By now all gun owners have heard about the horrible tragedy of a 9 year old losing control of a fully automatic UZI and accidentally shooting her instructor in the head.
My opinion is that this accident should never have happened. No nine year old child should be allowed to fire a fully automatic weapon. Ever. To allow a small child to fire such a weapon is negligent. The issue is recoil.
With a shot, the gun barrel rises. With a single shot nonautoloader, the rising barrel isn’t an issue. With a fully automatic, a second shot is fired automatically driving the barrel higher. A third shot, more recoil and more upward movement to contend with. It’s basic physics and common sense.
There are many adults who can’t control a fully automatic 9mm or 5.56. Even the strongest guys can’t use a 7.62 mm NATO in full auto. This is why 3 shot bursts are taught to soldiers and police.
A few “shooters” don’t know this, but shooting isn’t just “fun” blasting off rounds. It’s about controlled fire. It’s about bullet placement. If you can’t control your shots, you’re not a shooter, just a wanna be.
Giving a small child a chance to blast off shots with a powerful SMG at some half-assed gun amusement park isn’t about responsible teaching of respect for firearms. It’s about entertainment. It’s about making a buck.
Here’s now to properly teach children about guns. Focus on safety. Get them a gun that fits them. Have responsible adult supervision. A Daisy Red Ryder is a good BB gun to start with.
A few instructors say they don’t have a problem with very young children firing a powerful weapon as long as an instructor holds the weapon. That’s wrong. If a child can’t hold a weapon on their own, it’s too damn big for them. If an adult must operate any of the controls, like the selector switch to go to full auto, the child doesn’t have the experience to use that gun.
When a gun is too large for a child, the child isn’t going to learn to shoot. They’ll just develop bad habits as they accommodate the oversized gun.
Once a child knows how to use the sights and can shoot with some degree of skill, the next weapon to introduce them to is a 22 LR. You can load it with CB caps. A better air rifle is another choice.
The best weapon is a single shot. This forces the child to think about each shot. With a semi-auto, Ruger 10/22 or other, many youngsters just want to pull the trigger. They’ll seldom become really good shots. Those taught with a single shot don’t get in the bad habit of raising the gun and just pulling the trigger.
The gun stock should be cut down to match the smaller size of the child. When the child has experience with a 22 LR, then more powerful weapons can be gradually introduced. If you’re using a SMG or even a semi auto for the first time, load two or thee shots to get a feel for what it’s like to have the barrel rise on you. An appropriate age for trying a full auto, in my opinion, maybe 16 years old or older.
If a gun starts rising, it’s natural to grip it tighter to get control. Learn to operate your trigger finder independently of your grip. Before the gun gets out of control, you must take your finger off the trigger while you grip it tightly.
If I were at a gun range allowing small children to use fully automatic military/police weapons, I’d leave and never return. Accidents like this harm the shooting community. When something like this happens, many parents who thought about introducing their children to firearms will adopt other sports. Many Americans who were on the fence about gun control issues will go over to the anti-gunners.