8-Year-Old Accidentally Kills Self at Gun Show

Grumpicus wrote:
There's a time and a place for everything, an 8 year-old has no business to be around loaded weapons.

I bagged my first deer when I was 8.

Nobody's perfect : )

In a perfect world, there would be not much fuzz on letting a child learn the basics of shooting at that age, with an appropiate, low powered, easy to handle rifle/bb-gun. While I don't frown upon an initiation into guns as described, the circumnstances surroding the death of the OP child are unforgivable.

Yeah, I had a BB gun when I was a young kid. I was "hunting" magpies at like age 6. I had my hunting license at 7 after taking gun safety. I had my own rifle at I think 7 or 8. I never went hunting. Just wasn't into it. But I went shooting quite often. Just for practice. I was always supervised, though. As someone who has shot rifles at a young age the thing that stands out to me is that the gun was an Uzi. That gun doesn't strike me as easy to hold in a manner that you can brace yourself for the kick. In fact, you'd be inclined to hold it with one hand (dual wield is totally realistic, you know) and think that would be fine. Incredibly irresponsible and illogical.

OG_slinger wrote:

But the father decided it was OK for someone to hand his child an automatic weapon. Had the child walked up by himself and asked to shoot a machine gun he would have been turned away because he was a minor and legally can't make those kinds of decisions for himself. It's only because his father decided it was OK that all this happened. That makes the father responsible. So while the father didn't physically put the machine gun in his son's hands, legally he did.

I never said the father was an unfeeling monster. An absolutely stupid idiot with absolutely no common sense, perhaps, but certainly not evil incarnate.

And my outrage isn't misplaced. My outrage is directed at exactly where it should be: the tiny minority in this country feel they have push the limits when it comes to the 2nd Amendment and so set up the situation where an 8-year-old shoots himself in the head just so they continue to have the "right" to go hunting, shoot at a range, or just collect a bunch of guns.

Not doing something preventive doesn't always make someone who could have done it responsible. For example, you could have gone to every township to make sure that every citizen's gun is properly kept safe and licensed, but you didn't, and that makes YOU responsible for the shooting in Arizona. Ridiculous, isn't it? Something less farfetched: you should patrol your neighborhood for crimes. Not doing so makes you criminally negligent for every crime that takes place within 15 minutes of your house.

There have to be limitations on this sort of thinking. We can't go around blaming everyone not-us for things we don't approve of. It's a natural sort of thing to do when you're outraged, but it's not reasonable.

You're asserting that the father legally put the gun in the hands of his son without proper supervision. Is that just rhetoric or are you talking actual legal and not just pretend-legal? This is relevant because in the real world, you can't get charged and jailed on make-believe and exaggerations.

We don't know that the father was a proponent of pushing the 2nd amendment. You're jumping to conclusions. If your outrage is against those who would make these things possible, then be outraged at your own representative, not the father. Be outraged at the governor, the mayor, the fair manager, and the booth manager first. They are more properly held responsible, because they are supposed to be responsible for gun safety standards and public safety, which is what failed in this case.

Granted, the father was pretty goshdarned stupid for letting his kid handle a gun at all outside his direct and expert supervision, but last I checked, we don't jail people for being stupid parents.

LarryC wrote:

Granted, the father was pretty goshdarned stupid for letting his kid handle a gun at all outside his direct and expert supervision, but last I checked, we don't jail people for being stupid parents.

Now who's being hard on the dad? Not just stupid, but "goshdarned stupid"?

Seriously, though, your comparison couldn't be more off. Like comparing apples to astronauts. It's not OG_Slinger's job to ensure gun safety for some other person. However in this case, the father let the kid have an uzi. The father is responsible for the child's wellbeing and he was negligent and helped get his son killed. I'm not sure if that constitutes criminal neglect (parents get charged frequently for leaving gun cabinets unlocked, for example), but if it does then he should be prosecuted.

And if the father tries to go after someone else in a civil suit for pain and suffering then he REALLY doesn't get my sympathy.

DSGamer:

DSGamer wrote:

Seriously, though, your comparison couldn't be more off. Like comparing apples to astronauts. It's not OG_Slinger's job to ensure gun safety for some other person. However in this case, the father let the kid have an uzi. The father is responsible for the child's wellbeing and he was negligent and helped get his son killed. I'm not sure if that constitutes criminal neglect (parents get charged frequently for leaving gun cabinets unlocked, for example), but if it does then he should be prosecuted.

It's not off at all. The point of comparison is neglect. The father is deemed responsible for his child but to a certain extent, we are all held responsible for our own turf, and for the welfare of the nation itself. Not doing your bit in policing your neighborhood can be considered a form of neglect, subject to outrage from people who actually do patrol their own neighborhoods.

As I said, it's easy to point the finger at other people. It's a little less easy when it points the other way as well.

Note that the father was there, and he put his faith in the fair's firearms instructor. As I mentioned before, are we now going to jail every parent that puts his children under the care of people whose licenses and such are not scrutinized exhaustively? Are we going to legally require parents to ask for paper work from every single person he or she needs to leave her child with?

"Hey, Toys-R-Us-dude. Are you legally licensed to supervise that toy? Where's that toy's paperwork? Where's yours? Can't have the children playing with unregulated sample toys given by unlicensed toy store professionals, you know."

You feel outrage, but methinks that outrage is better pointed somewhere else. Parenting is already too regulated in your country, IMO. I'll know you've all have gone way off the deep end when you start legislating Standards of Parental Care.

PS: and no, I'm not being harder on the dad than either you or OG. I'm calling him stupid. You're advocating criminal charges! I'll ask you this, would you rather I called you stupid, or sued you for criminal negligence?

Robear wrote:

Yeah, you were justifying that an eight year old could be around weapons.

Actually, I was responding to the blanket statement that "an 8 year-old has no business to be around loaded weapons." An 8-year-old with proper instruction and supervision is perfectly capable of being around and even using loaded weapons. Obviously, a key ingredient was missing in the tragic case that is the focus of this thread but that doesn't make the blanket statement any more accurate.

Robear wrote:

As for thinking I would not bother to read a one sentence quote, you know me better than that.

Well I also figured I knew you well enough that I was surprised when you responded my comment, which was about neither an Uzi nor the OP, as though it was.

LarryC wrote:

PS: and no, I'm not being harder on the dad than either you or OG. I'm calling him stupid. You're advocating criminal charges! I'll ask you this, would you rather I called you stupid, or sued you for criminal negligence?

I was being sarcastic. This conversation is as tone deaf as I feared. I'm out.

Where I live cops would *never* let children "play" with their service weapons, not if they wanted to keep their jobs. I mean the liability they and their department would be under would be insane should anything go wrong. Instead, they teach kids to never touch a gun if they find on and to go tell an adult.

I almost guarantee they do. They unload the weapon and teach their children safety. The kids that grow up with a familiarity of weapons don't kill themselves, it's the ones who are told to run screaming from guns who get the bug to play with them.

MaverickDago wrote:
Where I live cops would *never* let children "play" with their service weapons, not if they wanted to keep their jobs. I mean the liability they and their department would be under would be insane should anything go wrong. Instead, they teach kids to never touch a gun if they find on and to go tell an adult.

I almost guarantee they do. They unload the weapon and teach their children safety. The kids that grow up with a familiarity of weapons don't kill themselves, it's the ones who are told to run screaming from guns who get the bug to play with them.

Though I agree that proper exposure to guns is certainly preferable to the pathological fear of them, I have also seen a lot of dumbassery from rednecks with guns around their children. I think if we are going to have guns be a reality in our society, we should have some provisions for proper education and control.

I don't, for instance, have an issue with showing little Johnny how to use a .22 under strict supervision, but giving an 8 year old a mini uzi and telling him to go at it (under the supervision of an entirely unqualified 15 year old) is some seriously epic dumbassery.

Actually, I was responding to the blanket statement that "an 8 year-old has no business to be around loaded weapons." An 8-year-old with proper instruction and supervision is perfectly capable of being around and even using loaded weapons. Obviously, a key ingredient was missing in the tragic case that is the focus of this thread but that doesn't make the blanket statement any more accurate.

Ah, I simply didn't read it that way. Instead, I thought you were asserting a blanket statement in the opposite direction, which surprised me when you didn't qualify it. Semantic ambiguity ftl!

I'm glad we got that sorted. I know some people think I live to piss other people off, but that's not remotely true. Dysplastic can attest to that.

nevermind.
it's been beaten ...

MaverickDago wrote:
Where I live cops would *never* let children "play" with their service weapons, not if they wanted to keep their jobs. I mean the liability they and their department would be under would be insane should anything go wrong. Instead, they teach kids to never touch a gun if they find on and to go tell an adult.

I almost guarantee they do. They unload the weapon and teach their children safety. The kids that grow up with a familiarity of weapons don't kill themselves, it's the ones who are told to run screaming from guns who get the bug to play with them.

Yeah, I am fairly sure Chicago cops are told to do this too. I recall having a discussion with a neighbor who was an officer about this.

Robear wrote:

Semantic ambiguity ftl!

I'm glad we got that sorted.

Agreed.

We don't have gun fairs commonly, and since guns are uncommon, they are perceived with a healthy dose of fear. One does not handle guns lightly, even as an adult.

That's just healthy. I think of guns as being a lot like chainsaws in that regard. Both can be useful in the right circumstance, but if they don't scare you at least a little, you're not thinking it through.

That said, gun ranges are a lot of fun. Treated with careful respect, firearms are both safe and very cool.

Some stats on gun violence here at the Brady Center. It's an advocacy group, so I can't speak to the accuracy. I did think it was interesting that out of the 31,000+ gun-related deaths during the year in question, 17,352 were suicides.

Race-based stats are listed here. Except for black people, the rate of suicide by gun is much higher than it is for homicide. Also, good news is that the rate of unintentional fatalities are a quarter of what they were in 1981.

Paleocon wrote:

I don't, for instance, have an issue with showing little Johnny how to use a .22 under strict supervision, but giving an 8 year old a mini uzi and telling him to go at it (under the supervision of an entirely unqualified 15 year old) is some seriously epic dumbassery.

This is where I fall on this too. I grew up around guns and have been handling them since my early teens, with BB guns coming before that. My father was very involved with gun safety, teaching hunter's safety courses, and taught us gun safety well before we were handling a full powered weapon.

I find it sad in this case that the effect of the father's stupidity had to be applied to his child. As bad as a I feel for this guy and his loss, an example may be due to be made. To discourage such dumbassery in the future.

LarryC wrote:

You're asserting that the father legally put the gun in the hands of his son without proper supervision. Is that just rhetoric or are you talking actual legal and not just pretend-legal? This is relevant because in the real world, you can't get charged and jailed on make-believe and exaggerations.

The kid was eight years old, Larry. He is legally incapable of giving his assent for anything. He would have never gotten the weapon had his father not given his permission. That makes the father liable for the consequences.

LarryC wrote:

We don't know that the father was a proponent of pushing the 2nd amendment. You're jumping to conclusions. If your outrage is against those who would make these things possible, then be outraged at your own representative, not the father. Be outraged at the governor, the mayor, the fair manager, and the booth manager first. They are more properly held responsible, because they are supposed to be responsible for gun safety standards and public safety, which is what failed in this case.

I didn't say the father was a proponent of the 2nd Amendment. But, no, it really wouldn't be jumping to conclusions to say that someone who attends a gun show and lets his child shoot an automatic weapon really likes the 2nd Amendment.

My outrage is properly placed with the people who will do anything to make sure they can own weapons. It's these people, through the NRA, will aggressively--and sadly successfully--lobby against any restriction on gun ownership and any attempt by the government to even keep track of the flow of firearms.

Early in your post you said I could have made sure every citizen's gun was licensed and kept safe and because I didn't, I was responsible for what happened in Arizona. Well, it's the NRA who makes sure the government can't do that. See, the NRA lobbies against things like proposed laws to make sure firearms are properly and safely stored. The NRA also makes sure that there are plenty of loopholes in existing laws, like not requiring background checks at guns shows, which makes gun shows really popular.

And once you have a popular locale for gun enthusiasts, it's only a matter of time before someone starts offering "entertainment" venues, like, oh I don't know, shooting an Uzi, since the one thing the NRA hasn't been so successful at is legalizing automatic weapons.

LarryC wrote:

Granted, the father was pretty goshdarned stupid for letting his kid handle a gun at all outside his direct and expert supervision, but last I checked, we don't jail people for being stupid parents.

When a child gets injured or killed by their stupidity, we certainly do. There's nothing magical about parenthood that should protect you from the consequences of your actions.

LarryC wrote:

Note that the father was there, and he put his faith in the fair's firearms instructor. As I mentioned before, are we now going to jail every parent that puts his children under the care of people whose licenses and such are not scrutinized exhaustively? Are we going to legally require parents to ask for paper work from every single person he or she needs to leave her child with?

For the last bleeping time, there was *no* licensed firearm instructor. There was just a pimply faced 15-year-old. His father didn't put his son's life in the hands of a former Marine range-master with decades of experience, he put his son's life in the hands of a kid the state judged too immature and inexperienced to even drive a car.

There was just a pimply faced 15-year-old.

Could you stop with the superfluous descriptions of the 15 yr old? There are 15 yr olds out there who look incredibly mature, with all sorts of height, weight, skin tone, and facial hair options.

Yes, the father was irresponsible for allowing his child to hold the Uzi. I have seen zero evidence so far that the father had any indication that the range-master was A) Underage or B)Unlicensed. You make it sound as if he had a giant sign on his head saying "I AM FIFTEEN YEARS OLD, UNLICENSED, AND YOU ARE STUPID TO TRUST ME."

Again, YES, the father was irresponsible here, but enough with the added flavor.

From article regarding recent acquittal of the organizer wrote:

Charles Bizilj was not charged because he was a layman, and based his decision to allow his sons to fire the gun on information from others who should have known it was too dangerous, prosecutors have said.

There. They could have charged him, but he had deferred to the implied expertise of the booth operators, so they didn't because that was an understandable miscalculation.
The prosecutors recognized his situation as merely tragic and not a case of neglect and did not charge him.

For as sad as this is, I am surprised more people didn't get hurt...

I'm pretty sure the safety on the Mini-Uzi is still in the handle, right? So it would have cut off pretty quickly.

Charles Bizilj was not charged because he was a layman, and based his decision to allow his sons to fire the gun on information from others who should have known it was too dangerous, prosecutors have said.

That seems like the right outcome to me. The whole point of paying for a gun range is that they're supposed to know and understand gun safety. Ranges, in general, are extremely safe places, and if the instructor says that 'doing X is okay', normally it would be. There's an implied expertise there, and deferring to expertise is how we navigate through an extremely complex world.

I think whoever hired a 15-year-old as a rangemaster, on the other hand, should probably be doing some prison time.

OG_Slinger:

Prosecutors wrote:

Charles Bizilj was not charged because he was a layman, and based his decision to allow his sons to fire the gun on information from others who should have known it was too dangerous, prosecutors have said.

That says it right there, I think. If you want to hold laymen responsible for things they have no business knowing in depth, be my guest. If your child ever dies because of medical malpractice, make a point of pushing for life sentence on yourself on top of the death of your kid. After all, you signed the consent form.

Malor wrote:
Charles Bizilj was not charged because he was a layman, and based his decision to allow his sons to fire the gun on information from others who should have known it was too dangerous, prosecutors have said.

That seems like the right outcome to me. The whole point of paying for a gun range is that they're supposed to know and understand gun safety. Ranges, in general, are extremely safe places, and if the instructor says that 'doing X is okay', normally it would be. There's an implied expertise there, and deferring to expertise is how we navigate through an extremely complex world.

I think whoever hired a 15-year-old as a rangemaster, on the other hand, should probably be doing some prison time.

Depends on the range. I've been to a number of ranges where the rangemaster is a real serious hardass and I couldn't feel safer. I've been at others where people routinely sweep one another, back out of stations with loaded weapons, enter the range with loaded weapons, improperly clear jams in unsafe manners, and all manner of other tragedies in the making. On the two occasions I have participated as a range master, I was actually impressed with how much you must attend to while not being able to hear anything. And that was only with semi auto rifles. A 15 year old, no matter how mature, is clearly not a wise choice to handle being a rangemaster and instructor for advanced automatic weapons in the hands of an 8 year old.

That's just plain and simple idiocy.

I've been to a number of ranges where the rangemaster is a real serious hardass and I couldn't feel safer.

I'm not a big range visitor or anything, but the ones I've been to were manned by hardasses. I assumed most or all of them were like that; I'll defer to your greater expertise.

Regardless, they're supposed to be safe; that's why they're expensive.

LarryC wrote:

OG_Slinger:

Prosecutors wrote:

Charles Bizilj was not charged because he was a layman, and based his decision to allow his sons to fire the gun on information from others who should have known it was too dangerous, prosecutors have said.

That says it right there, I think. If you want to hold laymen responsible for things they have no business knowing in depth, be my guest. If your child ever dies because of medical malpractice, make a point of pushing for life sentence on yourself on top of the death of your kid. After all, you signed the consent form.

Or the prosecutor decided going after a mourning father in a district that obviously likes it's guns would be a bad move for his career, especially during an election year, or that he felt it would just be difficult to get a conviction for the same reasons.

Either way, it's common sense that you shouldn't hand an automatic weapon to an 8-year-old no matter how many people tell you it's OK.

Like I said, if ever a child of yours ever dies from medical malpractice, let me know. I'll be the first to lobby for your spending the rest of your life in prison as punishment. After all, it's just common sense that you don't give aspirin for dengue fever.

LarryC wrote:

Like I said, if ever a child of yours ever dies from medical malpractice, let me know. I'll be the first to lobby for your spending the rest of your life in prison as punishment. After all, it's just common sense that you don't give aspirin for dengue fever.

Not 100% analogous, but :Link. Parents follow bad advice that kills their kid, and they get charged with negligent homicide. Granted, they never got advice from a doctor, but trusted to the expertise of their church, but they still placed their trust in what they think of as experts.

If the father had allowed his kid to fire an automatic weapon based on advice from his pastor, I'd be right there with you.

So... taking the stupid advice of a pastor is negligence, but being stupid all on your own should be okay?

Riiiight.