Should Parents Allow Young Children to Shoot Full Auto? Two Uzi Deaths by Young Children…

August 27 2014
by GSL Staff
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Should young children (we’re talking pre-teens here), be allowed to shoot fully automatic weapons (we’re talking actual machine guns here)?

This question is brought about by a recent incident in which a 9 year old girl shot and killed her shooting instructor while her parents watched when she was firing a fully automatic Uzi on a controlled firing range. According to a press release by the Mohave County Sheriff’s Office,

Mohave County Sheriff’s deputies responded to an accidental shooting at an outdoor shooting range Monday (8/25) morning. At about 10:00 a.m., deputies responded to the Last Stop business located at 20606 North Highway 93 in White Hills. Investigations determined a 9-year-old girl accidentally shot the instructor in the head. The instructor, a 39-year-old male victim was airlifted to a medical center in Las Vegas, Nevada. The girl was at the business with her parents.

The instructor identified as Charles Vacca, 39, of Lake Havasu City, did not survive his injuries.

Vacca was pronounced dead Monday (8/25) evening at the University Medical Center at 8:56 p.m.

Vacca was standing next to the girl while he was instructing her how to use to weapon when the accident happened. Further investigations determined the girl pulled the trigger on the automatic Uzi, the recoil sent the gun over her head and the victim was shot.

It might surprise you to learn this isn’t the first deadly incident involving young children and automatic weapons. Interestingly, the Uzi comes into play again. In 2008, an 8 year old boy shot and killed himself on a controlled firing range in a gun club while firing a fully automatic Uzi that his father gave him permission to fire.

If you’ve never fired a true fully automatic weapon (no bump firing, sliding stocks, and light triggers don’t count) then you can’t really appreciate how quickly things happen. The entire magazine is literally full one moment and empty the next. Inexperienced shooters tend to clamp down on the trigger. That fact, combined with the recoil profile a full auto, could possibly create disastrous results in the right situation.

Do you think young children should be able to shoot fully automatic firearms, even under controlled circumstances? Note: We aren’t talking about legality or passing any laws here, we’re talking about from a parenting decision standpoint.

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