Editorial- Kids With Guns?


Kimberly Nazario, Reporter

Did you know that a certain shooting range in Las Vegas, and perhaps many more, allow children as young as eight years old to use machine guns? Worst of all, they’re allowed to use these guns on full-auto, as long as they’re accompanied by a parent or guardian, of course. The range, named Outdoor Machine Gun Adventure, made the mistake of handing a 9-year old girl an Uzi, allowing her to use it on full-auto. A video online shows the instructor teaching her how to do a single-shot, but ends in a rather disturbing way.
The video starts off with the instructor teaching the 9-year old how to do single shots, cheering her on for being able to do it. However, when he tells her to go on full-auto, she loses control of the Uzi, killing her instructor in the process. There were no legal issues, considering everything that happened didn’t violate any laws and was simply a rookie mistake.
What kind of world do we live in where 9-year old children are allowed to handle a weapon designed in the late 1940s for Israeli defense forces? What exactly was going through her parents’ minds when they decided, “Oh yeah, let’s let her learn how to handle an Uzi, seems like fun!”? Even though shooting ranges are very legal in the U.S., due to the right to bear arms, some shooting ranges take it too far. This shooting range allows for children as young as 8-years old to handle machine guns of all types.  Really smart.
This is not the first incident where a child has caused damage with an Uzi. An 8-year old boy was able to shoot himself in the face with one back in 2008, causing him to die. His father had given him the Uzi for Christmas, another dumb mistake. Young children are not meant to handle full-auto machine guns, even with prior knowledge of other weapons.
The shooting range at which Charles Vacca, the young girls’ instructor, worked and died, thought that children should be allowed to shoot full-auto machine guns as long as they have previous knowledge, are able to shoot a .22 caliber rifle, and are “physically and mentally prepared.”
While the instructor’s family holds no grudge against the young girl, telling her to live her life normally and love herself, they now have suffered a terrible loss due to a terrible mistake. The young girl has to live the rest of her life knowing she has killed a man, causing an immediate death when the bullets hit his head. America should learn from these experiences and ban young children from using weapons. In what realistic situation would a 9-year old need to know how to use an Uzi anyway?