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CNN: Eight Year Old Shoots Self With Uzi, Dies


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WESTFIELD, Massachusetts (AP) -- An 8-year-old boy died after accidentally shooting himself in the head while firing an Uzi submachine gun under adult supervision at a gun fair.

The boy lost control of the weapon while firing it Sunday at the Machine Gun Shoot and Firearms Expo at the Westfield Sportsman's Club, Police Lt. Lawrence Valliere said.

The boy was with a certified instructor and "was shooting the weapon down range when the force of the weapon made it travel up and back toward his head, where he suffered the injury," a police statement said. Police called it a "self-inflicted accidental shooting."

For the entire article:

http://www.cnn.com/2008/US/10/27/boy.shoots.himself.ap/index.html

How incredibly sad, such a young life snuffed out by accident. :(

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I did not realize that in some circumstances it is legal for 8 year olds to fire automatic weapons with live ammunition.

That is just ridiculous. 8 years old!!!! The parents and adults at this range should be ashamed of themselves and if it were up to me charged as criminals.

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Obviously this has been big news here in Central/Western Massachusetts today. Let me give you folks a little perspective that the article does not necessarily include.

I have been involved in events at Westfield Rod & Gun on a couple of occassions. Their members and staff are among the most safety conscious shooters I have ever had the pleasure of working and shooting with. I consider a number of them good personal friends of mine. During the three events I have worked there we have never had any sort of incident related to a firearm (had one fall that involved an injury but it was away from the shooting area).

These type of "Machinegun Shoots" that COP and the club were putting on are not uncommon at all in this area of the country. Individuals get a chance to come out and shoot a wide variety of small arms and heavy weapons generally ranging from submachineguns to fully automatic rifles and machineguns. All the shooting areas are monitored by experienced safety officers and trainers. Generally the proceeds go to a charitable organization of one sort or another.

In this horrific situation there are some things to remember before one draws conclusions... The young man's father AND an experienced trainer were there with the child. He was not unsupervised. He had been instructed on how to shoot the firearm. Obvioulsy both the father and the instructor felt that the young man would be capable of safely discharging the firearm. Anyone who has fired a submachinegun knows that the recoil from the continuous firing of the gun can be quite extensive and it tends to move in a rearward and upward direction. If the young man lost control of the firearm there would have been no time for the parent or instructor to step in.

The only thing that MIGHT HAVE averted this horrific event would have been the instructor standing over the young man, assisting him in holding the firearm steady. I say MIGHT HAVE because the chances are equally as good that this would have ended up as a double tragedy with both the young man AND the instructor being victims of this tragedy.

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Those are some pretty damn stupid parents. Kids that small shouldn't be learning to fire powerful weapons, and certainly not an automatic weapon as I'm guessing this wasn't an Uzi modified to be just semi-auto. When I learned I was older than 8 years old and it was on an old bolt action rifle. It made you learn to handle recoil without the danger of firing by accident. I don't know how any parent could let a kid that young fire a weapon like that.

MSF- you've seen and Uzi fire right? It's just a 9mm round but it's extremely fast and the weapon basically has just a pistol grip. Some of them have a folding wire stock if I'm not mistaken but it's the type of gun that isn't exactly balanced and held in position by one's body, it relies a lot more on arm strength and arm control much like pistols. Those parents should have known an 8 year old wouldn't handle it well. Can't blame the instructors though, it's all up to the parents.

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The only thing that MIGHT HAVE averted this horrific event would have been the instructor standing over the young man, assisting him in holding the firearm steady.

I understand there was a ton of safety involved etc, but that's not the ONLY way this horrific event could've been averted. The BEST way would have been to NOT let an 8 year old fire an Uzi. It's stupid, there's no two sides to this story. It's horrible and it shouldn't have happened for one reason, he shouldn't have been allowed to fire the gun.

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Obviously this has been big news here in Central/Western Massachusetts today. Let me give you folks a little perspective that the article does not necessarily include.

I have been involved in events at Westfield Rod & Gun on a couple of occassions. Their members and staff are among the most safety conscious shooters I have ever had the pleasure of working and shooting with. I consider a number of them good personal friends of mine. During the three events I have worked there we have never had any sort of incident related to a firearm (had one fall that involved an injury but it was away from the shooting area).

These type of "Machinegun Shoots" that COP and the club were putting on are not uncommon at all in this area of the country. Individuals get a chance to come out and shoot a wide variety of small arms and heavy weapons generally ranging from submachineguns to fully automatic rifles and machineguns. All the shooting areas are monitored by experienced safety officers and trainers. Generally the proceeds go to a charitable organization of one sort or another.

In this horrific situation there are some things to remember before one draws conclusions... The young man's father AND an experienced trainer were there with the child. He was not unsupervised. He had been instructed on how to shoot the firearm. Obvioulsy both the father and the instructor felt that the young man would be capable of safely discharging the firearm. Anyone who has fired a submachinegun knows that the recoil from the continuous firing of the gun can be quite extensive and it tends to move in a rearward and upward direction. If the young man lost control of the firearm there would have been no time for the parent or instructor to step in.

The only thing that MIGHT HAVE averted this horrific event would have been the instructor standing over the young man, assisting him in holding the firearm steady. I say MIGHT HAVE because the chances are equally as good that this would have ended up as a double tragedy with both the young man AND the instructor being victims of this tragedy.

Well clearly they were wrong and the fact that this was allowed is disgusting, evidenced by what happened. It is just common sense not to let an 8 year old fire an automatic weapon and unfortunately too many people lack this. What is there to gain from him firing the weapon at 8? Can he really not wait until he is 14, 16, 18...must he fire this weapon at 8? Tragic.

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Mass,

I think many are surprised that an 8-year old was allowed to do this even under close supervision. Either law of the land or common sense of his supervisors should account for the very real possibility of him not being able to control a fully automatic firearm in a continous fire mode (my terminology is probably off).

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1) why do they have live shooting at a fair?

Here's the flyer for the event..... http://www.copfirearms.com/Graphics/2008Flyer.doc

2) why are they letting a 8 year participate in such event?

Why not? He had proper adult supervision, had paid the fee to get into the event and probably paid for the ammunition he was using.

Shouldn't these people be held criminally liable? This is insane.

For what? For an accident that could just as easily have happened to an adult as to the young man? Unfortunately accidents do happen on rare occassions with firearms. If you're around them long enough you will see something happen. Thankfully the vast majority of them are non-injury related. Unfortunately this one lead to a tragedy.

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Guest sith lord
Here's the flyer for the event..... http://www.copfirearms.com/Graphics/2008Flyer.doc

Why not? He had proper adult supervision, had paid the fee to get into the event and probably paid for the ammunition he was using.

For what? For an accident that could just as easily have happened to an adult as to the young man? Unfortunately accidents do happen on rare occassions with firearms. If you're around them long enough you will see something happen. Thankfully the vast majority of them are non-injury related. Unfortunately this one lead to a tragedy.

Well then why not let 8 year olds drink and drive cars as long as the have adult supervision.

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MSF- you've seen and Uzi fire right? It's just a 9mm round but it's extremely fast and the weapon basically has just a pistol grip. Some of them have a folding wire stock if I'm not mistaken but it's the type of gun that isn't exactly balanced and held in position by one's body, it relies a lot more on arm strength and arm control much like pistols. Those parents should have known an 8 year old wouldn't handle it well. Can't blame the instructors though, it's all up to the parents.

Rock, I have not only seen the Uzi fired, I have had the pleasure of pulling the trigger myself; just as I have with a fair number of other submachineguns and fully automatic firearms.

The firearm I've seen pictured as being involved in this event had a stock. Not the thin skeletonized wire one you describe but one that's a little heavier. I would like to think that the young man, his father, and the instructor discussed whether or not he could handle it before turning the firearm over to the young man; but I haven't seen any story with that much in the way of specifics yet.

I understand there was a ton of safety involved etc, but that's not the ONLY way this horrific event could've been averted. The BEST way would have been to NOT let an 8 year old fire an Uzi. It's stupid, there's no two sides to this story. It's horrible and it shouldn't have happened for one reason, he shouldn't have been allowed to fire the gun.

Stophovr, while I agree that not allowing the young man to fire the gun would have been another way to avert the tragedy that happened, I would like to remind you that every year in this country two of the main killers of children in this country are bicycles and swimming pools. Should we deny our young people access to those items as well?

Well clearly they were wrong and the fact that this was allowed is disgusting, evidenced by what happened. It is just common sense not to let an 8 year old fire an automatic weapon and unfortunately too many people lack this. What is there to gain from him firing the weapon at 8? Can he really not wait until he is 14, 16, 18...must he fire this weapon at 8? Tragic.

Well, first of all, considering the election that's a little over a week away this young man might not have had the chance to shoot that firearm at age NINE, nevermind fourteen or older, considering the anti-gun policies of Barrack Hussein Obama and the Democratic super-majority that will be ruling this country shortly.

I will also take some exception to your idea that it's "common sense" not to let an eight year old shoot a fully automatic firearm. I'm going to be very surprised if we don't end up finding out that the young man had already fired any number of other fully automatic firearms earlier in the day without even a hint of an incident.

I think many are surprised that an 8-year old was allowed to do this even under close supervision. Either law of the land or common sense of his supervisors should account for the very real possibility of him not being able to control a fully automatic firearm in a continous fire mode (my terminology is probably off).

Your terminology is pretty dang good, alexey. Especially considering that you're not a firearms enthusiast. As I noted above, I'd be very surprised to find out this was the first gun he shot at the event. I've been at similar events where young men and women of his age have handled fully automatic guns without any issue. Unfortunately accidents happen sometimes.

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Mass,

I think many are surprised that an 8-year old was allowed to do this even under close supervision. Either law of the land or common sense of his supervisors should account for the very real possibility of him not being able to control a fully automatic firearm in a continous fire mode (my terminology is probably off).

I agree with this, sort of. I'd be willing to leave it up to the instructor to decide this on a case by case basis. At the same time, I'd certainly not rule out a criminal negligence charge either. Somehow, the poor judgement of allowing a child that small to fire an automatic weapon just seems really, really lacking.

Under the right circumstances children and firearms aren't necessarily a no go. Obviously this wasn't one of those times. It's just incredibly sad for all involved. :(

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Stophovr, while I agree that not allowing the young man to fire the gun would have been another way to avert the tragedy that happened, I would like to remind you that every year in this country two of the main killers of children in this country are bicycles and swimming pools. Should we deny our young people access to those items as well?

I was talking about the way to avert this tragedy, not others. I won't debate you about bikes and swimming pools because it has ZERO to do with this tragedy.

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Exactly. The same SHOULD be for firing a weapon.

Ok, so at what age would you allow people to handle a firearm? 16? 18? 21?

I was introduced to firearms and shooting by my father at the age of FIVE. I was taught respect for firearms, safety, and introduced to a world of people (shooters) who have always been among the most caring, generous, helpful, outgoing, and friendly individuals I have had the pleasure to spend time with. My father introduced me to a world that now, almost thirty years later, is still a part of my life and one that I find most rewarding and enjoyable.

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