By now I am sure you have all heard about the Terrible accident at the shooting range in Arizona. First, our thoughts and prayers go out to the both families. May the good Lord give them the strength to get through this ordeal.
Obviously, this was a preventable accident from all accounts. And there is more than enough blame to go around. The only blameless person involved is the 9 year old girl! Because she did not know any better and is physically not capable of handling that gun in full-auto mode. She should not have been put into that position in the first place. Even if her parents did not know better, the Range Safety Officer and the Instructor should have. Unfortunately, the instructor paid the ultimate price for his lack of judgement.
As an Instructor and a father I would never put my kids, or anyone else’s, in that situation. To me there is no acceptable justification for handing a brand new shooter a fully automatic firearm such as the Uzi. Any new shooter does not understand tigger control enough to handle a fully automatic firearm. Safe and controllable full-auto firing requires trigger control and the understanding of what the gun is going to do when you squeeze the trigger. Any full-auto firearm will try to climb as it is fired. Sorry, that’s just basic physics. That whole “For every action there is an equal and opposite reaction” thing. In order to fire and control the firearm so you hit the target, you must use short bursts (3 to 5 rounds at a time). In other words, pull the trigger and then let go. Sounds simple. And, in theory it is. But it takes trigger control, and that takes practice. The practice must be slow and controlled. One shot at a time. Not just pull the trigger and try to hold on. That is the wrong approach. It is a bad approach to training, and as this terrible accident shows, it is also a very unsafe practice.
For those out there who will use this accident to call for another round of gun control laws, I will say this: “our country does not need more gun laws”. What we do need, apparently, is a big dose of Common Sense! So accidents like this don’t happen anymore! Because Gun Control is about “hitting your target”.
This seems like a good time to review the late Col. Jeff Cooper’s 4 Universal Gun Safety Rules:
1. Treat all guns as though they are loaded!
2, Never point a gun at anything you are not willing to destroy!
3. Keep your finger off the trigger until your are on target and made the decision to shoot!
4. Always be sure of your target and what’s behind it!
These are the fundamental rules we should all be living by when it comes to firearms.
So stay safe out there in Cyberspace, and here in Reality, especially when you are around or handling firearms.