they are supervised, or should the laws remain as they are, given that these accidents are very much uncommon?
9-year-old kid manipulating powerful gun
A terrible incident that occurred in Arizona, USA, has spawned great debates among members of the public. A girl of nine years of age accidentally killed a shooting instructor when she was being taught how to use a powerful weapon. Now, many are raising their voices against children manipulating complicated weapons – blaming both the parents and the State for allowing it to happen.
Holidays gone wrong
The girl and her family were on holidays at the Last Stop shooting range in White Hills, Arizona. The accident happened when Mr. Vacca, the 39-year-old instructor, was in the process of teaching her how to use an automatic weapon – an Uzi submachine gun. Apparently, as can be viewed on a video recorded during the happening, the girl lost control over the powerful weapon while Mr Vacca was standing next to her. The girl was successful at firing a single round at a said target. Thereafter, the girl delivered a number of shots before losing control over the machine. The change in momentum in the gun caused the girl to have the weapon go over her head, with bullets shot at Mr. Vacca at the level of the head which resulted in fatal injuries causing him to die – the sad incident occurred on Monday, 25th of August.
Playing the blame-game?
The girl is obviously extremely young. Is she to be blamed for not having the expertise to handle the weapon, or are the parents and instructor to be blamed for actually allowing a minor to try out a weapon well beyond her know-how? Well, maybe it is the law governing the state which is for something? Arizona law stipulates that a minor can possess a weapon if he is accompanied by an adult – parent, guardian or instructor. However, the questions on the lips of the public is should this type of sophisticated automatic weapon even have been in between the hands of a child?
Many have shown compassion and sympathy to the girl. But, still, “why was she manipulating such a gun?”
Arizona has strong laws in the favour of gun rights. It is common for families to collectively shoot at ranges in the state.
A professor of constitutional law at the University of California, Adam Winkler, said that shooting ranges have their own rules: they themselves decide as to the appropriate age of a person for him to be allowed to try out their weapons. Age restriction is not an issue because supervision from an adult is considered sufficient. The professor also said that accidents such as this one are not a frequent occurrence since shooters are very much under supervision on gun ranges.
He did comment on the strange nature of this particular case though: a 9-year-old child made to fire an Uzi; frail arms cannot normally withstand the force of impacts from such guns.
Now, should the laws be readjusted, taking into consideration the above-mentioned issues?