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Monday, October 27, 2008

Guns Don’t Kill People

posted by on October 27 at 14:51 PM

Idiot fuckwad parents kill people.

An 8-year-old boy died after accidentally shooting himself in the head while firing an Uzi submachine gun under adult supervision at a gun fair.

The boy lost control of the weapon while firing it Sunday at the Machine Gun Shoot and Firearms Expo at the Westfield Sportsman’s Club, police Lt. Lawrence Vallierpratte said.

As the boy fired the Uzi, “the front end of the weapon went up with the backfire and he ended up receiving a round in his head,” police Lt. Hipolito Nunez said. The boy died at a hospital.

The boy’s father and older brother were also there at the time, a gun club member and school official said. Francis Mitchell, a longtime member and trustee of the club, said he was told the boy’s father was supporting his son from behind when the shooting happened. …

The event ran in conjunction with C.O.P Firearms and Training. “It’s all legal & fun — No permits or licenses required!!!!” reads the ad, posted on the club’s Web site.

Words utterly fail. How is it possibly legal to hand your eight-year-old kid an Uzi?

RSS icon Comments


Darwin Award.

Posted by Bellevue Ave | October 27, 2008 2:54 PM

Sounds like a well-ordered militia to me.

These simians interpret the US Constitution like they do the Bible. Pick-and-choose what fits their trailer-trash lifestyle & mentality.

Posted by Karlheinz Arschbomber | October 27, 2008 2:56 PM

This was colossally stupid and really sad, but this statement is a close second.

"How is it possibly legal to hand your eight-year-old kid an Uzi?"

legal? so laws fix everything? also, its not illegal to be stupid.

I am trying to picture a cop at a gun range carding kids trying to shoot uzi's and it makes me want to stab my own eyes out.

Posted by meanie | October 27, 2008 2:58 PM

C'mon, we can't regulate uzis just because they're dangerous to children. It's not like they're lawn darts or something.

Posted by flamingbanjo | October 27, 2008 3:00 PM

Founding Fathers would definitely approve.

Posted by Nick | October 27, 2008 3:03 PM

God had his aim on this little angel.

Posted by guns dont kill people, people kill people | October 27, 2008 3:09 PM

Look, I'm sorry, but this is hilarious. In related news, I'm not sorry, and this is hilarious.

Posted by Mr. Poe | October 27, 2008 3:11 PM

Earlier versions (the one I read on MSNBC) said that the kid's dad is director of emergency medicine at some hospital, but since they removed that from the current updates I can't be certain of it. It'd be pretty sweet irony, though.

Posted by EmilyP | October 27, 2008 3:13 PM

I wish I was there!

Posted by Nelson | October 27, 2008 3:13 PM

"How is it possibly legal to hand your eight-year-old kid an Uzi?"

No sane person would allow their child to use an Uzi, so there is no need to waste tax payer money to outlaw it. Accidents happen, and being an idiot increases the chances that you will have one. The government isn't there to babysit us.

Posted by Ryan | October 27, 2008 3:13 PM

Oh, my parent once left a loaded 45 magnum in the glove compartment when we were teenagers. Fortunately my sister was pointing it at the garage floor when it went off. Parent came running around the house, "Kids! I am very disappointed in you! In fact, I am so disappointed I see no reason to tell (other parent) about this."

Posted by Amelia | October 27, 2008 3:16 PM

@11, classic parenting!

Posted by Bellevue Ave | October 27, 2008 3:21 PM

Reminds me of the story recounted by Bill Bryson in "A Walk In The Woods" in which a parent thought it would make a cute picture if a bear was licking his toddler's hand so he dipped the kid's hand in honey. Not understanding this concept, the bear ate the child's hand.

Posted by Chefgirl | October 27, 2008 3:25 PM

@10: as long as the parent who approved of giving his kid a machine gun to play with is summarily executed, I see no problem with your statement. 8 year olds should be allowed to drive, too. As long as a parent is in the back seat watching. We certainly shouldn't waste any taxpayer money to make sure drivers are qualified to handle dangerous machinery. It's just too bad the kid didn't accidentally shoot his dad instead. Now THAT would have saved some tax dollars.

Posted by Smade | October 27, 2008 3:30 PM

I did one of those firearm training things at the Illinois state fair when I was a wee lass. Watch a safety video and get to shoot a handgun! Fun! Sadly, I was pretty terrible at target practice, but at least I didn't shoot myself in the head.

Posted by Julie in Chicago | October 27, 2008 3:31 PM

10 bucks say the parents sue.

Fuck this country.

Posted by Original Monique | October 27, 2008 3:35 PM

No dumbshit, but if it was illegal I can think of at least one 8 year old kid that would be alive right now... but please be my guest stab away.

Posted by Sad Comment | October 27, 2008 3:38 PM

Machine guns kick like a mule, don't they? Sounds like this dad didn't know his kid or the gun very well.

Posted by Amelia | October 27, 2008 3:51 PM


Right because all laws are enforced everywhere at all times.


Posted by meanie | October 27, 2008 4:09 PM

@16 without torts we wouldn't have the environmental and externalities internalization we need.

Posted by Bellevue Ave | October 27, 2008 4:14 PM


Posted by Vince | October 27, 2008 4:15 PM

the recoil on an uzi makes it an entirely inappropriate weapon, even under supervision, for a child to use. they haven't the strength or body mass to control it. i'm amazed some gun-savvy person at this event didn't at least try to advise that idiot father against this. sad. oh, and poe, the next time you laugh at a child dying i'm just going to come right out and call you a creepy piece of shit. be warned.

Posted by ellarosa | October 27, 2008 4:18 PM

i still don't get the logistics of this death. if its' an automatic, then it makes sense. but i thought fully automatic weapons were illegal - if so, the kid had to continue pulling the trigger after the first kick that pointed the muzzle at his head.

maybe there's a gun fancier than can explain it to this anti-american wealth redistributor.

Posted by max solomon | October 27, 2008 4:20 PM


It's not possible to police everything all the time, but if letting kids handle guns were illegal, this accident probably would not have happened. The organizers of the fair would have kept children out completely or would have monitored the situation better. Now they'll just get sued and maybe they'll learn their lesson, but it would have been nice to prevent this death in the first place.

Posted by keshmeshi | October 27, 2008 4:21 PM

@3/19: Really? Laws aren't enforced perfectly everywhere at all times, so therefore we just shouldn't bother having any?

Posted by Darcy | October 27, 2008 4:26 PM

fully auto is not illegal if you have a permit. my crazy neighbor has a few.

Posted by Mickey in AR | October 27, 2008 4:32 PM

@23: I've shot a lot of parental guns, including the machine guns and semi-automatic whatevers. Although I inherited a bad memory in addition to all my other genetic flaws: I think you can set the trigger to fire bursts. Ten rounds each time you pull it, for example. The kid might also have gotten his little hand caught in there.

Posted by Amelia | October 27, 2008 4:34 PM

@26: only fully auto makes sense here, but the 'anyone can shoot this gun' angle is surprising to me.

Posted by max solomon | October 27, 2008 4:36 PM

Coming from an NRA family, the idea of taking an eight-year old down to range for an afternoon of target practice doesn't raise an eyebrow. But with a gun that size? No.

Posted by Tiktok | October 27, 2008 4:38 PM

@23: Oh, fully automatic isn't illegal. Under Clinton it changed so that you could only keep those guns if you already had the permit, but I think no new ones were sold; that restriction was allowed to expire under Bush. Part of the Brady Law, wasn't it? My parent and parent's neighbor have machine guns and like to fire them off on either side of their ridge hilltop when the sun goes down. Nature lovers.

Posted by Amelia | October 27, 2008 4:41 PM

@30 no it is not illegal as long as you get a federal firearms permitt

Posted by Mickey in AR | October 27, 2008 4:52 PM

Guns and God. Both are religions. Ya gotta indoctrinate them while they're young or they might have the guts to question orthodoxy. Or worse, they might not honor their father and mother.

Posted by Smade | October 27, 2008 4:54 PM

Chekhov was right.

Posted by John Bailo | October 27, 2008 4:55 PM

Other than the obvious fact that a round could just as easily have hit one of the other shooters on the range, I just don't see a problem here. Anyone dumb enough to let a small child fire an Uzi probably shouldn't have bred anyway.

Posted by Geni | October 27, 2008 4:57 PM

@34: Well, I'm glad my little brother's still around, despite parental hobbies and oversight. They don't do this ess with the daughters.

Posted by Amelia | October 27, 2008 5:06 PM

Fortunately, the idiot father killed one person, his own (probably intellectually inferior) offspring and not some other person's child or children (who had the sense not to let their kid handle a gun too powerful for them to control). With an automatic weapon the dolt could have wiped out as many people as the gun was loaded with if they were in a crowded area.

Another upside...all those people who don't believe in evolution will have witnessed first hand Mr. Charles Darwin's principals in action.

Those are the only positives I can eek out of this event.

Posted by yucca flower | October 27, 2008 5:07 PM

Wuuut...of course it should be illegal, charge the parents with neglect and take any of their remaining kids away + jail time.

If I let a kid under my care (my own or one I was babysitting/teaching/responsible for) drive a truck and he crashed into a tree, I would be arrested. If I let a kid under my care operate heavy machinery and he died, I would be arrested. Yet somehow somehow lets an 8 year old under his care use an Uzi, and it's just plain "stupidity". No, stupidity would be if he did it himself...this is child abuse. And yes, that should be punishable by law. What other defense would these kids have otherwise?

I can't believe people think weed is an arrestable offense but this shit isn't.

Posted by EmmiG | October 27, 2008 5:13 PM

UZIs are fucking dangerous even in the hands of an adult. Giving a UZI to a child is like giving him the keys to the car and some booze. The parents should be charged with criminal negligence.

Posted by Sirkowski | October 27, 2008 5:20 PM

EmilyP @ #8, you were right:

"Bizilj, the medical director of the emergency department at Johnson Memorial Hospital in Stafford Springs, Conn., said that his son was “very cautious, very well trained, and very much enjoyed firing.”

Posted by Me | October 27, 2008 5:29 PM

@37: Is there a difference between this and the local guy who fell asleep and let his toddler fall into the fire pit?

Posted by Amelia | October 27, 2008 5:35 PM

@40: Probably, since in the case you mention, the father was asleep and so passively failed to supervise his child, as opposed to actively propping his kid up against the firepit or some shit--and he was also punished pretty severely.

This guy actively assisted in the death of a child in his care, and as far as I can see, is getting away scot-free with lots of support from my fellow commenters. Just goes to show you.

Posted by EmmiG | October 27, 2008 5:53 PM

@ #41,

I still think that guy probably flung his kid's already dead corpse into that fire pit. Has anyone heard what the verdict from the coroner's office is on that one? It had the stank of Susan Smith on it.

Posted by yucca flower | October 27, 2008 6:25 PM

Vulgar Darwinism is no better than the gutter racism of skinheads. I love how you all mock the man for his ignorance of guns while flaunting your ignorance of genetics and intellectual inheritance.

Other than that, I'm with Mr. Poe.

Posted by elenchos | October 27, 2008 6:30 PM

It's like drunk drivers. It's a tragedy when one plows into a tree and kills them self (and possibly any passengers they have like a wife and kiddies) but it is an even worse tragedy when a drunk plows into another car and kills a somebody else's family for some reason. It shouldn't feel that way but it does.

"A drunk driver plowed into the Smith/Jones' car and killed the entire family." Somehow sounds so much worse than "A drunk driver plowed into a tree and killed his/her entire family."
It shouldn't, but it does.

Just like "Some dumb-ass handed his kid an UZI and he shot Little Tommy/Dickie/Harry in the head." is somehow much worse than "Some dumb-ass handed his kid an UZI and he shot himself in the head."

Posted by yucca flower | October 27, 2008 7:39 PM

@44--Maybe this is where I break with all the sloggers (34 and 36 especially--oh wait 36 is you) saying "Got what he deserved"--the kid on either side of the drunk driver is 100% innocent and helpless in this

Oh no his kid may have been an "intellectual inferior"...because his dad gave him an Uzi? And the kids killed by their drunk driving dad might've been prone to alcoholism? And both those are justifiable reasons to kill kids?

To me, an 8 year old dying due to an adult's idiot decisions is so damn tragic I don't even bother with "degrees"...and until this post, it was news to me that anyone else did. The wives of the drunk drivers--sure, since they can tell when someone has been drinking and they know that drunk driving is dangerous. But kids can have no idea that their father has been drinking, and they couldn't stand up to their fathers even if they wanted to.

This kind of thought pattern explains why so many people have no problem denying medical care/decent educations to kids though...if kids are nothing but extensions of their parents, its their own fault if their mother or father doesn't make enough money to move to a good school district or buy health insurance. Ugh.

Posted by EmmiG | October 27, 2008 8:25 PM

@43, @45: Not "all" the sloggers.

Posted by Amelia | October 27, 2008 8:39 PM

As I said, I am very glad my little brother is still alive. He turned out to be a wonderful person. He taught me a lot, in fact. And my progenitor surprised the older kids by buying my little brother throwing axes when he was 7 or 8, closely followed by throwing knives (that shit's difficult!), the first BB gun and then real guns. Plus there's the family pyro history, with interesting ads-at-the-back-of-Guns&Ammo accoutrements. Scariest perhaps is that the A.P. started taking my brother at a very young age to hunting camp festivities. Fortunately, that too was survived, although the pressure was so great that my brother actually did shoot a deer once and I had to stay up turning deer sausages in the oven.

Posted by Amelia | October 27, 2008 8:49 PM

If you're ever in Las Vegas and you'd like to fire a machine gun yourself, you can go here:

However, owning and/or transferring fully automatic weapons is a very big deal indeed, and requires something called a Class 3 license from BATF. You can still get them, and when I was in Yakima some years back I walked into a gun store that had Class 3 stuff there (they catered to the local military folks, who presumably have an easier time buying this kind of stuff).

All of that said, every gun range I've ever been to made you sign your life away in terms of waivers and forms, so I don't think dad is gonna get really far suing them - and even more so considering his gross negligence in this whole stupid, tragic incident.

(And if the sponsors were dumb enough not to have him sign a whole harmless they deserve every last penny he can get for THEIR negligence).

Posted by John Thompson | October 27, 2008 10:27 PM


No words.

Just wow :(

Posted by Fred34 | October 28, 2008 5:41 AM

I wll place myself inthe crosshairs of those who want to blame the gun. When my daughter was young (nine I think) we wdent out shooting and she shot her Uzi. This was by no means the first time she was around guns, and she had used 22's by this point.

In teaching her how to shot the Uzi I took as much care as I would teaching her how to use a drill, or when I taught her how to cook, or any number of other things I taught her. Yes a Uzi jumps up a little when it is fired that is why I held the gun when she shot it, and then let her hold a little more as she shot it again.

My little girl was/is a great shot and could knock the targets down over and over. Steel spinng plats that deflect the round into the ground. She would empty 2 ,50 round mags missing maybe once or twice. In my world it was cute. In her world she was having fun.

It is sad this child was killed, I am sure the parent (the father) is full of grief and he could have avoided it. A large nukmber of pro-gun folks are also pro-gun education.

Each year cars kill 20 times more people than guns, and yes handguns are maent to kill people. So why not the outrage and demand for better driving saftey or to outlaw cars as they are killing when they are designed for transportation.

I just hope Obama get into office with out the Shrub declaring martail law. I also hope that the Demo's don't decide to start on their Gun banning hunt. That is an issue that lost a lot of voters for the Dems in the last 20 years.

Maybe we could start to work on better civic classes, and more respect for those we don't agree with but learn to respect each others rights.

Posted by Gabbagross | October 28, 2008 9:42 AM

@50: When I argued against guns with family members, they didn't use the car comparison. They used beer, saying that guns are a hobby and dangerous and beer is a hobby and dangerous, and if guns should be outlawed then beer should be outlawed.

I think only guns should be outlawed.

Posted by Amelia | October 28, 2008 11:42 AM

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