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Another kind of child abuse

By now I’m sure everyone has heard about the 9-year-old girl at a gun range who accidentally killed her instructor. She was using a Uzi; she opened up, with the instructor’s advice, on fully automatic, lost control, and the gun rose up and shot the instructor in the head.

This is terrible on all levels.

My sympathies go out to the family of the dead instructor.

But I mostly feel awful for the girl. She was asked to operate heavy industrial machinery — make no mistake, that’s what these modern weapons are — with minimal instruction, at a venue called “Bullets and Burgers” that caters to a casual tourist crowd and that minimizes the dangers of these weapons. An automatic machine gun is NOT a toy, it is not a fun plaything, it is not something to entertain tourists during lunch.

And now, because her family were caught up in a gun culture that thinks deadly weapons are fun and sporting, she gets to live with a lot of guilt for the rest of her life.

Shut the place down. These games are totally inappropriate.

Comments

  1. hexidecima says

    it is a horrible thing. I do not see such things as “accidents”, something that no one thinks will happen and no one is at fault. This was intentionally playing with deadly things and we all know what deadly things do.

  2. Esteleth is Groot says

    And the gun-fondlers find a way to demonize a 9-year-old and/or her parents (and thus distract from the fact that their rhetoric killed someone) in 3…2…1…

  3. joel says

    People aren’t allowed to drive until age 16 (with some variance from state to state); we can’t drink until 21; can’t vote or sue anyone until 18; and believe it or not Wal-Mart wouldn’t sell me a bottle of mineral spirits until I proved to them that I was over 18 (I don’t know why).

    So there’s ample precedent for setting a minimum age limit for handling guns. Who wants to volunteer to suggest this to the NRA? I’m sure they will readily agree, common sense and all . . . .

  4. The Mellow Monkey: Singular They says

    My mother told me about this story this morning. I honestly never thought I’d see Dolan Springs in national news. Certainly not like this. The spot where Bullets and Burgers is now has been a lot of things over the years, as no business ever seemed to last very long there. I spent my entire childhood driving past that location, either to go to Kingman, AZ from the Las Vegas area or on trips to Dolan Springs itself, where my aunt lived. It’s very much a “middle of nowhere” spot. Certainly a terrible place to have a serious injury.

    That poor, poor girl. I can’t even fathom the trauma and guilt inflicted upon her. The entire fucking gun culture in this country is at fault for that man’s death and that little girl’s trauma. Not just her parents, not just Bullets and Burgers. The ideas that children should be introduced to guns early, that guns are good family fun, that everybody’s a responsible gun owner right up until somebody dies and you wash your hands of them, are all wrapped up in these sorts of events.

  5. swbarnes2 says

    Some other incidents to compare this too…some single mother who left her 9 year old alone in the park while she worked; that lady caught a hell of a lot more flack that these parents will. Also, the homeless woman who had to leave her little kids in a car to interview for a job, because she had no access to any child care.

    But give your child an Uzi, and he or she kills himself, or another, apparently that just a tragedy, and nothing to hold the parents responsible for.

  6. funknjunk says

    Another example of a narrative that I would have expected to see in a dystopic sci fi movie 15 years ago, now a reality. I can just see this scene in say … Mad Max … Robocop … etc…

  7. Georgia Sam says

    That poor girl is the victim of horribly bad decisions by incredibly stupid adults. As for the instructor, he’s a Darwin Award nominee for sure.

  8. Beatrice, an amateur cynic looking for a happy thought says

    My heart goes out to the little girl and to the family of the instructor.

    I hope the place where this happened is shut down. In an interview here, the owner (?) of the range said that they “instruct kids as young as 5 in 22.rifles”.

    I don’t know the specs of a 22. rifle, but unless it’s a water pistol, it’s not fucking appropriate for a 5-year-old.

  9. Pteryxx says

    via Shakesville, quoting the website of Bullets and Burgers:

    Apparently, her family was on vacation at the “property in the Mohave desert, which creates a ‘Desert Storm’ atmosphere for shooters, their websites says. At the range, guests can take guided tours that include a private range and a certified ex-military firearms instructor. The tours require children to be at least 8 years old and stipulate that minors under 18 must be accompanied by parent or legal guardian at all times.”

    Creates a “Desert Storm” atmosphere for shooters. Because war’s just so much fun.

  10. chris61 says

    I’d like to know who thought it was a good idea to release the video to the media. That poor girl not only gets to live with the memory but odds are she’ll have friends who will know where she went on vacation and who will recognize her.

  11. samihawkins says

    I remember when I was a kid mom took away my BB gun and trashed it after a girl in town killed her brother by shooting a BB through his eye. Obviously she hadn’t meant to do it, she’d probably just thought it’d be funny to hit him in the face with it and give him a nasty welt, but he died none the less.

    Guns aren’t ****ing toys and children should never be allowed to handle them anymore than they’re allowed to drive cars.

    On a related note I was under the impression that full-auto weapons were illegal in the US. Was that never the case or did the gun fetishists get that restriction lifted to?

  12. catbutler says

    @ 4 joel,
    I’m guessing Walmart wouldn’t sell mineral spirits to a minor is out of fear of someone huffing it. Same with glue, spray paint, etc.

  13. The Mellow Monkey: Singular They says

    Beatrice @ 11

    I don’t know the specs of a 22. rifle, but unless it’s a water pistol, it’s not fucking appropriate for a 5-year-old.

    Gun fondlers will often make a big deal about what a tiny, weak, totes safe gun a .22 rifle is. You can get them in fun colors and “sized ideally for children four to ten years old.”

    My dad died from a single .22 bullet.

  14. says

    I really don’t like that the headlines in the press about this state that the girl killed the instructor. That’s like if you have your child on your lap while driving and you try to say “the child” ran over a person. No, the adult who is responsible for handling the weapon and knows what they are doing is responsible. Any hint of deflecting responsibility from adults is unjustified.

    In fact, one could possibly make the argument that this is a case of a gun killing people, not just people killing people. There was zero intent to kill, the gun was just doing what it does. Thank goodness no one else was hurt.

  15. says

    Perhaps a parent of the child should be charged with manslaughter. The child? Perhaps it matters if the child is black… How better to demonstrate the seriousness of the consequences for mishandling a firearm? Lessons must be learned! We must reduce this gun fetish (says this gun owner).

  16. Beatrice, an amateur cynic looking for a happy thought says

    The Mellow Monkey,

    I’m sorry.
    Gun talk must bring back memories for you.

  17. opposablethumbs says

    That poor kid. What genius decided it was a good idea to put an automatic weapon into a child’s hands? The owners/managers of this lovely “recreational facility”?

    a narrative that I would have expected to see in a dystopic sci fi movie 15 years ago, now a reality.

    It beggars belief.

  18. mudpuddles says

    Lots of new media reporting that investigators are exploring whether safety precautions were properly followed prior to the accident.
    Quite why “never, ever give a loaded Uzi to a child” is not a basic safety precaution is beyond me.

  19. Kevin Kehres says

    I learned how to shoot at age 12 with a .22 rifle, and I was completely physically capable of handling it at that age. So I don’t see a compelling need to have an outright ban on firing a weapon by children.

    However, putting an Uzi in the hands of a 9-year-old is sheer madness and at the very least a case of negligent homicide on the part of the owners of the facility that would allow such a thing.

  20. grumpyoldfart says

    Mummy and Daddy will convince the girl that they did the right thing letting her fire an automatic pistol and they’ll tell her that the instructor was a silly old sausage getting in the road the way he did. She’ll probably appear in a “Girls with Guns’ video before she’s eighteen.

  21. kyoseki says

    I started shooting at age 9 or so with a 22lr bolt action that had to be reloaded with every shot.

    This was in the UK before they started banning firearms, though bolt action 22s are still legal there, I’m actually not sure whether or not they’ve enacted any legislation regarding age limits though, anyone know?

    Under heavy supervision, it’s a perfectly safe activity, but it’s the supervision part that’s the issue – I learned to shoot on a military firing range (army brat) where there was zero tolerance for any fuckery, there wasn’t the ridiculous attitude of “here’s your gun, you’re on your own, try not to shoot anyone” that you get at US public gun ranges.

    Anyone under 18 should not be allowed to own firearms nor use them without adult supervision (and I’m far from convinced that simply being an adult qualifies someone to supervise others).

    Nobody I know, gun owner or not, regards this incident as (yet another) “tragic accident”.

    This was recklessness & stupidity of the highest order and personally I would like to see child endangerment charges brought against the parents & the range owners, particularly since an 8 year old managed to shoot himself in the head with the same type of gun only a few years ago.

  22. illdoittomorrow says

    Janiceintoronto @7-

    The NRA, and the gun cult as a whole, will do what it does every time there’s a fatal tragedy like this- deny, obfuscate, minimize, deflect, bullshit, and above all, double the fuck down. Anyone remember the political cartoon, drawn after Newtown, with the parent tearfully hugging their kid, and the NRA member tearfully hugging his rifle? That’s what will happen, again, writ large.

    Aside- who wants to bet me that business won’t increase at this place, driven by gundamentalists with a persecution-complex ?

    Jeffj @9-

    No. The problem isn’t weight, it’s that a kid was given a fully-automatic weapon, one that fires around ten rounds per second, one designed for close-quarters combat, and meant to be used by trained and grown adults.

  23. says

    Kevin @22

    I learned how to shoot at age 12 with a .22 rifle, and I was completely physically capable of handling it at that age. So I don’t see a compelling need to have an outright ban on firing a weapon by children.

    I shot a .22 when I was 8 on my ranch and farm. My father did the same. His father did too. Doesn’t mean my spawn will. There is no fucking reason for children to tote guns.

    furthermore, I drove 1/2 ton trucks at age 11. Combines @ 12. Thank god I never ran anyone over. Age limits are good (in many cases).

  24. says

    samihawkins, full auto weapons are legal under US federal law, and legal in 39 of the 50 states. AFAIK they were first regulated by the National Firearms Act of 1934. They are registered with the government, and any sale and transfer of such weapons requires approval of the BATFE, as well as compliance with any applicable state laws. The Firearms Owners’ Protection Act of 1986 prohibits production of new full auto weapons for the civilian market, so all circulating full auto weapons for civilians need to have been registered before passage of the act. So owning automatic weapons has increasingly become a rich person’s interest, as the prices of such transferable weapons continues to increase, since the supply is fixed.

  25. caesar says

    A 9 year old with an Uzi? SMH. What were they thinking? Concidering how strict shooting ranges are about safety, I’m surprised they allowed her to even touch an Uzi.

  26. scienceavenger says

    Echoing #24’s comments, been around firearms my whole life, shot under heavy supervision many times.

    Shut. This, Place. Down.

    Allowing a child that age to handle a weapon of that magnitude is akin to a pharmacist giving a child an entire bottle of aspirin for a headache. It’s incompetence of the highest order, and no one that incompetent should be running or working in a business with such dire consequences for said incompetence.

  27. Kevin Kehres says

    @27…I agree that age limits are good. A 9-year-old with an Uzi? Madness.

    A 12-year-old with a .22? Perfectly appropriate under adult supervision.

    It’s not all-or-none. Frankly, I think the bright-line approach to age restrictions on alcohol (NONE UNTIL YOU’RE 21 and then as much as you want) does more damage than good. Same with firearms. Kids can and should be taught to safely handle firearms. There are times when certain types of firearms are appropriate for children, and times when they are not appropriate. A kid with an automatic weapon of any kind is not appropriate. A kid with a .22 at Boy Scout camp under the watchful eye of the range master is perfectly appropriate.

    Whether or not you teach your kids to shoot is within your rights as a parent and doesn’t affect my argument in the least.

  28. Beatrice, an amateur cynic looking for a happy thought says

    And still, people will argue that it’s ok to let children handle weapons.
    *headdesk*

  29. says

    Beatrice:

    And still, people will argue that it’s ok to let children handle weapons.
    *headdesk*

    Like religious belief, the glorification and normalization of guns is taught at to kids at a young age. How better to sustain the gun culture than to let children handle guns?

  30. says

    @ Sandi #25:
    Putting a child in a situation where it accidentally kills another person could well be called child abuse, I cannot even begin to guess the level of trauma that could produce. So yes, the biggest victim here would be the child. I feel bad for the instructor as well, but at least he got himself killed by his own stupid mistake.

  31. Brony says

    I posted this in the Lounge but it’s still good here.

    Great. I was telling my parents that complaining about gun control made no sense because I was sure they would not support letting a child own an uzi so they probably believed in gun control as well and all that mattered was figuring out the degree of gun control. I guess this is still useful but not in the way I wanted…

  32. caesar says

    And still, people will argue that it’s ok to let children handle weapons.
    *headdesk*

    A chikd is perfectly capable of handling a gun, provided adequate supervision. There are children who shoot at the skeet range where I shoot all the time and they only use youth sized shotguns, and they know to always point the gun away from people, and to walk around with the gun unloaded and the breech open.

  33. Uncle Ebeneezer says

    Gun owners should be forced to visit ICU’s and mortuaries and sit in on a couple months of gun-victim’s family counseling sessions etc., before they ever get a license to own a gun. And the big business of the Firearm Industry and NRA should be footing the bill for the gigantic costs that our society is forced to bear as a result of their fancy little toys. I don’t care if it’s possible for children to handle guns safely under adult supervision, they still shouldn’t be allowed to handle them. It’s just asinine. What other deadly machinery (designed to injure/kill) do we let children operate?

  34. kyoseki says

    What other deadly machinery (designed to injure/kill) do we let children operate?

    Well, archery is pretty popular.

  35. Beatrice, an amateur cynic looking for a happy thought says

    Uncle Ebeneezer,

    I don’t care if it’s possible for children to handle guns safely under adult supervision, they still shouldn’t be allowed to handle them.

    Seconded.

  36. illdoittomorrow says

    Tony! The Queer Shoop @ 34:

    Like religious belief, the glorification and normalization of guns is taught at to kids at a young age. How better to sustain the gun culture than to let children handle guns?

    This. And I’d love to see some gundamentalists try to deny it.

  37. robro says

    This business had permits for fully automatic weapons? They had insurance to cover 12 years firing fully automatic weapons? I guess I’m just hoping that this is the end of this business, and that there aren’t others.

  38. says

    How is this not child abuse? An Uzi was given to a 9-year-old and, surprise, they ended up killing someone. The adults involved did that. They caused a 9-year-old to kill someone. I don’t even know how to say how fucked up I think this is. Poor child.

  39. snodorum says

    Uncle Ebeneezer (#38):

    Gun owners should be forced to visit ICU’s and mortuaries and sit in on a couple months of gun-victim’s family counseling sessions etc., before they ever get a license to own a gun.

    That sounds kind of like making a woman look at an ultrasound before having an abortion. It sounds good when you’re on one side of the argument, but it’s pretty absurd in practice.

  40. caesar says

    @38:

    Gun owners should be forced to visit ICU’s and mortuaries and sit in on a couple months of gun-victim’s family counseling sessions etc., before they ever get a license to own a gun.

    Fuck all that guilt trip bullshit. People who say things like.this should be locked in a room and forced to listen to violin solo played with the world’s smallest violin.

  41. microraptor says

    This business had permits for fully automatic weapons? They had insurance to cover 12 years firing fully automatic weapons? I guess I’m just hoping that this is the end of this business, and that there aren’t others.

    Nope, these kinds of tourist gun-ranges are quite common in many parts of the US.

  42. kevinalexander says

    I wonder how the NRA is going to spin this?

    Why did they wait until she was nine to instruct her in gun play? When she was five or six and didn’t have all those female hormones screwing up her judgement was the time to start. I blame the libruls.
    Also Obama.

  43. stwriley says

    A couple of quick points to depress everyone even more:

    First, in answer to samihawkins question, it’s not simple but certgainly possible to own automatic weapons in the U.S. What you need is called a “Type 3″ Federal Firearms License, created by the National Firearms Act, which is the one for collectors (the standard for gun dealers and gunsmiths is a “Type 1″ FFL.) This allows the ownership of many types of weapons not normally allowed for private owners, though they must be registered with the BTFA and a tax must be paid on any transfer of such a weapon. Of course, you actually have to pass a fairly rigorous background check (much more serious than the normal one to buy a handgun, as I can attest having once held a Type 3) in order to get the license. Corporations can also hold licenses under the NFA’s provisions, which is probably the case with the range in this story.

    As for the “shut them down” idea, that’s going to be a lot more than one range out there in Nevada. I had a rude awakening to this fact only a couple of months ago when I was out in Las Vegas at the ALA conference. There are a large number of this kind of gun range around Vegas, all advertising on the Strip with the come-on of “firing a real machine gun”. One outfit even cruises the Strip in a Hummer to pick up potential clients. This is a new thing in Vegas over the last few years and seems to be a thriving business. Like a lot of other things in Vegas, if they’re making money (and thus paying taxes) there’s not a snowball’s chance in a microwave that the authorities would shut them down or legislate them out of existence. It starts to make you thing that Vegas really is Sin City (as in, the Frank Miller version.)

  44. LicoriceAllsort says

    This is a terrible tragedy. I was on a forum where a few people had had experience shooting Uzis as adults. I guess the “proper” way to approach such things (I don’t think they have any place for recreational use, personally) is to load 1 bullet and become accustomed to the recoil from that. Then up it to 2 bullets. But in the video, he’s teaching her proper stance and posture with a fully loaded, fully automatic weapon. It’s clear she was totally inexperienced. Such a tragedy for her and the families.

    As long as there are areas of the country where it’s normal to encounter firearms, I absolutely think it’s reasonable for children to take a gun safety course, which includes learning how to fire a gun safely. Having grown up in such an area, I don’t think a high minimum age limit would be wise. (I can also say that I ran around with guns at a young age without parental supervision, and I’d never advocate for that.) Perhaps a minimum age to possess/discharge a firearm without adult supervision would be effective at reducing the risk of injury while also allowing kids who are likely to encounter guns to learn to handle them with respect.

    Alternatively, regulate the fuck out of guns so that kids aren’t likely to encounter them, and you can dispense with the need for teaching them how to handle guns safely. That’d be the safest for everyone.

  45. stwriley says

    Wow, I really can’t type today.

    To correct what’s above, that should be “certainly” in line two and the agency I mentioned is, of course, the BATF rather than the BTFA (i.e., the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms).

    mea culpa

  46. Josh, Official SpokesGay says

    No. We are not going to talk about “as long as it’s normal in our society to encounter a gun.”

    No.
    De-normalize it. Make it fringe, taboo, and shameful.

    It’s time to repeal the 2nd amendment.

  47. Beatrice, an amateur cynic looking for a happy thought says

    Daz,

    Add to that the talk about being under adequate supervision. Um, she was. Until he got a bullet to the head.

    You’re right about that all being No True… wankery.

  48. Pteryxx says

    There are areas of the country where it’s normal to encounter venomous snakes. The proper safety training should not involve how to pick up the snake and point it at a target.

  49. kyoseki says

    There are areas of the country where it’s normal to encounter venomous snakes. The proper safety training should not involve how to pick up the snake and point it at a target.

    Clearly, the National Snake Association has dropped the ball.

  50. AsqJames says

    A child is perfectly capable of handling a gun, provided adequate supervision.

    Like some others here I learned to shoot with a .22 bolt action rifle around 9 or 10 years old. I was taught by my dad who was a very sober, methodical and safety-conscious man. He also taught me to use a shotgun, starting with a .410 at my grandad’s remote place in North Wales.

    I enjoyed it. I enjoyed learning new things and showing my dad how responsible and safe I could be by following the rules all the time. I enjoyed getting his praise when I did things right. I enjoyed just spending time with him doing stuff together. And I enjoyed feeling like a responsible grown-up capable of doing something potentially dangerous in a safe way.

    I wasn’t though, I was an immature little boy. Without my dad – a person who knew guns well enough to handle them safely, and me well enough to judge my abilities, concentration and mood – within arms reach every second I could have hurt or killed myself or someone else.

    He got rid of his guns after Hungerford in ’87. Not because they became illegal (though there were tighter restrictions), I think he and my mum may have had a private chat about things!

    So we did more sailing together instead. That too was something only we did, something my mum and sisters weren’t interested in. And I enjoyed that too. I enjoyed the exact same things about it that I enjoyed about shooting – there was lots for my dad to teach me; it was potentially dangerous and you needed to be sober and responsible in certain ways; it was just me and my dad and we were pretty isolated together a lot.

    So I agree that a child is perfectly capable of handling a gun safely, provided they have adequate supervision. And I had great supervision…but who knew that? How do you ensure every gun owner has both the competency and temperament to be an adequate supervisor of a gun-handling child? I don’t think that’s even possible, let alone practical.

    And if you can’t do that, some kids are going to shoot themselves or others. That is going to happen. children will continue to die and children will continue to kill and it doesn’t need to happen. Everything that’s good and worthwhile and fun about shooting you can get somewhere else doing something else.

    I can’t see any reason children should be taught to shoot which overrides the fact that somewhere, sometimes, some of them are going to either kill or be killed doing it.

  51. Azkyroth Drinked the Grammar Too :) says

    I learned how to shoot at age 12 with a .22 rifle, and I was completely physically capable of handling it at that age.

    A significant fraction of 12 year olds are physically capable of getting pregnant, or getting someone pregnant.

    What’s your point?

  52. Nerull says

    And we teach kids about safe sex – or reasonable states, do anyway. I’m not sure that’s the greatest comparison for the point you’re trying to make…

  53. unclefrogy says

    the thing that makes this story stand out enough to be news worthy
    is the fact that it took place on a range with an auto-pistol and it was the instructor who died.
    it was not one of the more prosaic stories of kids getting into Dads guns and killing themselves or one of their friends.
    I would say judging from the result, that the instructor may not have been qualified or experienced to teach young kids how to fire machine pistols.
    uncle frogy

  54. sambarge says

    swbarnes2 @ #6

    …some single mother who left her 9 year old alone in the park while she worked; that lady caught a hell of a lot more flack that these parents will. Also, the homeless woman who had to leave her little kids in a car to interview for a job, because she had no access to any child care.
    But give your child an Uzi, and he or she kills himself, or another, apparently that just a tragedy, and nothing to hold the parents responsible for.

    Yeah, but, this girl and her parents are white so, this is a tragic accident and not an example of bad or negligent parenting. Only people of colour are negligent parents. Did you not get your copy of the White People’s Code for Things We Blame Black People For But Excuse in Ourselves?

  55. says

    I don’t feel bad for anyone in this story, because this was predictable, and preventable. All (alleged) responsible adults involved need to be locked up before they do more damage.

  56. Ichthyic says

    I’ve been to 4 shooting ranges in my life, all in California, all run by very different groups. at none of those were automatic weapons allowed. In fact, there were big signs everywhere prohibiting them, and at the ranges where instructors were present, you got the lecture about why they are not allowed at the firing range, including the graphic history of “mishaps” when they were at one time allowed.

    at a “family” oriented gun rage, to allow automatic weapons?? complete fucking insanity.

    but, apparently that is what Arizona has now become: The nation’s hotbed of insanity.

  57. says

    In Viet Nam there are shooting ranges you can visit where they have available AK-47s, M-60s and other war-era weapons to try out. Pay a little cash, shoot off a handful of rounds, the locals earn some money from the legacy of beating America’s arse out of their country, you get to live out your favourite ‘Nam-movie fantasy (or hopefully get some perspective and insight on the war), everyone’s happy, noone’s dead.

    The difference between those places and this tragic scene out of a Paul Verhoeven movie? Most of those Vietnamese ranges have the guns on short chains or mounted with a very narrow firing arc available, both to prevent theft and to prevent precisely what happened when this small child was given an Uzi and told to let rip on full auto, for fuck’s screaming sake. An Uzi isn’t large but it’s still a two-handed weapon, even for an adult; with the weapon unsecured, that kid should’ve been watched like a hawk and the instructor should have had a hand on that weapon at all times. It’s the least you’d do, even with a kid using an air rifle for the first time.

    Of course, aside from the negligence that cost a man his own life, the existence of a family restaurant with an attached firing range where fully automatic military weapons are treated as cavalierly as laser-tag guns is the base problem, and which needs to be urgently addressed. I am not confident any meaningful action will occur in response to this, however; the NRA and their fanatical cadre of barrel-polishers routinely show that there are no depths whatsoever to their depravity when it comes to defending their right to be well-armed, deluded little fuckwits with invasion fantasies (and, in the specific case of the NRA, their right to be bukkake’d with cash by the craven sociopaths who own gun companies and wish to sell their products as freely as fucking toothpaste and crayons).

    BTW the Uzi is hardly a modern weapon, having first been used by the IDF in the early ’50s. But it’s a proven design, which is why it’s still in wide use and why variants and copies are still being made (ditto the AK-47, whose design borrows from the late-WWII German StG-44, the first true “assault rifle”). Ironically, a more modern weapon might even have been marginally safer (if it can ever be considered “safe” to hand a child an unsecured machine pistol), thanks to things like reduced recoil and shock-absorbing stocks.

  58. chris69 says

    stwriley @ 48

    Just a small correction, a Type 3 FFL is not necesssary to own a fully automatic weapon. Anyone can purchase one with the proper background check (more thorough than the standard one to buy any other firearm) and paying the necessary transfer Transfer Tax. A type 3 FFL is for collectors of firearms and is commonly known as a “Curio and Relic License” it allows you to purchase firearms via interstate commerce (i.e phone, mail order, internet) without going through a standard FFL dealer. It is so that collectors can more easily acquire rare or unique guns. There conditionsas to the type of guns that are allowed (no fully automatic weapons) and must meet one of the following requirements:

    1.Firearms manufactured more than 50 years prior to the current date, not including replicas
    2.Firearms certified by the curator of a municipal, State, or Federal museum that exhibits firearms as curios or relics of museum interest
    3.Any other firearms that derive a substantial part of their monetary value from the fact that they are novel, rare, bizarre, or because of their association with some historical figure, period, or event. Proof of qualification of a particular firearm under this category requires evidence of present value and evidence that like firearms are not available except as collector’s items, or that the value of like firearms available in ordinary commercial channels is substantially less.

  59. otrame says

    As I’ve said elsewhere, that poor kid. Poor because 1) Her parents, who should be charged with child endangerment and if you want to know why just fire an Uzi yourself (I haven’t but I know people who have fired automatic weapons); 2. The instructor who should have a) refused to let her do it (even if he got fired) or b) stood behind her, to brace her when the damned thing knocked her on her ass. I mean, shit, the first thing they teach soldiers using automatic weapons is that they will bounce up and you have to be ready for that. That’s why you fire in short bursts, so you can get the barrel down. A kid that age doesn’t have the muscles to control an automatic weapon and the damned instructor must have know that. I am sorry he got killed, but yeah, Darwin Award nominee; and most egregiously, 3. Who the FUCK put that video on the net. Who ever it is was guilty of child abuse, in my not humble at all opinion. If it was her parents she needs to be taken out of that home. Permanently.

  60. Matthew Trevor says

    Georgia Sam @ 10

    As for the instructor, he’s a Darwin Award nominee for sure.

    Shooting deaths in the US are so common they’re explicitly exempt from nomination.

  61. carlie says

    swbarnes2 at #6 nails it. That’s what I thought of, too. All of the things that parents get their kids taken away from them for, and these parents took their kid to a shooting range and let her handle a machine gun, resulting in something that killed a person and will probably affect her for the rest of her life, but there are no charges being filed, and no one even suggesting that they are bad parents.

    WMDKitty – not even the girl?

  62. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Too much stupidity and lack of range safety in this incident, but the real starter was that one shot to show the lift of the Uzi on firing, then one in the chamber and two in the magazine for an auto experience? The alleged adult responsible wasn’t…..

  63. Azkyroth Drinked the Grammar Too :) says

    And we teach kids about safe sex – or reasonable states, do anyway. I’m not sure that’s the greatest comparison for the point you’re trying to make…

    “Physical capacity does not make something a good idea”………?

    Works just fine.

  64. ck says

    WMDKitty — Survivor wrote:

    Okay, maybe a little bit… for the kid.
    But only because she was likely coerced into trying it by her numpty parents.

    Come on. The kid was nine. Coerced or not, very few kids are capable of anything even approaching good risk assessment at that age. None of the adults in this scenario deserve any sympathy, but even if the kid was the one to pressure the parents into allowing it, I can’t fault her.

  65. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    I had a talk with a National Guard Sargent who later went to the “sandbox”. The SOP, unless clearing a field, was to fire 3 and check out the effect. Evidently the NRA is being stupid compared to the military….

  66. microraptor says

    I would say judging from the result, that the instructor may not have been qualified or experienced to teach young kids how to fire machine pistols.

    Yes, that would be the NRA response: posthumously declare that this particular licensed professional wasn’t a Responsible Gun Owner.

  67. says

    I’ve seen a lot of comments on other sites blaming stupid parents, not the US gun culture. But as I was quick to point out, there are stupid parents the world over, even in Switzerland where there’s a gun in most households, yet no other nation has remotely close to the same number of children dying from accidental shootings (around two per week).

    One study I found says that kids between the ages of 5 and 14 are 11 times more likely to die from accidental shootings than in other developed countries. The death toll from just living in a gun-culture is real, and will keep on rising.

  68. eeyore says

    Microraptor, No. 76, but the licensed professional obviously wasn’t a responsible gun owner.

    Look, I have the same opinion of the NRA as pretty much everyone else here (though I do support private gun ownership, which I realize many people here don’t). That said, I would be surprised if even the crazy-as-fuck NRA would support giving a nine year old girl an automatic weapon and just letting her shoot. It’s possible to support private gun ownership while at the same time recognizing that what happened here was monumentally stupid. It’s probably the functional equivalent of telling a small child to remove a pan from a 500 degree oven without first mentioning that they should use a pot holder.

    So sorry, I’m not inclined to impute the monumental stupidity of the adults involved in this story to all gun owners, most of whom are just as shocked at the stupidity as you are. This particular place needs to be shut down, yes, because obviously the people who run it can’t be trusted with either children or dangerous weapons. That doesn’t mean that every other similar place is as badly run.

  69. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    So sorry, I’m not inclined to impute the monumental stupidity of the adults involved in this story to all gun owners, most of whom are just as shocked at the stupidity as you are.

    Evidence, not just your opinion, required.

  70. Pteryxx says

    re ck at #73:

    The kid was nine. Coerced or not, very few kids are capable of anything even approaching good risk assessment at that age. None of the adults in this scenario deserve any sympathy, but even if the kid was the one to pressure the parents into allowing it, I can’t fault her.

    Considering we’ve got entire police departments who can’t resist using shiny military toys just because they’re readily available, I’m thinking it doesn’t matter much who pressured who when there’s a Bullets and Burgers in town.

  71. microraptor says

    Microraptor, No. 76, but the licensed professional obviously wasn’t a responsible gun owner.

    Whenever there’s a high profile accidental shooting death in the news, the NRA immediately rushes to claim that it was just a case of that particular individual gun owner being irresponsible and that Responsible Gun Owners aren’t actually like that. Every. Single. Time.

    They absolutely refuse to allow any possibility of looking for a greater pattern that might just be evident in the events. They don’t look to see what the person’s record with firearms was prior to the event. On Sunday, they might have praised that individual as the model of responsible gun ownership, because after all he was a licensed professional who had far more training and experience handling guns that most people. But the second this event occurred, he instantly became No True Scotsman Not A Responsible Gun Owner.

  72. numerobis says

    Bullets and Burgers?!?

    Handing a fucking machine-gun to a little kid?!?

    Excuse me while I stay way the fuck North of the border for another little bit.

  73. says

    Pteryxx:

    I’m thinking it doesn’t matter much who pressured who when there’s a Bullets and Burgers in town.

    Yep, and that’s where focus should be, that there are places like Bullets and Burgers. If that doesn’t get across the pathological gun love in the States, well…

  74. kyoseki says

    I had a talk with a National Guard Sargent who later went to the “sandbox”. The SOP, unless clearing a field, was to fire 3 and check out the effect. Evidently the NRA is being stupid compared to the military….

    I’m not sure the Uzi has a burst fire mode, it’s either “safe”, “single shot” or “keep going until it’s empty” which is why it’s a terrible idea to let anyone who isn’t an experienced shooter handle one, never mind a young child.

    Evidence, not just your opinion, required.

    Ok, European & Canadian gun owners don’t have anything like the same “incident” rate that US gun owners do, despite the fact that the guns available aren’t significantly different than they are in the US (eg. want to buy an AR-15 in Germany? No problem, you just have to buy a German one because they don’t import them).

    The difference lies in the hoops you have to jump through in order to qualify to buy one; In Europe & Canada you have to earn the right to own a firearm, in the US you already have that right unless you do something to lose it, which is positively asinine.

    Fundamentally, that’s what really needs to change.

  75. What a Maroon, oblivious says

    This particular place needs to be shut down, yes, because obviously the people who run it can’t be trusted with either children or dangerous weapons. That doesn’t mean that every other similar place is as badly run.

    And the fact that a business can exist in the US in which kids are allowed to fire automatic weapons doesn’t bother you?

  76. says

    And we teach kids about safe sex – or reasonable states, do anyway. I’m not sure that’s the greatest comparison for the point you’re trying to make…

    1. Safe sex is not taught by getting the kids to actually have sex.

    2. If people were born with guns for body parts, and a natural drive to shoot things at puberty, I would consider standardised “safe shooting” education essential as well.

    Otherwise, it makes more sense to restrict access to guns until one is deemed of responsible age; and has been certified capable of using guns safely, like other dangerous machinery such as cars. (Or more sensibly: restrict them to essential uses only, given their designed purpose is explicitly to be dangerous.)

  77. ck says

    Pteryxx wrote:

    Considering we’ve got entire police departments who can’t resist using shiny military toys just because they’re readily available, I’m thinking it doesn’t matter much who pressured who when there’s a Bullets and Burgers in town.

    Very true. I’m sure all (or near enough to all) the blame can be placed on those who thought “Bullets and Burgers” was a good idea. What’s their next idea? Grenades and Gelato? Mortars and Milkshakes? How sad is it that “Bullets and Burgers” sounds less ridiculous to some than these?

  78. AsqJames says

    eeyore @ 79,

    It’s possible to support private gun ownership while at the same time recognizing that what happened here was monumentally stupid.

    You might not have meant to, but you’ve strawmanned the argument there. Just how many people are calling for a complete ban on private gun ownership? Probably about the same number as think nuclear weapons are covered by the 2nd amendment.

    So sorry, I’m not inclined to impute the monumental stupidity of the adults involved in this story to all gun owners,

    OK, maybe it was intentional, because that’s hyperbolic strawman #2. I like the “So sorry” to start with too, with its implication that you’re about to state some really controversial opinion that runs completely counter to the general consensus, rather than something so banal people are perplexed you bothered saying it.

  79. says

    Even Joe Scarborough weighed in on this tragedy:

    MSNBC host Joe Scarborough’s outrage was on point at the beginning of a segment about a 9-year-old girl who accidentally killed her shooting instructor with an Uzi.

    “A 9-year-old girl!” he exclaimed. “What is wrong with these people? What is wrong with these people? The first time I saw it, I was so shocked. I say this as the father of an 11-year-old girl! Who would put an Uzi in the hands of a 9-year-old girl? What is wrong with these people?”

    “What is wrong with this culture? Why would they do that? What right is advanced by doing that?” he asked. “A man is dead, and they’ve ruined a little girl’s life. For what?”

    “NRA will tell you they have a perfect right to use them in the home,” MSNBC contributor Mike Barnicle noted.

    Scarborough argued that there was “no reading” of Supreme Court rulings “that would suggest that this has anything to do with the Constitution.”

    But as they do almost every morning, the Morning Joe panel found a way to blame “both sides” of the political spectrum for the problem.

  80. anbheal says

    I’m watching the nightly news in Laredo, en route back to my home in Mexico. The talking head just announced: “police are investigating just what went wrong at the rifle range where a 9-year-old girl accidentally shot her instructor”. This reminds me of an old Dennis Miller routine (yes, he was funny once), where he ridiculed news reports saying a fugitive is “armed and dangerous”. “As opposed to ‘armed and gregarious’? Oh sure, maybe that happens, like with an Amish preacher on a duck hunt. But in every other instance, of course he’s dangerous, because he’s fucking ARMED!!!”

    Just what went wrong? Um, gee…..automatic weapons, people nearby, bullets loaded, bullets emitted, what could possibly have gone wrong???? The shooter’s age actually has nothing whatsoever to do with it. It could have been a grandmother, or a big strong strapping young buck of an athlete. What went wrong was shooting in the vicinity of humans. For fucksake, how the Dick Cheney can shooting guns near people possibly produce bad results?

    The spokesmoron continued: “no charges are expected to be filed”. Because shit happens, when guns are in the room, and America is expected to shut the fuck up and accept that shit happens around guns, so smile and suck on the business end of the barrel. Death is an unfortunate side-effect.

  81. anteprepro says

    Speaking of the NRA!

    http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2014/08/nra-arizona-uzi-tweet-guns

    The NRA has been increasingly getting obsessed with getting kids involved with guns. As far I can tell, they would say that giving a 9 year old an automatic to fire is unsafe. But getting them new and more dangerous guns is a natural progression. That is the narrative, the desire, the goal that is the current NRA zeitgeist. They talk about gun safety out of one side of their mouth, but then spend all of the time trying to sell guns, deregulated guns, and get guns into the hands of increasingly younger and younger children.

    You can see that trend in some other relatively recent articles, not about this incident:

    http://www.nydailynews.com/news/national/kidding-nra-pushes-guns-kids-young-newtown-victims-sick-youth-day-article-1.1335901

    http://mediamatters.org/blog/2014/07/23/nra-floats-idea-of-kids-needing-to-show-gun-pro/200182

    http://www.nytimes.com/2013/01/27/us/selling-a-new-generation-on-guns.html?pagewanted=all

    http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2013/01/16/the-nra-s-shameful-day-shooting-app-for-kids-stand-and-fight-ad.html

  82. says

    anbheal:

    The shooter’s age actually has nothing whatsoever to do with it. It could have been a grandmother, or a big strong strapping young buck of an athlete. What went wrong was shooting in the vicinity of humans. For fucksake, how the Dick Cheney can shooting guns near people possibly produce bad results?

    I think the age is relevant because it shows that guns are so normalized in our culture that some people think nothing of training kids in their use.

  83. anteprepro says

    I see eeyore is making sure that we can play proper Gun Bingo by playing a No True Responsible Gun Owner.

    And I see caesar is here, being just as horribly caesar as usual.

  84. eeyore says

    Nerd, 80, OK, do you have any evidence (rather than just your opinion) that would justify imputing what happened to all gun owners, or that most gun owners wouldn’t have the same opinion of giving an automatic weapon to a nine-year-old as you do? I can tell you that I hang out with lots of gun owners, and this story has been well-discussed in those circles, and I haven’t heard anyone, including some pretty hard core 2nd Amendment advocates, say anything other than that the adults in this case shouldn’t be allowed anywhere near children or firearms.

    Microraptor, 83, here’s the pattern: There are, give or take, 300 million or so people in the United States, and with that many people it’s inevitable that a certain number will do moronic things. It’s the law of large numbers at work: With that many people, you’ll have a certain number of people who shouldn’t be trusted to get out of bed in the morning. And some of them are going to kill themselves, and innocent bystanders. But the fact is that the overwhelming majority of gun owners do not give machine guns to children. The overwhelming majority of guns aren’t used improperly. And blaming an entire group of people for the misdeeds of the few makes no more sense for gun owners than it does for any other stereotyped group. Stories like this make the news precisely because they are so statistically rare; if they were commonplace they wouldn’t be newsworthy.

    Maroon, 88, I’ll be surprised if most firing ranges allow children to handle automatic weapons. I would support regulation requiring that nobody under a certain age be allowed to handle automatic weapons. That strikes me as reasonable.

    AsqJames, are you saying that nobody here opposes private ownership of guns? If you are, go back and look at comment no. 52 on this very thread “time to repeal the Second Amendment.” But to the extent my comments don’t fairly reflect the views of others here (which is the essence of a strawman accusation), perhaps it’s because from where I sit, there are too many people willing to use an event like this as an excuse to confiscate guns. Whether or not you’re one of them, you can’t deny they exist.

  85. anteprepro says

    eeyore sez:

    And blaming an entire group of people for the misdeeds of the few makes no more sense for gun owners than it does for any other stereotyped group.

    Poor, poor gun fetishists and the prejudices and persecutions that they suffer. Truly the most reviled and helpless minority group in all of the New Confederate States of Amurrka.

    ……………………………

    I need to get a group of bomb makers together, who like bombs, because bombs are fun, and who mostly bomb responsibly, but occasionally have accidents or violent on purposes. The key will be to make sure that statistically it is only like 5 or 10% who fuck shit up. And they fuck shit up bad, in a way that perfectly illustrates just why bombs are dangerous and why they shouldn’t be allowed in just anyone’s hands. But we still have 90% who are just using them as lawn decorations and nothing has happened yet, therefore our club/political lobbying group will be beyond rebuke. And if people start feeling uncomfortable about us having bombs, and try to even slightly regulate our ability to make or purchase bombs (that we are totally only using recreationally you guys), then we can accuse them of being bigots and infringing upon our FREEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEDOM.

    The only problem with this plan is that I fear it might be too successful.

  86. says

    eeyore:

    But to the extent my comments don’t fairly reflect the views of others here (which is the essence of a strawman accusation), perhaps it’s because from where I sit, there are too many people willing to use an event like this as an excuse to confiscate guns.

    So you’re whining about something that stands no chance of happening?

    Yes, one person in this thread said Repeal the 2nd Amendment. Here, let’s make it two: I think the 2nd Amendment should be repealed.
    Now where does that leave us? Nowhere, bc without the will of people in our government to push for a repeal of the 2nd Amendment, any hope of such happening is a pipe dream.

  87. anbheal says

    @96 Tony — yeah, I’m with you….but you could just as easily turn that logic toward saying that guns are so normalized in our culture that we have no problem having grown-ups go to parks where they can play war-is-fun and guns-are-cool and shoot real guns with real bullets near other people playing war-is-fun and guns-are-cool! Or that guns are so normalized that when someone gets killed by one every 10 minutes or so the media asks what went wrong? Or that guns are so normalized that in every discussion at FTB or any other progressive website about gun control, the volume of comments quintuples, as Gun Violence Denialists, worse than anything Global Warming Denialism or Vaccine Denialism or Evolution Denialism has ever produced, turn out, en masse, to play the No True Gun-Owner Game, or its various Obama/UN/New World Order conspiracy variants. You cannot name another issue in America — not abortion, not homosexuality, not immigration, not Israel, not circumcision, not meat-eating, and most certainly not economic fairness or judicial equality — where the DEFENSE OF THE STATUS QUO is more virulently defended. I repeat that age has little to do with the equation of normalization.

    It’s a brainwashed thingie that I have no name for.

  88. carlie says

    And blaming an entire group of people for the misdeeds of the few makes no more sense for gun owners than it does for any other stereotyped group.

    Of course. That’s why we don’t have any traffic laws, because most people know how to drive safely and will do so, and we can’t punish the entire group for the misdeeds of the few who won’t drive well.

  89. anteprepro says

    The NRA and its thralls: “You aren’t old enough to operate a motor vehicle or even old enough to know fractions and decimals, but you sure as hell are old enough to use lethal weapons as a means to entertain yourself!”

    (Someone dies)

    The NRA and its thralls: “Well, you see, I didn’t mean THAT lethal weapon. You were doing it wrong. You should have followed the steps properly. Nothing bad would have happened if you were using the right set of lethal weapons using the right procedures for handling the lethal weapons. For fun. Now if you excuse me, I have more lethal weapons to give to even younger children. Responsibly.”

  90. says

    anbheal:

    It’s a brainwashed thingie that I have no name for

    Yes, and that brainwashing happens at a young age, which is why I think the age of this girl is relevant to this story. As a society, we need to stop raising children to think guns are cool. That’s a huge part of the normalization of guns.

  91. says

    eeyore @98:

    The overwhelming majority of guns aren’t used improperly. And blaming an entire group of people for the misdeeds of the few makes no more sense for gun owners than it does for any other stereotyped group.

    eeyore @79:

    Microraptor, No. 76, but the licensed professional obviously wasn’t a responsible gun owner.

    See, here’s the problem. If we can’t even trust a licensed professional, in charge of instructing others how to use a gun safely, to be a “responsible gun owner”… how can we trust anyone else?

    It doesn’t matter if most gun owners are “responsible”. The system is clearly incapable of correctly identifying such people — so any randomly-selected gun owner poses a statistically significant risk of being a danger to themselves and others, regardless of the “responsibility” their training or position should indicate.

  92. Knabb says

    @51 Daz
    Kids generally shouldn’t be handling guns, but that doesn’t mean this wasn’t an exceptional fuck up. It’s like letting kids into an actual chemistry lab unattended – it’s always a bad idea, and there’s dangerous stuff in just about every lab, but if it’s a lab that studies mercury it’s a whole new level of stupid. An uzi? That would be the mercury lab equivalent right there. They might as well have had the child handling grenades at that point. Replacing that particular gun with just about anything fucking else would constitute damage control, and while the bigger problem is the broader culture and the establishments (Bullets and Burgers and its ilk need to get shut the fuck down), the decision to use that particular gun stands out as really, really fucking stupid.

  93. Ichthyic says

    Yes, that would be the NRA response: posthumously declare that this particular licensed professional wasn’t a Responsible Gun Owner.

    yup, they can’t afford to discredit the “good guys with guns” lie.

    Just ask that retired SHERIFF who shot a guy in a movie theatre for refusing to stop texting his daughter during the previews.

  94. ck says

    anteprepro wrote:

    The NRA and its thralls: “Well, you see, I didn’t mean THAT lethal weapon. You were doing it wrong. You should have followed the steps properly. Nothing bad would have happened if you were using the right set of lethal weapons using the right procedures for handling the lethal weapons.

    Gun control advocate: “Well, then let’s encode some of those “right procedures” into law so we can stop those who mishandle lethal weapons before they turn into deadly “accidents”.”
    NRA & thralls: Gun grabber!!! You just wanna take away our guns! Stop trying to take away our guns!

  95. AsqJames says

    eeyore @ 98,

    AsqJames, are you saying that nobody here opposes private ownership of guns? If you are, go back and look at comment no. 52 on this very thread “time to repeal the Second Amendment.”

    1. How many countries have an equivalent of the 2nd amendment?
    2. How many countries have a total ban on private gun ownership?

    Now tell me again how “time to repeal the Second Amendment” = “no private gun ownership”.

    There are gun control advocates who argue the law can be changed, and the out of control US gun culture reformed, without dropping the 2nd amednment. There are others who argue the opposite. Both are defensible positions, but in my estimation the 2nd amendment, and its fetishisation, is a major obstacle to change.

    But to the extent my comments don’t fairly reflect the views of others here (which is the essence of a strawman accusation), perhaps it’s because from where I sit, there are too many people willing to use an event like this as an excuse to confiscate guns. Whether or not you’re one of them, you can’t deny they exist.

    I haven’t seen anybody say this event is “an excuse to confiscate all guns”.

    Plenty have said it is yet another data point which adds to the statistics showing the US has a major problem with injuries and deaths caused by firearms, and hey, maybe we ought to see all that death and maiming as a reason to do things a little differently. Or even radically differently.

    And yeah, lots of people think certain people who currently own guns shouldn’t, or that certain weapons currently in private hands should be removed from circulation. What’s more I bet you’re among them, ‘cos I guaran-fuckin-tee there’s at least one gun owner in the US who you think should not be.

    Oh, and nobody is using anything here as an “excuse” for anything. Just like people who suffer, die or go bankrupt without health insurance are not used as “excuses” for advocating better access to health care, so deaths and injuries from firearms are not used as “excuses” for better gun regulation. “Excuse” implies there’s actually some other hidden purpose, and that we don’t really care about poor people or those who get shot.

    There isn’t. We do. They’re reasons not excuses.

  96. Ichthyic says

    Nerd, 80, OK, do you have any evidence (rather than just your opinion) that would justify imputing what happened to all gun owners, or that most gun owners wouldn’t have the same opinion of giving an automatic weapon to a nine-year-old as you do? I

    do you see the majority of gun owners doing ANYTHING, really ANYTHING AT ALL to address the underlying issues involved in instances like this (this, hardly being even the first example of SPECIFICALLY this exact thing happening)?

    no?

    well, there’s YOUR FUCKING EVIDENCE.

    *slap*

  97. Ichthyic says

    2. How many countries have a total ban on private gun ownership?

    FYI, Japan does (or effectively so; exceptions are minor). Seems to work pretty well for them.

    frankly, the US could do with experimenting with saying that private citizens should not own guns, at all.

    after a generation or two, nobody would miss them.

    really.

  98. Ichthyic says

    http://www.theatlantic.com/international/archive/2012/07/a-land-without-guns-how-japan-has-virtually-eliminated-shooting-deaths/260189/

    But what about the country at the other end of the spectrum? What is the role of guns in Japan, the developed world’s least firearm-filled nation and perhaps its strictest controller? In 2008, the U.S. had over 12 thousand firearm-related homicides. All of Japan experienced only 11, fewer than were killed at the Aurora shooting alone. And that was a big year: 2006 saw an astounding two, and when that number jumped to 22 in 2007, it became a national scandal. By comparison, also in 2008, 587 Americans were killed just by guns that had discharged accidentally.

  99. Ichthyic says

    Gun related deaths are extremely rare here in NZ as well, though that has more to do with the fact that there isn’t a gun manufacturer lobbying group that has been pushing guns into the nation’s psyche for over a hundred years.

    even still, we carefully debate any changes to firearm laws, even those that would make police forces have easier access to firearms.

    yup. most cops here don’t even carry (might have a shottie in the car, or a 9mm, but they don’t carry them around).

    the US literally has been brainswashed by generations of gun manufacturer’s pushing “guns are good”.

    …to where there is now a knee-jerk response against curtailing their ownership and usage, as if it were the most rational thing in the world, exemplified by even people who consider themselves “rational” like old eeysore.

  100. says

    Knabb #107

    Kids generally shouldn’t be handling guns, but that doesn’t mean this wasn’t an exceptional fuck up.

    It’s always touted as an exceptional fuck up. This time it’s the weapon involved. Next time it’ll be that no responsible gun owner&trade would have handed the kid a loaded weapon like that. The time after that it’ll be that the kid should have been trained better before being handed the weapon. The time after that it’ll be that the weapon was clearly designed for left-handed red-heads and should never have been given to a right-handed blond.

    Every. Fucking. Time, it’s somehow exceptional.

  101. Ichthyic says

    America’s gun control laws are the loosest in the developed world and its rate of gun-related homicide is the highest. Of the world’s 23 “rich” countries, the U.S. gun-related murder rate is almost 20 times that of the other 22. With almost one privately owned firearm per person, America’s ownership rate is the highest in the world; tribal-conflict-torn Yemen is ranked second, with a rate about half of America’s.

    Yeah… if you don’t ask yourself why this is such a huge discrepancy; why the US is like this, then you are part of the problem.

    if you DEFEND this state of affairs, then you are actively a villain.

  102. HolyPinkUnicorn says

    So many things wrong that led to this tragedy; putting a burger joint and a gun range together, giving a nine-year-old a fully automatic weapon, that weapon being a relatively small submachine gun, and an instructor who apparently didn’t have enough additional safety practices in place before setting it on auto for the child. (Honestly, just thinking about all these things makes me sick.)

    Their website states that they “separate [them]selves from all other Las Vegas ranges with [their] unique ‘Desert Storm’ atmosphere and military style bunkers.” Yeah, except for the practice of giving a nine-year-old such a weapon in the first place. And an Uzi is a small weapon (albeit, still heavy) and fired more freely than bigger ones that could have been placed on the ground or a table for at least a minute amount of additional safety. Combine their size with full auto and the muzzle can climb frighteningly fast, particularly in the hands of an inexperienced shooter, including adults.

    There are plenty of fully automatic weapons that wouldn’t have done this, and which this range apparently also offers for your burger-bullet day trips. But even those weapons have their own unique dangers–ammo cookoffs, barrel overheating, even the M2 .50 cal machine gun the site advertises can blow up if not properly checked after installing the barrel. Mix these very real issues with a wantonly casual gun culture that treats such weapons as nothing more than very loud toys and these “accidents” will only continue.

    And it’s why I continue to hate not so much the guns themselves (though obviously there are inherent risks in automatics as small as the Uzi), but the asshats that handle and treat them so recklessly. Guns are only “fun” in the limited sense that you are handling them responsibly and safely, with a considerable amount of respect for the dangers and risks in shooting. And that goes for which ones (if any) are ever given to and fired by a child this young.

  103. =8)-DX says

    I thought you Usian people invented this thing called “nerf”. If you really want to have a fun gun-shooting dining experience, surely non-lethal ammo and weaponry is an option?

  104. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Eeyore, no responsible gun owner fails to follow simple gun safety rules, like carrying a weapon in public it is unloaded and open for absolute safety. Therefore, every person carrying, concealed or open is not a responsible gun owner. The same for anybody who leaves a loaded gun anywhere in the house/car. But they think they are responsible. That is the problem.

  105. says

    @120, =8)-DX:

    I thought you Usian people invented this thing called “nerf”. If you really want to have a fun gun-shooting dining experience, surely non-lethal ammo and weaponry is an option?

    I think the argument could be made that, in a perfect world, “nerf” wouldn’t exist either. Why bother having a “fun gun-shooting dining experience” if you’re not, on some level, thinking about shooting a real gun? Your statement is not equivalent to, but is reminiscent of, “I thought you guys invented nicotine patches, why do you have a smokers around?”

  106. carlie says

    See, here’s the problem. If we can’t even trust a licensed professional, in charge of instructing others how to use a gun safely, to be a “responsible gun owner”… how can we trust anyone else?
    It doesn’t matter if most gun owners are “responsible”. The system is clearly incapable of correctly identifying such people — so any randomly-selected gun owner poses a statistically significant risk of being a danger to themselves and others, regardless of the “responsibility” their training or position should indicate.

    Exactly. Every gun owner is Shroedinger’s “accidental” murderer.

  107. eeyore says

    Ichthyic, 113, the fact that I own a gun no more obligates me to be an activist for gun safety than the fact that I own a car obligates me to be an an activist for auto safety. You’re trying to make people culpable for what other people do.

    AsqJames, if there were a well-organized anti-car lobby with an anti-car agenda (which for some of them included advocating for an outright ban), and used every auto death as an opportunity to push an anti-car agenda, I think you would understand why car lovers would speak up in favor of car ownership and point out that the many should not be penalized for the misdeeds of the few. And the fact that the anti-car lobby had no real chance of success for now would be irrelevant, because the culture can shift on a moment’s notice. Twenty years ago, who thought gay marriage would enjoy the success that it currently does? Or that pot would be legal in some places (and probably all places in the not too distant future)? There are a lot of policies that were once considered fringe that are now mainstream. Even though I agree with Tony that there is no chance for now of repealing the Second Amendment, there’s no guarantee that will always be the case. And so long as there is an active anti-gun lobby (which for some includes advocating an outright ban), you should expect gun owners to take the threat seriously.

  108. carlie says

    the fact that I own a gun no more obligates me to be an activist for gun safety than the fact that I own a car obligates me to be an an activist for auto safety

    Actually, it does. Otherwise you’re saying that you should be legally allowed to own a deadly weapon, with zero legal checks on how you use it, just because you think we should trust that you’re a trustworthy and responsible person. Do you comprehend how ridiculous that assertion is?

  109. AsqJames says

    eeyore,

    Can you not see the dishonesty in equating equal marriage and pot legalisation with gun culture and car ownership? Societal opinion on the first two has shifted quite quickly for two principle reasons.

    First, people have recognised same sex marriage hurts no one and benefits many. It doesn’t hurt the people who want to enter into it and it doesn’t hurt people who don’t. It makes those who enter into it (and their families) happier, and more economically and emotionally secure. Smoking pot harms, at most, those who do it and nobody else (at least as long as it’s not combined with something really dangerous like, ooh let’s say shooting a gun or driving a car) and also has significant benefits (individually to users as well as economically to society).

    Second, people have recognised that keeping same sex marriage and pot illegal causes harm. Without being able to demonstrate actual harm to actual people, the legal challenges to bans on same sex marriage would have failed at the first hurdle and been dismissed on standing. The costs to individuals and society of the war on drugs are well documented.

    The equation for both gun and car ownership is more complex. Although both have identifiable benefits, they also have rather large identifiable harms. For gun ownership the benefits accrue mostly to the individual gun owners, though there are weak arguments on the societal level. For car ownership both the individual and societal benefits are strong. Gun ownership is highly harmful both to individual owners and to society at large, whereas the harms of car ownership are mostly felt by society.

    But the larger contrast is in the principle being debated. Popular opinion on both marriage equality and cannabis has changed swiftly because the terms of the debate have shifted to focus more on personal liberty. On these particular issues we’ve gone from “You need to demonstrate why people should be allowed to do X” to “You need to demonstrate why X should be banned.”

    Excepting short-term panics over new technologies or emerging threats, the historical progression seems generally to be in this direction. If you’re going to raise the specter of future scary mass cultural shifts of opinion, find me an analogy which actually fits.

  110. Pteryxx says

    Even though I agree with Tony that there is no chance for now of repealing the Second Amendment, there’s no guarantee that will always be the case. And so long as there is an active anti-gun lobby (which for some includes advocating an outright ban), you should expect gun owners to take the threat seriously.

    And we all know what happens when gun owners take an exaggerated, unlikely, or wholly imaginary threat seriously.

  111. eeyore says

    AsqJames, there are lots and lots of distinctions to be drawn between gay marriage and gun ownership in addition to the ones you gave, but that’s not the point. The point is that just because society is firmly in one camp on any given issue at any given time doesn’t mean that things can’t change quickly. They can, and they have. So the fact that the anti-gun camp has no real political power now doesn’t mean that will be the case indefinitely. Eternal vigilance is the price of liberty, and all that.

    Carlie, I have never said there should not be any gun regulation. I support what I consider to be reasonable gun regulations, which is why I’m not a member of the nutcase NRA. What I have said is that the fact that another gun owner behaves irresponsibly is not a reflection on me, nor is it justification for imposing some kind of special duty on all gun owners over and above just because we are gun owners.

  112. AsqJames says

    eeyore,

    I chose those particular distinctions because they show how those examples of public opinion changing surprisingly quickly are not applicable to the question of whether public opinion on gun ownership is likely to change surprisingly quickly.

    So I don’t think “eternal vigilance” is needed on this issue. But even if it were, “vigilance” means keeping watch, being aware of what is happening. It does not mean smearing people with different views as dishonest, or painting calls for reasonable, incremental change as harbingers of the apocalypse. That’s actually counter-productive for your position anyway, there’s a famous parable about a little shepherd boy which encapsulates it quite neatly.

  113. grillparzer says

    Places like these live and die on their Tripadvisor ratings and Burger and Bullets have an incredible high rating.

  114. eeyore says

    AsqJames, I’m not aware that I have smeared people with different views as dishonest or painting calls for reasonable, incremental change as a harbinger of the apocalypse. If you want to cite to anything I actually said that can fairly be so described, please feel free. I’m aware that people on both sides of emotionally charged issues often think their opponents are being intellectually dishonest but that’s often a function of it being an emotionally charged issue and a determination to see one’s opponents in the worst possible light.

  115. AsqJames says

    1. “I’m not inclined to impute the monumental stupidity of the adults involved in this story to all gun owners” (implying that somebody else had, or was asking you to).
    Where did that happen?

    2. “blaming an entire group of people for the misdeeds of the few makes no more sense for gun owners than it does for any other stereotyped group”
    Where did that happen?

    3. Equating “time to repeal the 2nd amendment” to saying “ban all private ownership of guns”. One of the things I originally took issue with you doing, and which you repeated in your first response to me.

    4. “there are too many people willing to use an event like this as an excuse to confiscate guns”.
    In the context of previous statements, “confiscate guns” means “confiscate ALL guns”. Only if “too many” is the same as “hardly anyone” is this is a fair reflection of US public opinion (or even of the pinko commie hordes who infest this blog).

    You say you’re in favour of better gun regulation, but you don’t want to penalise all gun owners. Fine, that’s where the vast majority of Americans are too. Yet in the aftermath of a horrific example of how guns are not well regulated, and with the constant, less-newsworthy background evidence of the same, you have repeatedly talked about some mythical people who are tarring all gun owners with the same brush or calling for all guns in private ownership to be confiscated.

    You also made offensively crass comparisons with marriage equality and cannabis legalisation, citing them as examples of how America could quickly change its opinion on gun ownership. I explained how those examples didn’t apply and asked if you could cite any that did. You’ve yet to provide one.

  116. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    eeyore the idjit:

    the fact that I own a gun no more obligates me to be an activist for gun safety than the fact that I own a car obligates me to be an an activist for auto safety.

    Are you a responsible gun owner, one who obeys all basic gun safety rules to make sure nobody is killed or injured due to your negligence? I mean things like only carrying unloaded guns when in public, and not leaving any load gun unattended, and keeping them unloaded in gun safes when not in use? That is standard you must strive to make effective for all gun owners for if you want the criticism of gun ownership to go away. Make all gun owners responsible for obeying real safety rules, and never, ever, apologize for their lapses. Criticize them in public, and demand action to correct those lapses.

  117. David Marjanović says

    lost control, and the gun rose up and shot the instructor in the head.

    Guns do kill people.

  118. says

    Seems to me that responsible car owners actually ARE on the side of car safety. They agree that people should have a driving licence, be sober. They agree on regular safety checks for vehicles. They don’t believe that driving, which has many practical uses, unlike guns, is a god given right, but a privilege that can be granted, regulated and revoked.
    Cause they’d actually really dislike being in an accident with somebody who disagrees with the afore mentioned principles.
    Waiting for gun owners to catch up on this…

  119. eeyore says

    AsqJames:

    1. Where did I claim that had happened? Making a simple statement that “X would be a bad argument” does not imply that anyone has actually made the argument; merely that it would be a bad argument if someone did. (Though I suspect that if I spent some time on google I could probably find anti-gun activists who have made that argument.)

    2. Where did I claim that had happened? Making a simple statement that “X would be a bad argument” does not imply that anyone has actually made the argument; merely that it would be a bad argument if someone did. (Though I suspect that if I spent some time on google I could probably find anti-gun activists who have made that argument.)

    3. While it’s dangerous to use words like “all” and “never” because exceptions can usually be found, do you dispute that there is a high correlation between people who would like to repeal the Second Amendment and people who would like to ban guns? Or at least severely curtail their availability? I mean, if someone said “Time to repeal the First Amendment ban on government establishment of religion,” do you really think it would be unreasonable to assume that that person in all probability wants to use government to establish religion? I suppose it’s possible the answer is no and that person has some other motive, but Occam’s Razor kicks in and says that’s the most likely explanation.

    4. But there are people who are willing to use events like this to ban all guns. I haven’t said you, or even that most people here, are among them. But the idea that they aren’t out there is simply disingenuous. I just googled “guns should be banned” and this was the first thing that popped up: http://chsarrow.com/opinion/2013/02/20/pro-why-guns-should-be-banned-in-the-u-s/

    If you don’t believe guns should be banned, then my comments don’t apply to you and you shouldn’t take them personally. But don’t go claiming that there isn’t anybody out there who does want to ban all guns. And who uses events like this to push that agenda.

    And we just disagree that gay marriage/pot aren’t good examples of how society can quickly change. No two social issues are going to share precisely the same dynamic so you’ll always be able to find a quibble with any example I give. But on the point for which those examples were given — does society change — the answer is yes. For gay marriage, guns, and pot, the question the public asks is always going to be this: Does the personal freedom benefit of allowing it outweigh the arguments against them. And moving society from pro to con on either of those issues simply requires convincing the public that the balance has shifted (or was erroneously determined in the first place).

    In sum, you’ve made some fairly outrageous accusations based on an honest difference of opinion. You might try applying the rule of charity, in which given a choice of two different interpretations of what your opponent is saying, you don’t automatically pick the one that makes him or her look like an idiot.

  120. eeyore says

    Nerd the Fascist:

    If I cared about criticism from people too stupid to not blame entire groups for the misdeeds of a few, then I guess I would take your comments to heart.

  121. Karen Hardin says

    @ Tacitus #77

    You stated “… I was quick to point out, there are stupid parents the world over, even in Switzerland where there’s a gun in most households, yet no other nation has remotely close to the same number of children dying from accidental shootings (around two per week). ”

    Widespread gun storage in households is no longer the case. After Newtown, there was a lot of citing of Switzerland on the blogs I was following that held up Switzerland as an example. There are many problems with this, as the European posters were quick to point out. IIRC, the things I learned are:

    – Swiss Gun Laws are restrictive. See http://www.gunpolicy.org/firearms/region/switzerland.

    – Switzerland has universal conscription for males once they reach their majority (20). At one time all reservists were issued guns and ammunition to store at home because of the way their military was organized.

    – The weapons that make the “gun in most households” statement correct were military issue weapons.

    – Allowing reservists to store their issued weapons and ammunition at home was phased out starting in 2007. Only special cases (immediate response units and MPs) are currently excepted.

    – Most reservists’ weapons and ammunition are now stored in local armories.

  122. says

    eeyore

    While I’m sure defending the right of people to own killing machines is, ahem, a worthwhile exercise, would you care to spend even half the internet-ink you’ve used in order to do so, in setting out your idea of what reasonable killing-machine laws, licensing systems and so forth would consist of?

    It’s not that I’m calling your priorities into question so much as, erm, well yeah, I’m calling your priorities into question.

  123. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Eyesore, where did I talk about anything other than obeying gun safety rules being the working definition of a responsible gun owner?

  124. AsqJames says

    eeyore:

    1. Where did I claim that had happened? Making a simple statement that “X would be a bad argument” does not imply that anyone has actually made the argument; merely that it would be a bad argument if someone did.

    But can you not see that when responding to (and taking issue with) someone by saying (in part) “I’m not going to agree with X” implies that X is an argument that has been made.

    2. [ditto]

    Ditto.

    3. {…} do you dispute that there is a high correlation between people who would like to repeal the Second Amendment and people who would like to ban guns?

    Yes. I think the latter is a small subset of the former. Had you said “do you dispute that there is a high correlation between people who would like to ban guns and people who would like to repeal the Second Amendment?” I’d have said: No.

    That might sound picky, but it’s at the heart of what I originally said. I think a lot of people have come to the conclusion that the way the 2nd amendment is fetishised by some sections of American society means, at this point, it needs to be repealed before any reasonable steps can be taken. I also think the way the 2nd has been painted as an absolute right, the persistent refusal to ever mention the part about “a well regulated militia”, and the oogedy-boogedy “they’re coming for all your guns” rhetoric employed by the extremists is largely responsible for that.

    Or at least severely curtail their availability?

    Depends what you mean by “severely”, but that’s obviously going to be a larger subset. That’s irrelevant anyway. You didn’t equate favouring repealing the 2nd amendment with favouring severely curtailing the availability of guns, you equated it with wanting to ban private gun ownership outright. I don’t think that even among those favouring repeal there’s a significant desire to to do that, and have explained why I think that. You haven’t explained why you think I’m wrong.

    I mean, if someone said “Time to repeal the First Amendment ban on government establishment of religion,” do you really think it would be unreasonable to assume that that person in all probability wants to use government to establish religion? I suppose it’s possible the answer is no and that person has some other motive, but Occam’s Razor kicks in and says that’s the most likely explanation.

    There’s no equivalent history of twisting the meaning of the 1st amendment establishment clause I can think of, and thus no equivalent reasonable interpretation of motives is available. So yes, if that were proposed I’d probably initially suspect theocracy was the ultimate aim. However, if I equated wanting to repeal the establishment clause and wanting to establish a theocracy and someone proposed an alternative explanation, I’d at least give it due consideration. I’d re=examine my assumption. And if I disagreed with their reasoning I’d want to explain why before dismissing it or repeating my assumption.

    4. But there are people who are willing to use events like this to ban all guns.

    You’ve dropped the word “excuse”, but you’re still implying such people are not truly motivated by the things they say they’re motivated by.

    I haven’t said you, or even that most people here, are among them. But the idea that they aren’t out there is simply disingenuous. I just googled “guns should be banned” and this was the first thing that popped up: http://chsarrow.com/opinion/2013/02/20/pro-why-guns-should-be-banned-in-the-u-s/
    If you don’t believe guns should be banned, then my comments don’t apply to you and you shouldn’t take them personally. But don’t go claiming that there isn’t anybody out there who does want to ban all guns.

    I’m not taking anything personally, but show me where I’ve claimed “there isn’t anybody out there who does want to ban all guns”. And don’t give me more “you didn’t say it, but it’s a bad argument and I’m entitled to say so” crap.

    And who uses events like this to push that agenda.

    We’ve covered this. Several times. Please don’t.

    And we just disagree that gay marriage/pot aren’t good examples of how society can quickly change. No two social issues are going to share precisely the same dynamic so you’ll always be able to find a quibble with any example I give. But on the point for which those examples were given — does society change — the answer is yes. For gay marriage, guns, and pot, the question the public asks is always going to be this: Does the personal freedom benefit of allowing it outweigh the arguments against them. And moving society from pro to con on either of those issues simply requires convincing the public that the balance has shifted (or was erroneously determined in the first place).

    No, I agree they’re good examples of swift societal change, I just disagree that they’re at all relevant and I’ve explained in detail why. I don’t think the points I made were “quibbles”, I think they pointed to fundamental differences between the issues. You haven’t argued against those points or shown how those factors are outweighed by others which make the issues comparable.

    In sum, you’ve made some fairly outrageous accusations based on an honest difference of opinion. You might try applying the rule of charity, in which given a choice of two different interpretations of what your opponent is saying, you don’t automatically pick the one that makes him or her look like an idiot.

    Talk about taking things personally! I really don’t think I’ve made outrageous accusations about you. I’ve called some of your arguments dishonest and demonstrated why I think that’s the case. Several times I’ve used constructions like “can you see why X implies Y?” in an attempt to depersonalise things. I’m sorry if I’ve failed to do that to your satisfaction.

    However, I’d ask you to apply the very rule you’ve suggested there. Stop implying anyone who wants to repeal the 2nd amendment (or a high proportion of them) also want to ban gun ownership entirely. At least until you’ve countered the arguments I’ve made. Stop saying people are “using” the deaths of other people unless you can show that’s not the issue they really care about.

  125. eeyore says

    Daz, I would support requiring taking and passing a gun safety course as a condition of owning a gun. I support storing guns in such a way that children can’t access them. I support limiting magazine size and restricting who is able to own automatic weapons. I support precluding people convicted of violent felonies from owning guns (I specify violent felonies because I’m not sure there’s any real safety issue with allowing someone convicted of, say, tax fraud from taking his son hunting). There are probably other restrictions I would support but those are the ones that immediately come to mind.

  126. eeyore says

    Turd of Redheads, as I just responded to Daz, my issue is not with gun owners following reasonable safety regulations. My issue is with your apparent belief that gun owners who do follow reasonable safety regulations are somehow responsible for gun owners who don’t, or that owning a gun carries with it a requirement (moral if not legal) to be an advocate for gun safety. That strikes me as somewhat akin to punishing a child for something a sibling did.

    Also, I would probably quibble with you about what constitutes a “reasonable” safety regulation; I’m not sure for example that carrying a loaded gun in public is necessarily inherently unsafe. Three times in my life I have been in the same room as the President of the United States, and all three times the room was surrounded by heavily armed secret service agents, and I didn’t feel my safety was threatened by the fact that I was surrounded by people with loaded guns. In fairness, those secret service agents all had firearms safety training, which I would support for anyone owning a gun.

  127. Ichthyic says

    My issue is with your apparent belief that gun owners who do follow reasonable safety regulations are somehow responsible for gun owners who don’t

    your argument:

    most gun owners wouldn’t have the same opinion of giving an automatic weapon to a nine-year-old as you do [meaning Nerd, who is anti gun]? I

    I called you on that, asking you where the evidence is that the majority of gun owners in the US favored banning this exact thing.

    your response was to change your statement.

    telling.

    fuck off, dishonest wanker. stop playing games.

  128. Ichthyic says

    oh, and as to responsibility.

    whether you want it or not YOU DO bear responsibility for the actions of others.

    since you mentioned autos, your auto insurance premums are a great example of something that you have to take responsibility for the actions of others.

    hell, you can’t even opt out if you want to legally drive a car in most states.

  129. Ichthyic says

    I’m not sure for example that carrying a loaded gun in public is necessarily inherently unsafe.

    the things you don’t know fill a lot more obvious space in your comments than the things you do.

  130. eeyore says

    AsqJames, no, I honestly don’t see that saying “I’m not going to agree with X” implies that argument X has been made. Maybe it’s just my method of argumentation, but I consider it being thorough. I consider it covering all the bases, making pre-emptive arguments, and responding to objections that might be made. That way, if someone does make argument X and I’m not able to respond for some reason, my comments about X are already on the record. In fact, I once wrote a legal brief in which I didn’t make a pre-emptive argument, my opponent raised the point in his rebuttal brief, and since there are no sur-rebuttals I had no opportunity to respond. So, while I can understand why you might have interpreted it that way, in my mind I was being thorough.

    That said, as someone else here pointed out to me in another thread, these arguments have a context. The people who are commenting on this thread are not the only people in America talking about guns. And if you go on google, you will find plenty of people who really do think that all guns should be banned, and that all gun owners are responsible for the misdeeds of a few. They are out there; I’ve met a few. And given the anti-gun sentiments of many people who comment here, it’s not unreasonable for me to anticipate that some people who think like that might actually show up here, whether or not they already have.

    Third, please do not make inferences from anything I say, because if I wish to make an argument, I will bluntly and forthrightly make that argument. Almost all of our disagreement, or so it seems to me, stems from the fact that you have made repeated inferences from things you seem to think I’ve implied. I never imply. If I want to say something, I say it. So please stop making inferences. If I state a premise from which a conclusion necessarily follows, that different, but so far I haven’t said anything from which your inferences necessarily follow.

    Lastly, the nature of politics is that people with hot-button issues will “use” anything that comes along to further their cause. That doesn’t mean they’re not sincere in their beliefs. It does mean that the nature of politics is that if there is a news story with a heavy emotional kick, you can count on people who support that issue milking it for all it’s worth. So of course people who don’t like guns will milk this story for all it’s worth. It doesn’t mean they don’t actually care about the girl or the instructor that she killed, or that they don’t care about their sincerely held anti-gun beliefs. It just means that the temptation is just too strong to not milk it for the political points it can score.

  131. eeyore says

    Ichthyic, I see you need a refill for your high blood pressure prescription. You can say all you want that I’m responsible for the conduct of other people and I’ll continue to ignore you. I do occasionally have to clean up messes made by other people, of which auto insurance premiums are an example, but that’s not quite the same thing.

  132. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    My issue is with your apparent belief that gun owners who do follow reasonable safety regulations are somehow responsible for gun owners who don’t, or that owning a gun carries with it a requirement (moral if not legal) to be an advocate for gun safety.

    If you aren’t responsible for policing gun owners and making them responsible, then it falls upon those who want to ban guns to force the issue. You are you own worst enemy. Start criticizing irresponsible gun owners, and make them start to get safer.

    I’m not sure for example that carrying a loaded gun in public is necessarily inherently unsafe.

    It is. The gun can discharge, making it inherently unsafe. If unloaded it is inherently safe. It can’t hurt anybody except as a club. You are one stupid arrogant asshole if you think otherwise.

  133. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    You can say all you want that I’m responsible for the conduct of other people and I’ll continue to ignore you.

    And you show you are an irresponsible person who should not have any weapons at all. You don’t understand safety.

  134. carlie says

    My issue is with your apparent belief that gun owners who do follow reasonable safety regulations are somehow responsible for gun owners who don’t, or that owning a gun carries with it a requirement (moral if not legal) to be an advocate for gun safety. That strikes me as somewhat akin to punishing a child for something a sibling did.

    It’s not about “punishing” you for irresponsible owners. It’s about you saying that hey, this is a complicated, dangerous thing, and people who have and use them need to be carefully trained in how to do so well. How is that blaming you for something someone else did? That’s analogous to saying that the fact that I have to pass a test to get a driver’s license is punishing me for all those people who would be bad drivers if they weren’t restricted from doing so by said test.

  135. Crip Dyke, Right Reverend Feminist FuckToy of Death & Her Handmaiden says

    @eeyore, #145:

    Three times in my life I have been in the same room as the President of the United States, and all three times the room was surrounded by heavily armed secret service agents, and I didn’t feel my safety was threatened by the fact that I was surrounded by people with loaded guns.

    Lucky you.

  136. says

    eeyore
    Perhaps you do not care for being held responsible for other people’s actions. In that case, rejoice! For indeed you are not. You are being held responsible for your (inherently unsafe) actions. Rather, you aren’t, because the U.S. worships guns, but people here are arguing that you should be. We use all of these other people as examples to demonstrate the ways in which these behaviours are unsafe.

    Also, for the incessant comparison to cars to be valid, the sole argument for driving would have to be “but I like driving real fast!”. If that were the primary justification, then I’d be entirely in favor of private automobiles being banned except on closed courses. (Actually, I’m in favor of that anyway, but we need a lot of rebuilt infrastructure to make it feasible).

  137. carlie says

    And yes, you DO have a moral obligation to advocate for such safety regulations, because you ought to want to reassure everyone around you that yes, you are a safe and responsible gun owner and operator, and having tight regulations is the easiest way to do that. It’s actually the opposite of what you’re claiming – you being blamed for other people’s recklessness is what already happens now, when someone sees you toting around a gun and gives you the side-eye because they think you might be an ignorant unsafe danger to them and others. If, however, you value your gun ownership, you should want tight regulations, so that when people see you with your gun, they say “Oh, I know how hard it is to be able to obtain and use that, so I have confidence that guy knows what he’s doing, since he’s obviously passed all the tests to be allowed to have one”.

    Shorter me: if you think that you ought to be able to, say, open carry, but that you don’t think you should also advocate for safety regulations, then your position is that your ability to open carry is worth much more than the peace of mind of everyone you encounter, ever. That is the position of a selfish asshole.

  138. carlie says

    If you’re going to carry a deadly intimidation weapon around, you are morally obligated to assure people that you aren’t going to kill them with it.

  139. Menyambal says

    Eeyore, if you advocate in any way for continued gun ownership for citizens, you are part of the gun culture. What other members of the gun culture do or say is partly enabled by your participation in and support of any part of gun culture.

    If you are running around saying that all responsible people should be allowed guns, you are giving aid to the person who says that since we can’t define “responsible”, everybody gets guns. You are part of the problem, and your arguments are very much part of gun culture.

  140. AsqJames says

    eeyore,

    no, I honestly don’t see that saying “I’m not going to agree with X” implies that argument X has been made. Maybe it’s just my method of argumentation, but I consider it being thorough. I consider it covering all the bases, making pre-emptive arguments, and responding to objections that might be made. That way, if someone does make argument X and I’m not able to respond for some reason, my comments about X are already on the record.

    That must be awfully tiring, you have my sympathy.

    I have a suggestion though: why not prioritise arguments that have actually been made. Counter those however you see fit first and then, if you’ve got time left over, you can respond to hypothetical future objections at your leisure? You might find it more economical, and your interlocutors may be less inclined to think you’ve misunderstood their position.

  141. says

    carlie:

    If you’re going to carry a deadly intimidation weapon around, you are morally obligated to assure people that you aren’t going to kill them with it.

    You and I understand that, but how do we convince gun owners of this? Perhaps it goes back to instilling a proper respect and understanding of firearms at a young age, rather than teaching kids to fetishize them (and I don’t mean by putting guns in the hands of children, since there are far too many irresponsible gun owners in the US).

  142. ck says

    carlie wrote:

    If you’re going to carry a deadly intimidation weapon around, you are morally obligated to assure people that you aren’t going to kill them with it.

    But that sounds hard. Can’t he just defend the status quo and pretend nothing is wrong by complaining that anyone talking about any tepid form gun control wants to take away all his gunz, and that they can’t do that because he has a right to own gunz?

  143. Anri says

    I guess, since every gun owner considers themselves a Responsible Gun Owner, there are no such things as non-Responsible Gun Owners.

    Unless, of course, some people who think they are… really aren’t.

    Unless it’s just some kind of amazing coincidence that Responsible Gun Owners always happen to include “me”, and non-Responsible Gun Owners always happens to be “them”.

    It’s also interesting that you can only tell the difference after someone’s been shot. Everybody’s a Responsible Gun Owner until suddenly they’re not.
    Nifty how that works, isn’t it.

  144. Thomas Hobbes says

    Imagine witnessing someone being shot in the head. Imagine being you who pulled the trigger. How does a 9 year old cope with that?

  145. says

    eeyore #144

    Daz, I would support requiring taking and passing a gun safety course as a condition of owning a gun. I support storing guns in such a way that children can’t access them. I support limiting magazine size and restricting who is able to own automatic weapons.

    Well I’m glad you’d “restrict” them… Why the fuck should anyone outside the armed services have access to automatic weapons? See, looking in from another country, where guns of any kind are, to say the least, uncommon, all I can think is “WTF? This is a liberal position?”

    I support precluding people convicted of violent felonies from owning guns (I specify violent felonies because I’m not sure there’s any real safety issue with allowing someone convicted of, say, tax fraud from taking his son hunting).

    Just pausing to note a certain bias here.

    There are probably other restrictions I would support but those are the ones that immediately come to mind.

    Well, I’m glad you took the time away from arguing, in multiple comments containing multiple paragraphs, against positions nobody has espoused, to write this whole paragraph on what immediately popped into your head. It’s not like I was asking you to put anywhere near the effort into a constructive comment that you’ve put into pre-emptively dynamiting hordes of straw-people.

    Yeah, I’m still questioning your priorities. You saw a post about someone fucking dying, and your immediate concern was to defend people’s right to own killing-machines. I suggest you may want to self-examine—’cause the view from the outside ain’t pretty.

  146. Brittany says

    The fact that I own a gun no more obligates me to be an activist for gun safety than the fact that I own a car obligates me to be an an activist for auto safety. You’re trying to make people culpable for what other people do…if there were a well-organized anti-car lobby with an anti-car agenda (which for some of them included advocating for an outright ban), and used every auto death as an opportunity to push an anti-car agenda, I think you would understand why car lovers would speak up in favor of car ownership and point out that the many should not be penalized for the misdeeds of the few.

    If an anti-car lobby emerged, most people’s primary objection would be that it would make it more difficult for them to get the places they need to go. So the first difference between your hypothetical analogy is that there is no similarly ubiquitous practical necessity driving gun ownership; even self-defense is hardly a ubiquitous need in any reasonably well-organized society.

    But for the sake of argument, let’s imagine that people need guns to the same extent they need cars. Imagine that the anti-car lobby responded to people’s claims that they need cars by promising the following: Personal ownership of cars will be severely restricted with measures such as raising the driving age to 18, requiring more extensive training courses and a background check before a license to drive will be granted, and mandating that people provide evidence that usage of a motor vehicle is necessary for them (a need to get to specific places or types of places inaccessible by cars will count; “I need to get places!” generically will not count). However, in compensation, they will remove the necessity of driving for most people, by putting in bike lanes everywhere, dramatically improving bus services, installing high-speed trains for transit between all major cities, altering zoning laws to promote walkable communities, and providing free 24-hour in-town car service with a trained motor vehicle operator for people with mobility programs.

    Would you oppose such a plan? In my view, the only reason to oppose it would be because one fetishizes car technology in and of itself rather simply appreciating its usefulness. Sure, it would be a minor restriction of your freedom, since you can’t just drive anywhere whenever. But it would be good for the environment and reduce auto accidents significantly. Plus, cars would still be available for when they are truly needed. If it is possible to imagine such a highly regulated yet workable system for managing a technology that everyone actually does need (in most cases on a daily basis), it should be even easier to imagine a similar system for guns, which nobody or next to nobody actually needs (especially not on a daily basis).

    So, try this thought experiment: If you believe that people need guns, what would it take to satisfy that need in another way? Burglar alarms? Pepper spray? Faster arrival times for emergency services like police and fire? Creation of a reliable neighborhood watch? Socio-economic revitalization of communities with a gang violence problem? We would get so much further if we focused on removing the (perceived) need for guns than defending the current state of affairs.

    And of course, if you don’t think we need guns, you need to be asking yourself things like: Are “IT’S FUN DAGNABBIT” and “MAH FREEDUMS” really good enough reasons to justify a (non-existent) gun-control system that leads to so many preventable deaths and injuries?

  147. Brittany says

    (Not sure why it didn’t show up, but the previous comment is a reply to eeyore @124 28 August 2014 at 7:06 am.)

  148. Esteleth is Groot says

    So let me get this straight.

    You are, you say, a responsible gun owner.

    You say that policing the gun-fondlers isn’t your problem.

    You also scream, wail, and rend your garments in a dramatic fashion when we attempt to police (or hell, mildly criticize) the gun-fondlers.

    So, uh, who is supposed to police them?

  149. Knabb says

    117. Daz
    That things get touted as exceptional entirely too often doesn’t mean that this particular case isn’t exceptional, and a lot of the time the “exceptional” argument doesn’t even get used, in favor of just claiming that gun deaths are so very rare by comparing them to some fucking ridiculous metric (usually cars). This particular case is one which would have been stopped if we were able to implement even the most basic, most fucking obvious bits of damage control gun regulation in the U.S. Plenty of people who wouldn’t dream of a general gun ban would be entirely on board with banning or heavily restricting fully automatic weapons. Plenty of people who are all for gun-ownership would have an issue with nine year olds firing guns in general, let alone the aforementioned fully automatic weapons.

    Personally, I’d like a much more restrictive system than just basic edge-case damage control (I get the idea that people in some rural areas need a bolt action rifle to feed themselves – complements of our wonderful social safety net – but that sure as fuck doesn’t justify blanket ownership of military weapons, or the existence of places like Bullets and Burgers), but this case? Even edge-case damage control measures would have done it. It’s an exceptional circumstance, and a glaring example of how the NRA and their political backing are blocking even the tiniest, most obvious, most basic damage control measures that would have prevented this particular fuck-up.

  150. says

    Anri:

    I guess, since every gun owner considers themselves a Responsible Gun Owner, there are no such things as non-Responsible Gun Owners.
    Unless, of course, some people who think they are… really aren’t.
    Unless it’s just some kind of amazing coincidence that Responsible Gun Owners always happen to include “me”, and non-Responsible Gun Owners always happens to be “them”.
    It’s also interesting that you can only tell the difference after someone’s been shot. Everybody’s a Responsible Gun Owner until suddenly they’re not.
    Nifty how that works, isn’t it.

    Yep.
    It’s a shame there isn’t a set of nation wide criteria that potential gun owners have to meet before being able to own a gun. Imagine if such criteria like extensive background checks (such that incidents of domestic violence, for instance, mean that you are forbidden to own a gun) and psychological screening were included (such that people with problems managing their anger must learn to channel their emotions in a more socially acceptable manner before they can own a gun). I imagine that some people who should never have guns might just be unable to acquire them if they had to pass a background check and psych screening. But the gun lovers of American won’t let that happen. Nope, we have to wait until a tragedy happens to determine who is not a responsible gun owner (and even then, many of these fuckers still get to keep their guns).

    ****

    More statistics on the firearm related deaths of children:

    For every U.S. soldier killed in Afghanistan during 11 years of war, at least 13 children were shot and killed in America.

    More than 450 kids didn’t make it to kindergarten.

    Another 2,700 or more were killed by a firearm before they could sit behind the wheel of a car.

    Every day, on average, seven children were shot dead.

    A News21 investigation of child and youth deaths in America between 2002 and 2012 found that at least 28,000 children and teens 19-years-old and younger were killed with guns. Teenagers between the ages of 15 and 19 made up over two-thirds of all youth gun deaths in America.
    https://news.yahoo.com/activists-gun-debate-overlooks-gun-090000732.html

  151. says

    Brittany @167:

    So, try this thought experiment: If you believe that people need guns, what would it take to satisfy that need in another way? Burglar alarms? Pepper spray? Faster arrival times for emergency services like police and fire? Creation of a reliable neighborhood watch? Socio-economic revitalization of communities with a gang violence problem? We would get so much further if we focused on removing the (perceived) need for guns than defending the current state of affairs.

    Your post was most excellent. I just wanted to add a comment here that the concepts of manhood and masculinity are wrapped up in the gun fetishization in the states. I think that’s part of what makes it so hard for so many people to accept restrictions on owning firearms.

  152. says

    Knabb #170

    My apologies. Re-reading my reply to you it rather looks as if I were arguing against what you said.

    I do actually agree that this case is highly exceptional. The problem is that the gun-fondlers themselves don’t appear to want to use a comparative scale of exceptionalness. As eeyore on this very thread has shown, they (or at least too many of them) pre-emptively treat discussion of any case as a precursor to banning all guns everywhere. Their default position is that any “accident” is exceptional because that way they can deny there’s a trend; every datum is an outlier, somehow.

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