Bad Decisions with Weapons are Dangerous

If you regularly read any gun-related news source you’re already aware of the 9 year-old kid in Arizona who accidentally killed a firearm instructor with an Uzi:

A nine year-old girl in the US has killed her shooting instructor by accident while being shown how to use a high-powered submachine gun.

The instructor was giving the girl a lesson at a shooting range in Arizona when the recoil from the automatic fire caused her to lose control of the Uzi.

Charles Vacca, 39, was shot in the head and died after being airlifted to a hospital in Las Vegas.

I feel bad for the kid. She will probably suffer a lifetime of guilt for what happened. But none of this was her fault. Ultimately the fault lies with the instructor. A firearm instructor is supposed to have a deep understanding of the weapons platforms he’s giving instructions on. That implies knowing that giving a small child a difficult to control weapon is a bad idea. For somebody my size and with my training an Uzi isn’t terribly difficult to control. It does want to continuously raise its point of aim but that can be controlled. If you know what you’re doing. Most 9 year-old kids are unlikely to know what they’re doing with a fully automatic firearm.

Some people want to put some blame on the parents. I’m not familiar with how much firearm knowledge the parents had. When you have little or no knowledge about something it’s difficult to make informed decisions, which is why you usually seek instruction from a professional. From what I’ve read, and details are pretty scarce, the parents did the right thing by taking their child to a supposed instructor (while he may not have been certified by any well-known organization an individual with little knowledge on the subject is unlikely to know how to verify subject specific credentials). So I can’t see any grounds for blaming the parents.

In the end this was a tragic situation and will likely result in a girl scarred for life.