I want a flamethrower

There’s a Calvin and Hobbes strip where Calvin asks for a flamethrower. His father answers “Of course not. Don’t be silly.” Isn’t that quaint. Now we have:

The accidental shooting death of a firing-range instructor by a 9-year-old girl with an Uzi has set off a powerful debate over youngsters and guns, with many people wondering what sort of parents would let a child handle a submachine gun.

Instructor Charles Vacca, 39, was standing next to the girl Monday at the Last Stop range in White Hills, Arizona, about 60 miles south of Las Vegas, when she squeezed the trigger. The recoil wrenched the Uzi upward, and Vacca was shot in the head.

Here are the gun rights people quoted in the article:

Two gun experts said Wednesday that what types of firearms a child can handle depend largely on the strength and experience of the child — though the notion of giving a 9-year-old a fully automatic Uzi made some queasy.

‘‘So much of it depends on the maturity of the child and the experience of the range officer,’’ said Joe Waldron, a shooting instructor and legislative director of the Washington State Rifle and Pistol Association.

Dave Workman, senior editor at thegunmag.com and a spokesman for the Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms, said it can be safe to let children shoot an automatic weapon if a properly trained adult is helping them hold it.

That they didn’t just say “A 9 year old shouldn’t be shooting an Uzi. That’s stupid.”  says where we stand in the US.

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