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 3)
on Dec 08, 2008

We lock the guns up in one end of the house and the ammo is locked up at the other end.

You know, I somehow expected you to be a model of gun safety in the home. You don't disappoint.

 

on Dec 08, 2008

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. 

Very good advice!

We always had a dog. The first, Purtzel, was very old and died when I was one year old. Then we got Gustav (whom I called "Doodie" when I couldn't pronounce "Gustav") who was over a year old at the time and died with 18. Since then my parents have Diana, the child of a dog left by the Russians when they withdrew from Berlin in 1995. Her original name was Olga, but we gave her an English name.

Turns out "Purtz" is Hebrew for burglar and Yiddish for wanderer. A fitting name. Gustav is Germanic. Diana was for the princess, cute but useless.

 

on Dec 09, 2008

KFC good point, dogs can be a great deterrence to any would-be thief. The only drawback I see is if you travel a lot. Also a dog is only as good as your neighbors. If they are the type that don't get involved or are never home themselves a dogs bark is useless. The burglar can throw a hot dog into a room or closet with a door. A dog would be better in conjunction with an alarm system, keep the thief busy and hopefully the police would quickly arrive. You could also make a CD of a dog barking and play it on loop while your gone as long as the neighbors don't complain! That would probably be almost as effective and you wouldn't need a scooper when you get home.

Light timers and a radio turned on to a moderate level can be good too. Just be sure to stop the mail (hopefully you live in an area where sales people don't place fliers on your door.

Nothing is foolproof for a determined thief, especially if he is willing to break in while you are home. I personally can't recommend a taser or pepper spray for in home use, while jogging or walking in unfamiliar areas these deterrents can be used (and I do recommend them under these circumstances). In the home, in many states, if a person is incapacitated and falls or is injured in your home, he will probably sue you for damages (and win). Using these devices on the street, you use them to get away from the attacker. Who cares if he has a seizure or allergic reaction. Don't hang around long enough for him to get your name and phone number. You can report him (anonymously if you like) when your safely away. These devices are also good for aggressive dogs that might try to bite you.

But in my home, a gun will always be my choice. If the criminal is determined to break in while I'm home, what else might he be determined to do? Heck he might be high on crack and lost all sense of reason. All I know is he won't be testifying at my trial for ruining his future earning potential, while he invaded my property. It's not that I want to shoot someone, but I will, without hesitation. I don't disparage those who won't, but you take your own chances. The internet is filled with pro and con stories on the subject, check em out and decide for yourself your best fit.

on Dec 09, 2008

But in my home, a gun will always be my choice. If the criminal is determined to break in while I'm home,

With my husband being gone a lot, you put your finger on the crux of the problem in my mind.

I don't give a crap about my stuff.  I can't think of anything I own that is worth someone's life, not even someone determined to steal it.

But when someone breaks into a home at night, and there are cars in the driveway.  They know you're home.  And they don't CARE.  That is scary.

To me it says they already have a pre-determined course of action for dealing with the people in the house.  And it probably isn't "do nothing" since breaking into an empty home would mesh more with that line of thinking.

So what could it be?  No matter what it is, I have children and my first obligation is to protect them.  Guns aside, because obviously I can't get to them in time, my first response is to get to my kids and get them out of the house.  But what are the odds I will even have the time for that?  

In that situation my intent toward the intruder will be lethal, even if the means by which I deliver it is not.

 

on Dec 09, 2008

Some people are really stupid when driving.

That's why I think we should have super tight controls over who gets to drive...

on Dec 10, 2008

Tova do you have a dog(s)? That might be a good choice. It won't stop a determined attacker but it might slow them down. The layout of your home is important too. Mine is two floors with all bedrooms upstairs, only way out is down (or jump).

Brad !!! Imagine how empty the roads would be! No fuel problems, cheaper prices, better air quality. If only people in the US realized they are more like to kill or be killed by an automobile operator than a person with a gun (emphasis on the human element as inanimate objects can harm on their own). 

on Dec 10, 2008

If only people in the US realized they are more like to kill or be killed by an automobile operator than a person with a gun (emphasis on the human element as inanimate objects can harm on their own).

Is this per possible operator or per actual operator?

I mean if I see a person driving a car and a person carrying a gun on the street, which one is statistically more likely to kill me?

 

on Dec 11, 2008

mean if I see a person driving a car and a person carrying a gun on the street, which one is statistically more likely to kill me?

You,re more likely to be killed by a motorist or while driving as opposed to being killed by a person carring a firearm (which is legal in many states with proper permits).

Accidental Deaths [Source: National Vital Statistics Report, Volume 50, Number 15 (September 2002)]

(1) Motor vehicle (MVA) 44.3%
(2) Falls 17.8%
(3) Poison,liq/solid 13.0%
(4) Drowning 3.9%
(5) Fires, Burns,Smoke 3.4%
(6) Medical/Surgical Complication 3.1%
(7) Other land transport 1.5%
(8) Firearms 0.8%
(9) Other (non transport) 17.8%

 

 

 

 

 

 

on Dec 11, 2008

You're more likely to be killed by a motorist or while driving as opposed to being killed by a person carring a firearm (which is legal in many states with proper permits).

Your statistics don't say anything about the total number of operators.

I assume there are more drivers in cars than persons carrying guns out on the streets. (I would count an armed driver in whatever statistic he chooses to appear by his actions.) Hence it is not surprising that they cause more deaths.

I also assume that there are also more drivers in cars than surgeons operating.

I don't know how often I have a chance to fall.

What I was wondering was whether I am more likely to be killed (accidentally or otherwise) by a driver in car or by a person carrying a gun when I meet such an individual.

I have seen, I assume, millions of drivers in cars and none of them have ever killed me. I don't know how many persons carrying guns I saw but I assume I saw more drivers in cars than persons carrying guns in my life.

 

on Dec 12, 2008

I have seen, I assume, millions of drivers in cars and none of them have ever killed me. I don't know how many persons carrying guns I saw but I assume I saw more drivers in cars than persons carrying guns in my life.

There then you answered your own question.

I've seen many traffic accidents, some as they happened. I never seen someone get shot. Does it happen of course, despite of my experience. Your scenario seems to state that if you don't witness it it can't be real. Now since you missed the point and seem to want numbers here you go.

There were 190,625,023 licensed drivers in the United States in 2000 (I'll assume some don't drive or own a vehicle) source US Dept of Transportation.

"The number of guns owned by civilians in the United States is between 238 million and 276 million, making country of 268 million people the most armed in the world, the study by the Graduate Institute of International Studies in Geneva said." 

on Dec 12, 2008

There then you answered your own question.

Not at all.

 

I've seen many traffic accidents, some as they happened. I never seen someone get shot. Does it happen of course, despite of my experience. Your scenario seems to state that if you don't witness it it can't be real. Now since you missed the point and seem to want numbers here you go.

My scenario states that I don't know how many gun-carrying people there are on the streets and what the percentage of killers is among those.

 

There were 190,625,023 licensed drivers in the United States in 2000 (I'll assume some don't drive or own a vehicle) source US Dept of Transportation.

"The number of guns owned by civilians in the United States is between 238 million and 276 million, making country of 268 million people the most armed in the world, the study by the Graduate Institute of International Studies in Geneva said."

That doesn't answer my question at all.

If you read what I wrote carefully you will find that I was talking about people on the street, driving cars and carrying guns.

While I believe that there are possibly nearly 200 million cars being driven by Americans on a daily basis, I am not so sure about there being nearly 250 million guns being carried around by Americans on the same days.

It seems to me like despite what you implied you are not comparing the danger implied by guns carried and cars driven but the danger implied by cars driven and guns kept anywhere.

What do you actually know about the percentage of killers (accidental or otherwise) among drivers driving cars and gun owners carrying guns, as opposed to the percentage of killers among people owning cars and gun owners owning guns (and keeping them at home)?

 

 

on Dec 12, 2008

Aaaah gun control. Per capita, Canadians own more guns than Americans

However, per capita, deaths by firearms are higher in the States than in Canada. (I can find and display this info for you if you'd like)

Personally speaking I think much of the issue comes down to the perception of what firearms really are.

I don't see a firearm as a weapon. It is a tool, a tool that is needed and hopefully rarely used, by law enforcement, the military and farmers/hunters.

For example, if you've ever lived on a farm you'll know that you need at least a bare minimum of 3 firearms. A small caliber weapon like a .22 for shooting pests, a shotgun for birds, and something with a little more kick for larger stuff like elk (or if you have to put a larger animal out of it's misery)... like a .306 or 303.

So a farmer at minimum, if he is being responsible over his property, should have no less than 3 guns kept in good working order. Does that mean that he should go walking through town with a loaded rifle for his own defense?

No.

The idea that citizenry will use firearms to defend their homes against invasion and robbers, in theory sounds good. In reality, it's absolutely ridiculous. For it to be feasible, the average Joe would have to regularly carry out target practice so as to not be rusty. How many folks other than hobbyists and hunters carry out regular target practice? The percentage is tiny.

Then same Joe would have to regularly maintain his firearm, keep it in a place that's quickly reachable in an emergency and yet inaccessible to small children or casual guests.

THEN, same Joe would also have to carry out dry runs to figure out likely scenarios in which he would have to use the firearm.

Even with all those preparations done, if you're the victim of a home invasion and you're sitting on the can or cooking something in the kitchen when the door gets kicked down chances are you're screwed anyway and wouldn't be able to get to the gun.

So again, the self-defence argument sounds good but in actuality it provides some piece of mind and little else.

So what am I getting at?

Folks should be allowed to own as many guns as they want, provided they meet the proper requirements, just as you must meet requirements to operate a vehicle. That's not the issue.

The issue is the TYPE of weapons people are allowed to own. If private civillians actually need to carry around automatic weapons, methinks the local police department has failed in doing their job!

on Dec 12, 2008

The vast majority of gun owners are quite responsible, as is evidenced by the relatively low number of gun related deaths as compared to the total number of guns owned. It never makes sense to punish the many for the sins of the few.

on Dec 12, 2008

The vast majority of gun owners are quite responsible, as is evidenced by the relatively low number of gun related deaths as compared to the total number of guns owned. It never makes sense to punish the many for the sins of the few.

 

Unless, of course, there's a particular agenda to promote. Then it is perfectly acceptable (note, I didn't say 'sensible')

on Dec 12, 2008

Typical.  Let's over legislate something that is already covered under existing laws.  The morons that allowed a child to handle a machine gun are probably going to jail (as they should if they were responsible for a 15 year old acting as a range boss). 

The parent that didn't teach his child what guns were ok to handle with adult supervision and was taking a photo opportunity instead of being responsible for his child's safety will likely be charged with child endangerment and will naturally blame everybody but himself.

Laws were broken, punishment will be dispensed.  Justice will be served.  Accidents happen and the lessons learned from this accident will be used to improve the prevention of future occurances. 

Children die every year from injuries related to skateboarding, falling while running, riding bikes and a variety of other everyday activities.  Football, boxing, even dancing can be dangerous.  Not being careful, is unfortunately, sometimes fatal.  A senseless tragedy for us all.  Avoiding such accidents is a matter of proper education, not trying to protect everyone from all potential sources of harm. 

Exposing ourselves to dangerous situations eventually results in most of us reaching adulthood, usually more careful and thoughtful as a result of the near misses we experienced growing up.  I couldn't count the number of dumb things I did as a child that I look back on and shudder at as an adult.  Eventually most of us reach adulthood.

I find it odd that accidental gun deaths, even moronic incidents such as this, elicit such a cry for additional gun control when the accidents wouldn't have occurred if current laws were followed and common sense was exercised.

Wrapping our children in an artificial environment of "safety" that can't and won't last past childhood, guarantees that they won't be careful enough to avoid danger when they are adults.  You'll have made certain they lack the practice to develop the needed skills.

I think they call that killing from kindness.  I guess some types of people might find that more comforting. 

I didn't introduce my kids to a rifle till they had been through a Hunter's safety/Gun safety course.  They didn't touch a gun until they had their certificate.  They didn't fire a gun until they had spent several evenings helping me clean and break down my guns.  When I did take them shooting, I took them seperately.  Individual instruction is safer and prevents the uneducated from getting into trouble before they learn safe habits.  I didn't need legislation to teach me that.  My Dad taught me.

NRA memberships are cheap and many chapters have old paranoid members that love to teach kids and new shooters the right way to handle firearms. 

My two cents.

 

 

 

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