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People React To Tragedy At Arizona Gun Range

The shocking and tragic news out of Arizona is making headlines days after a nine-year-old girl accidentally shot and killed a gun instructor at a gun range on Monday.

The instructor was teaching the girl to shoot an Uzi submachine gun and she lost control of the firearm when it recoiled, causing the bullets to hit the 39-year-old man.

At the Wyoming County Fair, Henry Rahm is a member of the Wyoming County`s Federation of Sportmen’s Clubs and knew all about the sad event.

“Being a sportsman, it rips your heart out because the first thing we try to teach our youngsters and our adults that are new to this sport is that safety is always the first priority,” said Rahm.

Over at a muzzleloader rifle booth, people said nine years old is just too young to handle a firearm as powerful as an Uzi.

“That should never have happened at all. Nine year old with a fully automatic weapon, not capable,” said Robin Robinson. “Some grown men are not capable. That should have not happened.”

Mike Mills used to teach kids to shoot firearms through the 4-H Club and said it is a gradual process.

“We would start them off with air rifles, then we would progressively take them up to a BB gun, then as they progress on we would take them to .22s,” said Mills.

At the Endless Mountains Nature Center exhibit, members said children are in their care frequently to learn about the outdoors. They said it is up to them to know what is right for those children.

“We would never put any of the kids in danger,” said Rebecca Lesko. “A child shouldn`t have a gun like that unless they have some training with some parents, maybe they have the strength for it.”

The owner of that gun range in Arizona has said he regrets letting the child shoot and regrets that the instructor was killed in the incident.

23 comments

    • Chris W

      As a person you would probably label as a part of the “high and mighty gun” crowd, I would agree putting a firearm in the hands of any person who cannot safely fire it is stupid. However, it has less to do with age (although yes, age does play a factor physical capability) and more to do with capability, responsibility, and familiarity with weapons.

      Similar to this story, it would be a poor decision to put a 12 year old with no experience on a sport bike (however a kid who learned technique and responsibility on a smaller dirt bike may very well be capable of riding a powerful bike by the age of 12).

      I have seen 12 year old kids in Bradford County handle firearms more responsibly than some of my comrades in the US Navy.

  • Fred

    Why would you even think of showing a 9 year old how to shoot a fully automatic weapon. It is guns like this that make it bad on people who go to shooting events. Shooting is a fun sport when the people don’t act like a-holes with there fully automatic guns. Only military and law enforcement shoul have access to these. They are not allowed at the clubs I belong to.

    • ajb

      They are not allowed at most ranges, meaning the range they were at was specially certified as well as the instructor. It didn’t seem like the child nor the instructor was acting like “a-holes” though? It’s a shame, but it was also an accident. Please don’t open the can of worms by saying only military and LEO’s should have any sort of firearm.. that’s nothing but ignorant. Very sad story though..

      • Fred

        I never said any kind of firearm. You do not need to own a fully automatic weapon to have fun and that girl should not have had one in her hand. You can’t hunt– go to a state range or most other clubs with one. Maybe a curb on these weapons would ease up on the ammo shortage and let the people who load there own ammo get supplies.

      • ajb

        So Fred you’re willing to limit your second amendment right so powder and primers somehow become more available?? You don’t need any sort of firearm to have fun, it’s not a matter of need or want.. it’s a matter of you, I, and every other American’s RIGHT.

  • JP

    Just want to say, I am progun, but I am saddened for both families in this terrible tragedy. This little girl will have to live with this for the rest of her life, and she shouldn’t have been put in that situation. My little girl is learning to shoot a bb gun and I am always there holding the forearm making sure it is pointing in a safe direction. When I feel she is mature enough we will move up to a 22, but at 5 I don’t see that happening soon. By the time she does, I hope she will already have a good sense of proper gun handling. This easily could have been prevented with just some common sense, no amount of laws will ever offset common sense.

    • Lloyd Schmucatelli

      You are correct in the sense that the inscructor had a lack of physical “control” of the firearm.
      This Uzi, on the other hand, is illegal to possess personally without major lisences. It’s the instructors fault. The 9 year old doesn’t have enough life experience, let alone gun experience to know any better. Anyone who can’t realize that is a total idiot.

      • Warløck

        Well, it looks like we’ve got at least ten idiots so far who don’t understand that.

        Fact is there’s nothing illegal about what happened here. Would additional laws have saved this guy’s life and spared this girl’s anguish?

  • Lloyd Schmucatelli

    I feel bad for the little girl and her family too. I hope they end up home schooling her, cuz now she’ll be ridiculed as being a murdered in school and maybe the rest of her life. It’s sad.

  • Lloyd Schmucatelli

    This ultimately is the responsibility of the instructor. He should’ve known the issues. I’ve been shooting guns my whole life and don’t know what to expect from a fully automatic Uzi. That’s a whole different animal. Not for a 9year old without MAJOR precautions. No anti-gun control argument here. Just a careless instructor and an unfortunate accident.

    • tom

      I do agree with you-I am not saying there should be no guns as it might appear in my first comment-but this type of gun is a weapon-made for killing.You are most likely responible-but there are so many kinds of guns and most are dangerous”weapons”made for killing,not sport.

  • Cindy

    Then they wonder what is wrong with this world that girl should of been nowhere near that gun what is wrong with her parents and the owner of the shooting range they are at fault here just sad a man lost his life because of some idiots ..

    • Lloyd Schmucatelli

      That guy lost his life for not properly doing his job. #1, she’s too little. #2, he at the very least should have had control of the firearm and just let her operate the trigger. Its a tragic event, but who do you think the idiots are?

  • Reuben

    Maybe, and I could just be crazy talking here, but maybe a 9 year old shouldn’t be handling a fully automatic Uzi to begin with. I learned to shoot at about that age but it was with a single shot bolt action 22 rifle. Make more sense? A tragedy for sure but could have been avoided with common sense.

    • Lauren

      Aside from the fact that such a young girl should not be handling such a gun, the instructor should have only put one bullet in the gun. If she shot the gun once with one bullet she would not risk a second or third bullet to be released due to recoil. I’m sure it wasn’t the first bullet that killed him since he was standing behind her. That being said, use your better judgement when allowing children to play with killing machines. I know my limits and refuse to shoot larger guns than I can handle.

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