This morning we all woke up to the terrible and shocking news that a shooting instructor (I refuse to call him a Range Master) was shot and killed by a nine year old girl with an Uzi sub-machine gun (SMG). It is a tragedy on two fronts – of course it is a tragedy for the family and friends of the deceased, for whom I pray. However as my friend Greg Starks rightly points out, it is also a tragedy for the little girl.
…All the adults involved chose to enter the situation. The girl – for her this was like being taken to the park to learn to ride a bike… in her mind, was something cool she was doing with Mommy and Daddy… now how F`d up is her life?… just trying not to lose focus from the tragedy of the girl, given that all the adults had the ability and opportunity to make different choices. Making her a poster child will only propagate how many times people watch her take a human life.
I pray for the nine year old girl, who will carry this tragedy with her for her entire life. I will not name her, nor will I name the parents (who should, in my opinion, go to jail for manslaughter) because it could then be linked back to the girl.
So who is to blame for this tragedy? Some will say the parents, and I agree; some will say the range owners, and I agree with them too. Others will say it is the Second Amendment… and it is hard to disagree that in the larger picture the ‘Right to bear arms’ is apart of it… but above all else I think it is the American glorification of firearms and their use that is really to blame. After all, guns are legal (albeit regulated a lot more tightly) in Canada. Heck, in Israel everyone has a firearm as soon as they go into the army, and there is zero gun crime and almost no accidental shootings. What makes those cultures different from the US? We don’t glorify them.
Name a Canadian hero or legend who carried a gun. Maybe you can… if you give it some thought. Probably not though. Name an Israeli hero or legend who carried a gun? There are plenty of course – all of Israel’s heroes are/were soldiers.
Name an American hero who carried a gun? Wyatt Earp; Jesse James; Billy the Kid. It took me three seconds to come up with three names. Sure, some of the American heroes will be law men… but they also glorify the villains.
The American Bill of Rights (in which the Second Amendment is codified) were written in 1789.
A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.
Back then there were no handguns, and a rifle (musket) would fire one shot, then take nearly a minute to reload. Effective range? Depending on the model probably as far as 50 meters. In contrast, an Uzi (designed in 1948 but manufactured by Israeli Military Industries since 1954) fires 600 rounds per minute with an effective range of 2200 meters, from a magazine that holds anywhere from 10 to 50 9mm rounds.
Because of an ingenious piece of material (that is, I was told by my Range Master in Basic Training, made of a secret material) there is hardly any recoil to an Uzi. This makes it so easy to fire that ‘even a child could do it.’ Our Range Master was of course joking about this, showing that any simple soldier could fire the weapon. Unfortunately there are people in the USA who took this literally, and thought that a nine year old child could and should be allowed to fire it.
Someone paid with their life. The poor child will be scarred forever. And gun enthusiasts and members of the NRA all over America are going to dismiss this as an unfortunate incident caused by poor training. I weep for the USA.