Self-deprecation is worth its weight in smoldering phoenix-ashes and baby unicorn tears.

I heard this story earlier today on the radio show I listen to, and was absolutely disgusted by it. I can't believe that people still think that we should loosen our gun laws.

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. - Three men, including a small-town police chief, were indicted Thursday on involuntary manslaughter counts in the gun-fair death of an 8-year-old who accidentally shot himself in the head with an Uzi that a prosecutor said he never should have been allowed to handle.

The club where the fair was held also was charged. The fair had promised shooters would have certified instructors in an advertisement, but District Attorney William Bennett said the child, Christopher Bizilj, was supervised by an uncertified 15-year-old boy.

Bizilj, of Connecticut, lost control of the 9mm micro submachine gun as it recoiled while he was firing at a pumpkin Oct. 26 at a Firearms Expo in Massachusetts.[...]

Fleury and the club also were indicted on four counts each of furnishing a machine gun to a minor. A conviction on each count is punishable by up to 10 years in prison, up to $10,000 in fines and the loss of a firearms license for at least 10 years.

Bennett said prosecutors know of at least four children, including Bizilj, who fired automatic weapons at the fair. He added that Fleury had wrongly assured Guiffre and Spano that it was legal for children to use the Uzi under Massachusetts law.

"A Micro Uzi is made by and for the Israeli Armed Forces and is intended to meet the operational needs of Israeli Special Forces," Bennett said, noting the weapon has a rate of fire of 1,700 rounds per minute. "It is not a hunting weapon."[...]

The machine gun shoot drew hundreds of people to the sporting club's 375-acre compound. An advertisement said it would include machine gun demonstrations and rentals and free handgun lessons.

The ad also said children under 16 would be admitted free, and both adults and children were offered free .22-caliber pistol and rifle shooting.

Christopher's father was 10 feet behind him and reaching for his camera when the child fired the weapon.
I can't believe that people (that anyone) thought it was okay to put a machine gun in the hands of an eight-year-old child. I can't believe that anyone thought it was okay to put a fifteen-year-old child in charge of the machine guns. I can't believe that anyone thinks it's necessary for an average citizen needs a machine gun.
Can you imagine how that poor father feels? According to the story, he let his child use the Uzi because he had been 'assured it was safe' by the workers at the gun show, being told that it would be safer because of its diminutive size. And there he was, getting out his camera (no doubt to snap a picture of his young boy 'shootin' the gun') and instead witnessed the horror of watching his own child take a bullet in the head.
Our gun laws are an embarrassment. That we still hold these gun shows (or that we allow assault rifles and automatic weaponry to be sold at all) sickens me. We need, as a country, to seriously re-evaluate our gun laws and act accordingly. Hightened restrictions, longer waiting periods, age requirements - these are only a start to what needs to be done. Surely (just as the right to free speech or religion) our right to bear arms must contain some caveats and restrictions.

Comments (Page 2)
on Dec 06, 2008

I am a propenent of owning weapons, but anyone that would put any kind of deadly weapon in the hands of an eight year old should be..... well..... SHOT!!!

I had a 30-30 when I was eight (hung on my bedroom wall gun rack). I'd take it down and clean it once in a which until I was 12 and old enough to hunt. It never made me shot anybody, and to my knowledge it never got up and killed anyone by itself either. I played cowboys and Indians, and army man too (with toy weapons) never compelled to get out a real gun for that. It really depends on the child's level of responsibility and how they are raised. IMO if the parent is letting their TV or the other neighborhood kids raise their child, a firearm is probably a bad idea for them. You have to be able to respect yourself, others and property before you can have a gun around minors and teach them the same. Hiding (big difference between securing) it from them is the worse thing to do. Teach them to respect it, never point it at anything they don't intend to shoot (even in fun) and treat all weapons as loaded. Then keep it secure.

While this story is tragic (everyone involved displayed bad judgment), it doesn't change my mind one bit on gun rights. Some questions about the story begged to be asked. Did the boy ever fire a gun before? If so how did he respond to the recoil? I would put part of the blame on his "photo taken" father who should have known better. From the article, it sounds like some state laws were broken, but mostly the law of stupid for both the father and whoever allowed the boy to shoot in the first place. Machine guns are fun to shoot, that said they are not practical to shoot (too expensive in the use of ammo), and not practical for most other applications (get a shot gun if you can't hit the target or need a home defense weapon). The average person can't own one anyway (needs a ATF class III license, along with a yearly fee), not too many places to fire one. So what remains? The thrill of doing it (I can see this), or bragging rights to friends (that's childish). I don't think its bad if someone whats the experience for personal enlightenment, but it has to be under controlled, properly supervised, conditions. If you never fired a gun this is a bad choice to start with and especially if it's a small sub-machine gun like this. Fire a pistol or rife first, that may satisfy your curiosity on it;s own, If you still want to then shoot an automatic weapon they have M-16's and AK-47's (larger rifles and much safer) with 3 round bursts (one trigger pull, three shots, designed so troops don't waste ammo)this will warm you up for full-auto. 

San Cho, nice "Gun free zone" sign. I believe everyone that is anti-gun should display one of these signs prominently on their front door/porch. This way thief's won't have to worry about dying when they break into the house, and would be more likely to pass my home (which is full of instruments of their death should they try) for easier pickings.

on Dec 06, 2008

Colleen was fervently anti-gun, but mean old me made her learn how to use one anyways, just in case. now she is comfortable around weapons, knows how to use them, clean them and when to bring one out to save her life should I be elsewhere, or should I die.

You don't have to love weapons to be able to use them. Nitro is right, having a no weapons at home here sign is an invite for trouble.

on Dec 06, 2008

I have a home protection system and a sign up for that.  Works for me. 

Isn't it statistically likely that a gun-owner will have their weapon USED AGAINST THEM in the event of a violent break-in?  Further, guns are $$$.  Post a sign that you have lots of them stock-piled and see if you don't get robbed. 

on Dec 06, 2008

I have a home protection system

Me too! it's a .380 Colt automatic. But I DO keep the clip separate and right next to it in the drawer!

(But seriously folks, I get threats from time to time. That tends to change one's perspective on home gun ownership when known criminals threaten YOU and YOURS personally, lol)

on Dec 06, 2008

I'm not trying to criticize responsible gun-owners.  It's an American right.  

It's just not the ONLY acceptable way to go about things, which seemed to be what Nitro was implying.  I have small children in the house and we are not gun people, generally.  It would be far less safe and responsible for us to keep weapons.  It's just not for us.

We also don't get personal threats due to work.  Individual circumstances do make a difference.  I just get so tired of the uber pro-gun crowd making it like you're putting your family in jeopardy for not packing.  I don't have time/interest in my life for guns.  I would be LESS safe with a gun in MY home.

on Dec 06, 2008

My husband and sons hunt.  A lot.  They also have guns passed down as family heirlooms.  I personally love to target and range shoot with pistols, rifles, and yes even (gasp) semi-automatics (the AK-47 is a much better assault rifle imo than an M16). 

There is something to be said for guns, the technology of them, the gadgetry if you will.  Feeling the weight in your arms as you aim down range, the kick, or the lack of one, and marveling at the invention, the ingenuity..  And of course the thrill of looking at the shot pattern.  I admit, I love it when I outshoot my husband and sons because they are so competitive about it. 

Guns are deadly, and I am sorry that kid died.  Could there be more safety measures in place at gun shows?  Yeah, sure.  I don't think most people would even have a problem with that.

I don't think my right to bear arms should be modified because of some dumb asses though.  If that it the litmus test for modifying or taking away our constitutional rights, then well, we may as well just kiss them all goodbye. 

on Dec 06, 2008

I'm a supporter of the second Amendment, Libertarian Lefty in most cases, but there MUST be limitations, just as there are on just about all freedoms and rights, legitimate, well thought about limitiations. The mentally challenged and blind should not be able to own guns, voilent crime felons, etc.. Common sense approach saying that you must be mentally capable of being responsible for the possession of an object that is the easiest tool to kill another citizen.  

Most importantly, if our lawmakers, especiallly those in bed with the NRA, took the manufactures to task, and FORCED them to stop selling abroad to organizations that funnelled the guns BACK into the US(ask an inner city Cop,they'll inform you if you already aren't), most inner cities and depressed rural areas wouldn't have the gun violence in the first place, and this entire issue would be a very minor problem(people using guns to kill other poeple). Most gun owners are hunters, hobbyists or people that just want to protect their property or want to excersize their right(myself) aren't even factored in to the discussion about gun control, but the rabid NRA lobbyists want legitimate gun owners "to be afraid!". Everyone seems to get lumped into one big group, and we MUST differentiate between each other, as they are two seperate issues.

We need to make sure those people are spereated from the real problem in the country, illegal inner city guns that kill thousands and thousands of people a year including hundreds of cops a year in the US. The rabid NRA supporters and politicians like to use scare tactics whenever an inner city politician tries to tackle a gun issue in the city, and make claims that they "want your guns!", which is total BS. Most people with an ounce of intellect know that inner city crime and police officers getting killed is the REAL problem here, not the law abiding citizen who wants to own a gun. Of course, getting rid of ALL guns in the cities and economically depressed areas will be replaced by another forrm of violence, given the economic climate in these areas it's human nature. 

Want to solve that problem and mute the issue of gun rights as  a wedge issue? Fix the economic system so that people won't turn to the streets for an easy living, lowering the demand of illegal street guns which will in turn degrade the offshore importing of illegel firearms(good luck with that, since it's supported by the gun manufactures), and provide good paying jobs that almost equal what they can earn on the street, as well as benfits. It's the only way inner city violence is going to change, but good luck with that. No one really wants to talk about why we have such problems, we just want to scream at each other and label each other, when the underlying issues in most problems are never discussed or resolved.

on Dec 06, 2008

San Chonino,

I simply want to say I agree with you.  And despite what some might think, gun control HAS worked for Australia.  You only have to live here to see this.

on Dec 07, 2008

 

JU insists that the beginning of my text is already quoted...

 

on Dec 07, 2008

In 1929, the  Soviet Union  established gun control. From 1929 to 1953, about 20 million dissidents, unable to defend themselves, were rounded up and exterminated.

I cannot find any 1929 law that would establish gun control in Soviet Russia.

In 1911,  Turkey  established gun control. From 1915 to 1917, 1.5 million Armenians, unable to defend themselves, were rounded up and exterminated.

You think the genocide happened because people living in the mountains of eastern Turkey couldn't buy guns because of a law enforced by the government in Ankara?

Germany established gun control in 1938 and from 1939 to 1945, a total of 13 million Jews and others who were unable to defend themselves were rounded up and exterminated.

The 1938 law was a liberalisation of existing gun control laws.

Also note that the Nazi party was VERY popular among the gun-owning militia types. That was one the reasons they liberalised gun control laws.

"On August 7, 1920, the German government enacted a second gun-regulation law called the Law on the Disarmament of the People. It put into effect the provisions of the Versailles Treaty in regard to the limit on military-type weapons.

In 1928, the German government enacted the Law on Firearms and Ammunition. This law relaxed gun restrictions and put into effect a strict firearm licensing scheme. Under this scheme, Germans could possess firearms, but they were required to have separate permits to do the following: own or sell firearms, carry firearms (including handguns), manufacture firearms, and professionally deal in firearms and ammunition. This law explicitly revoked the 1919 Regulations on Weapons Ownership, which had banned all firearms possession."

"The 1938 German Weapons Act, the precursor of the current weapons law, superseded the 1928 law. As under the 1928 law, citizens were required to have a permit to carry a firearm and a separate permit to acquire a firearm. Furthermore, the law restricted ownership of firearms to "...persons whose Trustworthiness is not in question and who can show a need for a (gun) permit." Under the new law:

Gun restriction laws applied only to handguns, not to long guns or ammunition. Writes Prof. Bernard Harcourt of the University of Chicago, "The 1938 revisions completely deregulated the acquisition and transfer of rifles and shotguns, as well as ammunition."

The groups of people who were exempt from the acquisition permit requirement expanded. Holders of annual hunting permits, government workers, and Nazi party members were no longer subject to gun ownership restrictions. Prior to the 1938 law, only officials of the central government, the states, and employees of the German Reichsbahn Railways were exempted.

The age at which persons could own guns was lowered from 20 to 18.

The firearms carry permit was valid for three years instead of one year.

Jews were forbidden from the manufacturing of firearms and ammunition."

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gun_Politics_in_Germany

The 1938 law did not establish or tighten gun control. Apart from the point about Jews, it merely liberalised the existing harsher law at the request of the gun lobby, which in Germany were a bunch of Nazi sympathisers.

The so-called Freikorps had been established after World War 1 to circumvent restrictions on the German military. Guess which kind of people made of the Freekorps?

China established gun control in 1935. From 1948 to 1952, 20 million political dissidents, unable to defend themselves, were rounded up and exterminated.

Your date of 1935 marks the first year of Japan's war against China, which was then ruled by the nationalists under Chianh Kai-Tsheck (sp?), a general who took over running the country from the then-dead Sun Yat-Sen (again sp?). 

In any way, your period of strict gun control and dissidents "unable to defend themselves" happens to be the time the communist revolution succeeded in China (the nationalists left in 1949 for Taiwin, which they reclaimed from the Japanese during the war). 

They were not only "unable to defend themselves", they were also able to win a civil war. I guess missing guns can't have been the major problem. 

Far from being disarmed, the Chinese fought a civil war. With guns.

Many, many people were rounded up and exterminated because of gun control over the years. 

Gun control and guns are both tools that can be used for good or evil. But the Nazi government in Germany is a really bad example. You know the free gun-owning people ready to defend their (perceived) rights? In Germany in the 1920s and 1930s THOSE PEOPLE were the Nazis. That's who they were.

Gun control was used by the Weimar republic as a weapon against the militias. Far from defending liberty the militias were either communist or fascist and tried to take over the (then democratic) country. The fascists succeeded. One has to wonder if they would have had a chance if gun control had been more strict without exceptions for Freikorps.

After World War 2 Germany went back to the 1928 standard of gun control. And there are no more militias in Germany. Occasionally the police find a militia in the making. But because of gun control laws, they can take away their guns and put them away BEFORE they start doing what the posters in their houses suggest they were planning to do. (They usually plan to kill foreigners and burn down synagogues in case you are wondering.)

We need to learn from history.  We need to hang onto our guns.  We most likely are going to need them one day. 

Yes, that's what the Freikorps said.

Very worrying.

But what the heck was an 8-year old doing at a gun show anyway? And what about the 15-year old? Gun shows, like guns, are for adults. I would treat such shows similar to sex shows. Some things are just not suitable for small children. What's the matter with those people?

Incidentally, owning a gun and going hunting is legal in Germany. But leaving two kids alone with a machine gun doesn't sound like "hunting" to me. It's one thing to let a kid drive your car under supervision and to let him drive a race car alone. The same care should be applied to kids and guns.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

on Dec 07, 2008

Texas Wahine
I have a home protection system and a sign up for that.  Works for me. 

Isn't it statistically likely that a gun-owner will have their weapon USED AGAINST THEM in the event of a violent break-in?  Further, guns are $$$.  Post a sign that you have lots of them stock-piled and see if you don't get robbed. 

It's not.  I wish people would actually start researching this stuff before just passing off "stuff they've heard" as established fact.

I don't own a gun but the actual real world statistics are pretty clear that LEGAL gun ownership in the United States has a significant net benefit to crime rates.

There are hundreds of millions of guns in the United States. Given that these kinds of incidents are rare enough to be reported ought to tell you something.  This kind of argument is the same kind of argument that one could use to outlaw cars for anyone under 21 (look at how many accidents are caused by teens) or outlawing alcohol (number of deaths due to drinking and driving).

on Dec 07, 2008

I wish people would actually start researching this stuff before just passing off "stuff they've heard" as established fact.

 

I actually read the stats on it some time ago but thanks.  And I'm not going to look it up ATM.  Sorry.  You don't have to take my word for it, obviously.

on Dec 07, 2008

 

have a home protection system and a sign up for that. Works for me.

Tex I have a home alarm system too. This summer one of my neighbors home was broken into. He also had a monitored alarm (complete with sign) and a state policemen parks his patrol car in the driveway two homes down across the street . They weren't home, and the thief's did a grab and go when the alarm went off. Fortunately they were caught (teen agers) a block away in another home when the people that lived there came home and surprised the criminals. They held the perps at gunpoint until the polices arrived (they still hadn't arrived on scene to the alarm call).

I get a kick out of these alarm system commercials, the person (usually a woman) is home alone in a noisy, well illuminated home, and a thief breaks in. Not saying this can't happen, but criminals try for easy pickings. Even a rapist would be better suited to take the victim away from the home to minimize physical evidence. IMO home alarms are good for one thing, letting the police know you've been robbed while away, so you can get a report for your insurance company.

Isn't it statistically likely that a gun-owner will have their weapon USED AGAINST THEM in the event of a violent break-in?

We may never know, because many incidents where criminals are scared off by gun owners are never reported (as no crime occurred). You're right, someone that is fearful of their own weapon, or unfamiliar with it's proper use is likely to have their gun used ageist them (they probably shouldn't own one). I have a holstered 9mm with a clip in the pouch hanging from my bed post and a shot gun in the closet with 00 buckshot shells near by on a shelf. All the other firearms are in a gun safe locked.There are no children in the house. Even if the criminal broke in and ran directly upstairs into my bedroom, I'd be loaded and ready, probably meeting him (them) on the staircase for an easy shot and I won't shoot to wound. 

Further, guns are $$$

Gun's can be expensive, depending on what you want. But you can pick up a small .32 or .38 relatively cheaply, try a pawnshop if you have them. After the waiting period you take your gun home, but I recommend taking it to a shooting range. There are lots of indoor ranges around depending where you live. Get familiar with the gun, heck it can also be a great stress reliever and it is enjoyable to see your aim improve the more you do it. 

Post a sign that you have lots of them stock-piled and see if you don't get robbed.

OK funny, I get the sarcasm   but ask yourself this how many gun shops in recent memory do you hear about getting robbed? They have lots of guns (and a sign outside too). I can honestly tell you I've heard of none in my area the last 20 years or more. That's because most gun shops are like fortresses and the employees are mostly likely to know how to use a gun making it difficult to rationalize robbing. Do criminals want to steal guns? You bet, especially handguns they are always worth something, Criminals may take but they aren't interested in hunting rifles beyond selling them. Criminals (some) aren't stupid, most know that they will receive a harsher sentence if they commit a crime with a gun. Burglars want an easy haul. If they know you have guns laying around, they will wait until nobody is home to break in (to avoid getting shot). In most cases the criminal has been in the home scouting it out during some other pretense (selling door to door, friends telling others what you have, repairman, etc.). So what do you do? Keep guns out of common areas, don't invite strangers into your home, tell your children not to discuss anything about your guns with their friends and keep your guns secure. Personally I want the burglar to wonder if this will be his last robbery (or breath for that matter) should he appear on my doorstep. Maybe a bad feeling or karma will tell him to move on, if not hope I'm home. 

on Dec 08, 2008

I don't own a gun but the actual real world statistics are pretty clear that LEGAL gun ownership in the United States has a significant net benefit to crime rates.

Burglars want an easy haul. If they know you have guns laying around, they will wait until nobody is home to break in

Owning a dog or two can be very beneficial when it comes to this subject as well.  Most burglars scouting houses will bypass a house with dogs involved.  Too noisy.  They want to be as unnoticed as they can and a dog can trigger unwanted attention. 

We lived in a nice  quiet neighborhood when I was a teenager.  One time all the houses on our street were robbed but ours and one other neighbor.  The link?  We both owned dogs.  In our case we had two labs.  Labs are not vicious or that scary by nature but they do bark.  It must have been enough not to bother robbing our home. 

So if you don't wish to have a gun for protection, a dog is almost as good.  If you have kids, I think it's a good idea to have a dog in the house for all sorts of reasons, and keeping unwanted visitiors away is one very big benefit. 

on Dec 08, 2008

We couldn't use our guns for home invasion protection.  We lock the guns up in one end of the house and the ammo is locked up at the other end.  Unless we had a very patient burglar... ..oh and my husband would have to be home because he carries the only key...and...hahahahahah.  Never mind.  I have a bat. 

 

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