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posted by n1 on Friday August 29 2014, @08:33PM   Printer-friendly
from the but-not-with-an-uzi dept.

The accidental death of an instructor at an Arizona shooting range, killed while teaching a 9-year-old girl to fire a fully automatic Uzi, has touched off a debate among those who enjoy and teach the use of firearms: What’s the proper way to teach children about guns? The key, is training says gun instructor Butch Jensen. A gun is a tool, and like any tool — be it a circular saw or a kitchen knife — requires proper instruction. “It was clear that she was a beginner, and you don’t start a beginner in that type of firearm,” says Jensen, who watched a widely circulated video of the fatal lesson. “If you want to learn how to run Indy cars, you don’t start at Indy.” Blake Carrington, who serves in the Air Force, has taught his 10-year-old daughter to shoot a .22 rifle. “I personally would never give my child a fully automatic weapon,” says Carrington. “I feel terrible for that little girl having to live with that.”

Shooting instructors said in interviews that in some cases, a 9-year-old may be able to handle an Uzi, even though it has a tricky recoil and can fire hundreds of rounds per minute. The child would have to weigh enough to handle the recoil and have some experience with guns. The parent and instructor would have to jointly determine that the child is mature and skilled enough to operate the firearm safely. Tom, who practiced with an M1 Garand Rifle, says he shoots for sport and to exercise his 2nd Amendment rights. “I don’t think you should keep kids away from firearms. This shouldn’t keep people from taking their kids to the range.” Still, Tom says he could not fathom why adults allowed the 9-year-old girl to shoot an Uzi. “I don’t know what they were thinking. My personal opinion is someone under 15 years of age playing with a submachine weapon is not a good idea.”

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  • (Score: 2) by captain normal on Saturday August 30 2014, @05:06AM

    by captain normal (2205) on Saturday August 30 2014, @05:06AM (#87470)

    I grew up in a country where virtually everyone learned to shoot at an early age (Texas). My first gun was an air rifle I got for Christmas when I was 8. I had to learn how to handle that safely before I was allowed to shoot my uncle's 22 rifle when I was 9. When I was 11 I got my first real rifle, an over/under 22/ 410. Before I was 12, I was hunting quail and dove, also rattlesnake and jackrabbits. Also before 12 I had my first marksmanship merit badges in Boy Scouts. There were lessons to be learned before I was allowed to handle heavier weapons, like my Dad's 12 gauge or 30-06. When I first handled a full auto in my early 20s, I still had a heavy learning curve in handling the recoil. I just cannot imagine handing a full auto to anyone of any age who has not fired any heavy recoil firearms before.
    All I can say is thank heaven the one killed was not the little girl. At least the idiot that placed that rifle in her hands won't be doing that any more.

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