Monday, October 27, 2008

Death at a Gun Club

I was spending a little free time reading the Boston Globe. I was dismayed to read an article about an eight-year old boy dying at a gun club's machine gun shoot.

Evidently, an instructor and the boy's father let the boy fire a fully-automatic Uzi. Before anyone could react, the short-barreled gun's recoil forced it to climb and turn on the boy. A bullet struck him in the head.

The article linked above has, as of this post, 61 comments. All the commenters describe it as senseless. Several betray the ignorance of the commmenters who call for bans on all "assault weapons." Anti-gunners have been very effective in making sure full-auto and semi-auto guns are confused in people's minds.

Still, I must weigh in with an opinion, but it is just that. I was not there at the club and I don't know all the particulars. Given that, here it is: the boy should not have been allowed to fire the gun on full-auto unless its magazine had been loaded with no more than three rounds.

I have never fired a full-auto Uzi, but I have fired several automatic weapons including a Thompson, MP-5, and an AWD M/11 in 9mm. I know about muzzle climb and how to defeat it--trigger control.

The M/11 I fired has a very high rate of fire. It can climb and pivot toward you faster than you think. It comes with a little strap in the front to help you control it. If you fire it without the wire stock extended or the strap around your hand, or a suppressor to provide a forward grip (or all three), it could easily get away from you.

An eight-year old does not have the experience or trigger discipline to control a small subgun with a full magazine. The gun's owner, the instructor, the father, and the gun club made a mistake. Accidents happen, but we must take care to prevent them.

I am sorry for the family's loss and the trauma that all the participants and witnesses to this tragedy will suffer. Unfortunately, they have given the anti-gun people another terrible incident to exploit.

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