What a tragedy for everyone involved. And it's all "perfectly legal." Hard to imagine the pain his father must be suffering. But what was he thinking?

MDB's picture

Child Neglect, perhaps?

It depends on the jurisdiction, I'm sure, but couldn't the father be prosecuted for child neglect?

Although, my bleeding heart liberal side does say "hasn't he suffered enough?" This isn't like the stories you hear about parents who don't feed their kids for three days because they're off on a bender; this is more of a tragic accident that could have been prevented type thing.

Tamara Shepherd's picture

Like Scott County car accident last week

I'm inclined to agree, MDB. It sounds like that awful car accident in Scott County last week, that killed all four teens in the SUV (as well as two in the other vehicle--a 34 week fetus and the pregnant woman's father-in-law). Two of the four teens killed, you may know, were sisters.

I wouldn't care to prosecute the parents of the teen "intermediate driver," though, whose daughter was out after 11:00 pm and carrying more than one passenger in her vehicle, in violation of state law. They, too, have suffered enough.

(FYI, in Boy Scouts of America activities, in which my son participates, youth are not allowed to shoot a .22 until age 14. They don't allow youth to shoot automatic weapons at any age--and even they have had their accidents, as I'm sure you know.)

Carole Borges's picture

Why an Uzi?

What in God's name was any kid being trained to use an UZI for? Guns are dangerous objects. There are so many activities for parents and kids to do together that can't possibly end up in death, why expose kids to this?

I support the right to bear arms, but not to let little kids practice shooting Uzis. This is not Iraq where everyone belongs to a militia and has a weapon and needs to know how to use it. We are a land of hunters and teaching children of a realistic age how to handle a hunting weapon safely is fine, but this is crazy.

Today another shooting at another campus. Viewed from a global persepctive, America is gun crazy and frightening.

My prayers are with the family, but I hope this opens their eyes to the folly of eight year old kids training on Uzis. Their pain must be unbearable.

R. Neal's picture

I think it was probably more

I think it was probably more like letting the kid "experience" firing an automatic weapon v. "training" him. Which is actually kinda worse if you think about it.

Maybe such "experiences" should include going down to the morgue to see some fatal gunshot wounds up close and personal.

MDB's picture

How some friends handle it

I like the way some friends handle it.

They wouldn't let their son have toy guns, because they don't believe in owning guns.

They would, however, let him have toy swords, for two reasons.

  1. They fence (as in "en garde!", not as in "I'll give you fifty bucks for that stereo you... found") and collect medieval weapons, so they felt it would hypocritical to say "Mommy and Daddy can have real swords, but you can't have toy ones.
  2. They believe that, if you're going to kill someone, you should do it up close and personal.
Tamara Shepherd's picture

Tom Wolfe

They believe that, if you're going to kill someone, you should do it up close and personal.

Tom Wolfe made the argument eloquently. The essay was "Jousting with Sam (that's "Strategic Air Missles") and Charlie," but I can't recall the book.

From Our House to Bauhaus, maybe?

MDB's picture

Actually, I seem to remember

Actually, I seem to remember that was the reason a medieval Pope was horrified by the crossbow1 -- he realized it made it possible to kill a man from such a distance, you didn't appreciate how awful his death was.

1 "Surely, this weapon is so horrible, it will end warfare forever."

Carole Borges's picture

I also banned toy guns in my house

One thing that really horrifies me is seeing a kid in a shopping cart at Toys R Us pointing a gun at me with a big smile on his or her face. Intially I did run into flak from my little ones for the gun ban, but I always insisted guns were VERY serious things because they could kill people and you should never ever point a gun at anything or anyone, so that meant no playing,"Bang, bang you're dead." Then why have one? No swords or plastic hand grenades either. After my explanation they never brought it up again.

Tamara Shepherd's picture

NRA's Eddie Eagle program

I've wondered who let this "Eddie Eagle" program, sponsored by the NRA, into our local schools.

I've never seen the program delivered to elementary students, but I did see an "Eddie Eagle" program delivered to my son's Cub Scout pack. That particular speaker was less about safety and more about sharing his lusty interest in weapons generally. That's not at all how Scouting approaches the subject, so both parents and leaders in attendence were pretty chapped.

Also, the speaker distributed a leaflet/coloring book to the boys in which the last two pages were a mini-catalog and order form, for purchasing merchandise to support NRA.

Later, each of my kids brought the same leaflet home from their school, which caused me to wonder what kind of message they got in that setting.

reform4's picture

Good and bad apples...

from my experience, 95% of gun enthusiasts are militant about safety (particularly us ex-military types, for reasons explained in Steve Mule's later post below), and would never have let a tragedy like this happen. The last time I was at an event where an untrained person was allowed to shoot a full auto, the issue of recoil was hammered into him, and he was specifically encouraged to shoot short (2-5 round) bursts.

The other 5% refer to full auto as "rock and roll," and act pretty stupidly around their weapons. Sounds like your "Eddie Eagle" presenter is in the lower 5%. I have a friend who frequently hands me his weapons without checking the chamber, and I give him a dope slap every time he does it. But I can't get him to stop, and I haven't let him hand me a weapon in at least seven years (he gets to put it on a table, then I pick it up).

I never saw the point of full-auto spewing of an entire clip. Even in combat, nobody uses a weapon that way, save for larger crew-served or vehicle mounted MGs. The latest small arms used by our soldiers have a 3-round burst setting just for that reason. People who like to 'rock and roll' are far more likely to be the 5%-ers, and are to be avoided for your own safety from my experience.

Tamara Shepherd's picture

Eddie Eagle lit good, speaker bad

Steve, with the exception of the NRA including their mini-catalog and order form to the rear of their Eddie Eagle lit, I have to say their printed material was palatable enough and specific to safety.

I think you're probably right that our little Cub group just happened upon a "5%-er" who foamed at the mouth over weapons generally (and how much noise they could make and how big of a hole they could produce, etc.).

Unfortunately, this particular speaker's narrative sorta undid any good the program's written material might have produced...

WhitesCreek's picture


He was with his father and a "Trained instructor"...

This puts a stark white light on the inadequacies and reliance on "trained instructors". We have our own similar situation in TN with respect to concealed carry permit instruction. Who governs the adequacy of the training and the trainers?

Andy Axel's picture

Criminally negligent

Criminally negligent homicide charge in the offing, I'll wager.

And rightfully so.

What sort of idiot allows an 8-year-old to fire (much less to handle) a fully automatic weapon?


the distance between black & white is much further than i would like until now i never noticed that fascism has many disguises -d. boon, 1981

SteveMule's picture

It sounds to me as if the

It sounds to me as if the child was unable to control the weapons muzzle climb. The micro uzi has cyclic rate of fire of 1700 rpm is quite high. The weapon's muzzle probably (and this is speculation on my part,) while being fired, climbed up and toward the child's head/face.
Releasing the trigger would have stopped the weapon from firing but the natural inclination of people is to grip the weapon even tighter; and that includes the finger on the tigger. I saw this happen when I was in the Army. One nitwit tried to shoot a M-60 machinegun (cyclic fire rate of only 550 rpm) one handed (ala Rambo II) and the weapon did a full 180 away from downrange and toward the range tower in back of us. Luckily no one was hurt. The officers and NCO's made his life miserable for the next month and the rest of us luaghed at him and never let him forget it.
When I was trained with M-16 (and later the M-60) we were initially given magazines loaded with only 5 rounds. The purpose was to shoot 2-3 round burts. The purpose being that with a 5 round magazine you would get two bursts. Only until we had that down pat were we given 10 round magazines. Only much, much later were we allowed 30 round magazines. I have a feeling that this child was allowed to fire a micro Uzi with a full magazine. Sublime stupidity.

Take Care, Be Good and don't play in the street!


Andy Axel's picture


Sublime stupidity.

Involuntary manslaughter. Especially considering the publicity this case is getting.


the distance between black & white is much further than i would like until now i never noticed that fascism has many disguises -d. boon, 1981

Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.

TN Progressive

TN Politics

Knox TN Today

Local TV News

News Sentinel

State News

Local .GOV

Wire Reports

Lost Medicaid Funding

To date, the failure to expand Medicaid/TennCare has cost the State of Tennessee ? in lost federal funding. (Source)

Search and Archives