Bitter Irony

Here’s the facebook page of Charles Vacca, the range instructor who was killed by a 9 year old with an UZI that we mentioned earlier. Here are some of the pictures he posted to Facebook:

a fool and his gun2

a fool and his gun3

Manly men like guns. Fags don’t. And now, for the pièce de résistance:

a fool and his gun

Hard to argue with him since he went out and proved it. Looks like there is one less tea party member in Lake Havasu City.






273 replies
  1. 1
    Cacti says:

    Guns don’t kill people.

    But 9-year-olds with machine guns sometimes do.

  2. 2
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    I’m glad the vile sack of shit is dead.

  3. 3
    eemom says:

    Glad the asshole is dead, but as others have observed, it’s going to fuck up an innocent child.

    Wish these sick excuses for human beings would ALL die at the business end of their beloved pseudo-dick, fired by some other of their kind.

  4. 4
    Oriscus says:

    Should be ruled a suicide.

  5. 5
    Gemina13 says:

    My sympathy is for the 9-year-old girl who will have to live with this trauma for the rest of her life.

    As for him, he was the idiot who handed a child a semi-automatic that was too powerful for her. Uncle Chuck strikes again.

  6. 6
    Wag says:

    Guns don’t kill people, people kill people.

    With guns!

  7. 7
    scav says:

    Bitter? Maybe it’s like cilantro tasting like soap. Others are reporting it as sweet.

  8. 8
    Gozer says:

    “Gun Rights Today, Gun Rights Tomorrow, Gun Rights Forever”

    Nice to see him cribbing from one of the 20th century’s most famous segregationists.

    Fun fact: when George Wallace uttered that phrase during his inauguration he was standing at the exact spot where, 102 years earlier, Jeff Davis was sworn in as CSA President.

  9. 9
    Mike in NC says:

    Good riddance to another wingnut asshole.

  10. 10
    JCT says:

    Too dumb to live, simple as that.

    Sure glad the poor kid didn’t take anyone else out.

    So much for guns are your friends and everyone should have one.

  11. 11
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Wag: They always manage to somehow forget that part. The “with guns” part, that is.

    Curious, that.

  12. 12
    Princess says:

    Bitter irony would be if he had killed the poor kid. This is sweet irony.

  13. 13
    Violet says:

    @eemom: I blame the parents for putting her in that situation. Of course there will be no investigation by child protective services because They Have Suffered Enough Already.

  14. 14
    Kuda Bux says:

    You say “Bitter irony,” I say “Logical conclusion.” Potay-to, potah-to.

  15. 15
    SpotWeld says:

    This guy was big into guns. He must have heard about the CT incident where an 8 year old died while firing an Uzi. There’s just no way he didn’t.

    http://www.nbcnews.com/id/2739.....-gun-show/

    Despite this, he still saw no issue with giving the girl the gun.

    This is why the idea that as things stand now, the US has a “well regulated militia” fails.

  16. 16
    Suzanne says:

    I want to go deface this fucker’s grave: GUNS DON’T KILL PEOPLE…..OH, SHIT, DUDE. NEVER MIND.

  17. 17
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @Violet: I wonder if this was gonna be one of those Facebook posts, or god help us a Xmas card: “Little Molly got a souvenir on our vacation!”

  18. 18
    Violet says:

    @Suzanne: Hey there! How’s the new job?

  19. 19
    scav says:

    Somehow stuck on Cabeza de Vaccant as suitable nomenclature. It’s not like he was using it.

    oooooh, there will be whining about meanness . . .

  20. 20
    Gene108 says:

    How in for the fucking love of God is a place that hands Uzis to nine year olds allowed to operate!?!?

    There are race tracks in this country that will teach you how race car driver skills. They have cars that go really, really fast; faster than what most folks have ever driven.

    If one of g places let a nine year old drive a race car, let alone getting in an accident that killed someone, I’d hope the government and/or public outrage would shut it down.

    Some nine year olds, in AZ are probably not tall enough to go on so e roller coasters, but letting them handle Uzis is okay.

    There are a number of places that would be shutdown a heartbeat, if they let nine year olds into such dangerous situations, but Bullets and Burgers will stay in business like nothing fucking happened.

    I wonder, if they even closed, when Vacca was killed or if it was just one of those accidents that happen, like a waiter dropping some dishes that can be cleaned up as patrons continue to enjoy themselves.

  21. 21
    max says:

    Hard to argue with him since he went out and proved it.

    I dunno, that seems about the world’s best case of a gun killing someone because the shooter didn’t have any control over the goddamn thing.

    max
    [‘Thus: ‘accidental shooting’. It just ‘drifted’.’]

  22. 22
    Hal says:

    Well he likes cats, and had at least one post that seemed to support gay rights. Doesn’t like Obama or Dems, but I’ve seen worse Facebook posts from people in his political range.

  23. 23
    Suzanne says:

    @Violet: It is already SO much better. They actually TRAIN here. Like, I don’t know what to do with myself. When I started at my last place, my training consisted of: “So there’s your computer. Play with it for a bit.” I asked if it was okay to wear jeans on Fridays, and one of the partners looked at me blankly, and said, “You can wear whatever you want whenever you want.” They do really good work, are genuinely cool people, and don’t sweat the small, stupid stuff. And they pay way, WAY better. So far, so good. Thanks for asking! :)

  24. 24
    KS in MA says:

    @SpotWeld:

    In that sad incident (unless we’re thinking of two separate cases), the adult “supervisor” was the police chief a couple of towns over from me. The boy’s father was an ER doc. If you want to read about the entirely predictable verdict in that one, here it is (trigger alert).

    http://articles.courant.com/20.....man-s-club

  25. 25
    Mandalay says:

    Manly men like guns. Fags don’t.

    Yep, that’s one smear used against those who aren’t gun crazy – you must be a faggot! Another is that you must be a Nazi….

    In a startling charge delivered at an anti-Initiative 594 meeting last week at Silverdale, the National Rifle Association’s chief state lobbyist likened Washington’s campaign to close the gun show loophole to Nazi Germany.

    * Fag comparison? CHECK!
    * Nazi comparison? CHECK!
    * N-clang comparison? Still working on how to do it without getting arrested.

  26. 26
    Suzanne says:

    I hope the girl gets tried as a juvenile and her parents lose custody for being negligent. This shit needs to have consequences.

  27. 27
    Gene108 says:

    @Violet:

    I cannot fully blame the parents without more info.

    Bullets and Burgers seems to advertise its shooting range, like some places advertise rides and arcades. There’s a general assumption places like that are regulated to insure safety, if not by the government than by the company writing their commercial insurance policy.

    There is a real possibility, with most things being regulated, the parents were woefully ignorant that their daughter, the instructor or they themselves (am assuming they shot the video) would be in such a dangerous situation.

  28. 28
    a hip hop artist from Idaho (fka Bella Q) says:

    I guess his big brass balls (supplied by his skill with/affection for guns of course) didn’t save him. And now a kid will need years of therapy. I suspect, of course that her life would be somewhat fucked up in my view anyway, given that her parents thought this was a good idea for a fun time. So the irony is a bit bitter. Vacca walked the walk though – died as he lived, however unplanned it may have been.

  29. 29
    Violet says:

    @Gene108:

    I wonder, if they even closed, when Vacca was killed or if it was just one of those accidents that happen, like a waiter dropping some dishes that can be cleaned up as patrons continue to enjoy themselves.

    They updated their Facebook page today with something about “Rob from the UK Hammering Down!” Interestingly, that post is now gone. It’s still on their Twitter account with a link to the now missing Facebook post:

    Now that's hammering down!!!! Rob from the United Kingdom showing no fear when shooting the M2 "Ma Duce" .50 Cal… http://t.co/VV7FM0YN3i— Bullets and Burgers (@bulletsnburgers) August 26, 2014

    I wonder if “Rob from the UK” decided he didn’t want his picture associated with that place. Hmmm…

  30. 30
    Violet says:

    @Suzanne: That sounds awesome! Congratulations again on making the move. Sounds like a really good decision. And half days on Fridays, right?

  31. 31
    Mnemosyne says:

    @KS in MA:

    Here’s that phrase again:

    Explaining the state’s decision to charge Fleury and not Christopher’s father, emergency room Dr. Charles Bizilj, Bennett said, “I felt that the people that promoted this event, they were the people that were responsible. And again, I felt that the father had suffered enough.”

    Honestly, I can see why the gun range owner wasn’t convicted of manslaughter — they probably should have charged him with negligence (and possibly negligent homicide), plus illegally allowing minors to use machine guns. There was a whole range of stupid decisions that led to that result, including the father’s.

    And somebody said on the other thread that part of the problem here is that people assume that when there’s an event like that, it must be safe and legal because otherwise the government wouldn’t let them stay in business, right? But that’s not how it works anymore, especially in the land of the ammosexuals.

  32. 32
    max says:

    Mitt Romney might accidentally run for President!:

    Mitt Romney has insisted that he is not going to run for president again in 2016, but acknowledged on Tuesday that the situation could technically change. On Hugh Hewitt’s radio show, Romney reiterated that he is not going to run for president, according to audio recorded by Mediaite. Hewitt then pressed Romney, asking him if he would change his mind if “circumstances change.”

    max
    [‘”If ‘circumstances change'” == he’s not spending his own money this time.’]

  33. 33
    Suzanne says:

    @Violet: YES. Half-day Fridays. Hells yes.

  34. 34
    SpotWeld says:

    @KS in MA: Yeah, same incident. There are probably others, but this is the one that came to mind.

    When the 2nd amendment was written guns were tools and never novelties.

  35. 35
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @max: I can’t imagine he wants to disprove the White Horse fantasy, or the Mormon Kennedy fantasy, a third time. In fact I suspect he’s only so visible to keep the name out there for the sake of whatever Mittlet thinks he’s the Chosen.

  36. 36
    JustRuss says:

    @Gemina13: Not a semi-auto, it’s a gen-u-wine automatic weapon, that was set on full auto. In the hands of a frickin 9-year-old. If the guy weren’t dead he should be in jail, but that would require gun laws AND WE CAN’T HAVE THAT!

  37. 37
    Gene108 says:

    @Suzanne:

    Jailing the kid or causing the parents to lose custody, as a one time thing will not matter.

    Like seat belt laws, you need laws on the books about what will happen, if your kid accidentally shoots himself/herself or someone else, enforcement by the police and courts and most importantly the ability to persuade the public this is in their best interest.

    I do not think, given the rabid opposition to gun laws, that anything will ne possible. Couple the rabid opposition to gun laws, with the lukewarm enthusiasm for proponents of gun laws and you have a losing formula for sane gun laws.

    Bill Clinton passed the most comprehensive gun control measure, since 1968, but he nor Al Gore, in 2000, got any “liberal cred” for it.

  38. 38
    Violet says:

    @Gene108:

    I cannot fully blame the parents without more info.

    I can. If you decide you want your kid to learn how to shoot a gun then as a responsible parent you research the best way to do that so your kid will learn gun safety and other important aspects of how to handle guns in a responsible manner. If they have already done that then they would know their daughter was too small and young to handle that Uzi. If they haven’t done it then they are irresponsible in letting her start shooting there. Because there is no way that such research would return the result that the sideshow carnival place that is Bullets and Burgers is the best place for your nine year old to learn about guns.

    I don’t care what their advertising is like. It’s the parents’ responsibility to keep their kids safe. Turning kids loose to whatever place has the brightest lights and flashiest ads is not being a responsible parent.

  39. 39
    Violet says:

    @Suzanne: Awesome!

  40. 40
    Mandalay says:

    From the Bullets and Burgers web site:

    TripAdvisor Ranking
    #1of 575 attractions in Las Vegas

    And they are correct!

    We are so fucked.

  41. 41
    Suzanne says:

    @Gene108: It shouldn’t be a one-time thing. Every damn time this happens, the parents should lose custody and the kid should be tried as a juvenile. Consequences are how we got people to stop leaving their kids in hot cars.

  42. 42
    FridayNext says:

    @Violet:

    I blame the parents for putting her in that situation. Of course there will be no investigation by child protective services because They Have Suffered Enough Already

    Of course not. It’s not like her parents left her alone at a public playground. Now THAT would have been bad parenting to let loose the kraken of justice on their ass. This? Nothing to ruin some good white people’s day over.

  43. 43
    Mnemosyne says:

    I’m now wondering about the OSHA aspects of this. I know that Cal-OSHA would have had this place closed down in a New York minute, but I have no idea if that’s the case in Arizona Nevada.

    (Sorry, I keep getting confused about which side of the border this happened on.)

  44. 44
    Mandalay says:

    @Violet:

    Rob from the United Kingdom showing no fear when shooting the M2 “Ma Duce” .50 Cal

    All part of the absurd myth to be promoted: a man with a gun is fearless, just as a man who doesn’t like guns is a faggot.

    Testosterone is everything to a gun nut.

  45. 45
    scav says:

    @Mandalay: In a world of astroturfed insto-rage, fake twitter followers and big budget lobbyists, added to the self-propelled monomaniac ammosexuals? I’d trust that about as much as an AMZN rating or a poll in the sidefeed that is invisible.

  46. 46
    jonas says:

    Whatever happened to giving kids squirt guns, then maybe an air gun when they’re teenagers, and then taking them to the target range with a .22 when they’re 16 or something and working your way up to serious stuff (e.g. hunting rifle, shotgun, etc.) when they’ve shown they’re responsible? An UZI for a friggin’ nine year old? That’s a Darwin Award nominee if I’ve ever seen one.

  47. 47
    Violet says:

    @FridayNext: Yes, this is just a Sad Situation and a Freak Accident. No need to do anything to those poor, poor (white) parents who Never Imagined Anything Like This Could Happen when they let their nine-year-old shoot that Uzi. They Have Suffered Enough Already.

  48. 48
    a hip hop artist from Idaho (fka Bella Q) says:

    @Suzanne:

    Consequences are how we got people to stop leaving their kids in hot cars.

    Except we didn’t. And a 9 year old can’t be expected to have judgment adequate to make criminal charges against her appropriate. Parental responsibility enforcement – absolutely. At the least the issue of whether these parents are capable of child rearing is a question which should be raised but won’t be. Guns are sacred fetish objects in the US, and should be universally available; age is immaterial, you see.

    BTW, what a great new job you have! Many congratulations. I’m on the hunt as my chapter is being acquired. I’m negotiating for severance through 2014, and at this point have a commitment for pay through 9/30.

  49. 49
    El Caganer says:

    @Suzanne: What would you try the kid for? Doing something that the adults told her was A-OK? She should have told them, “I’m not shooting any fucking gun?” I’m aware that kids her age occasionally shoot somebody intentionally, but that didn’t happen here.

  50. 50
    Gene108 says:

    @Mandalay:

    Reviews at your link are interesting. Several Europeans and some first time people, who never shot, though boyfriend liked guns and wanted to go.

    Edit: Basically the reviews are for people without a lot of firearms experience or from places not soaked in guns like the USA.

  51. 51
    pseudonymous in nc says:

    Yep, #1 attraction in Vegas according to TripAdvisor, though I don’t think the “let your kid shoot the instructor” package is offered to everyone.

    “Go to bumfuck Nevada and shoot machine guns” is a really popular option for bachelor parties, especially European ones. I despair.

  52. 52
    Mandalay says:

    @Suzanne:

    Every damn time this happens, the parents should lose custody and the kid should be tried as a juvenile.

    WTF??? Tried for what?…

  53. 53
    Matt Smith says:

    I feel badly for the child who accidentally (but really because someone needed her to have experience with over-the-top weapons at age 9) killed someone. She’s gonna make some therapist a lot of money.

  54. 54
    Suzanne says:

    @Mandalay: Involuntary manslaughter?

  55. 55
    g says:

    Bet they had to sign a waiver before she started lessons. This could be a problem.

  56. 56
    jonas says:

    Judging by his facebook posts, I’m surprised the guy’s enormous dick didn’t simply deflect the bullets like a huge, kevlar-wrapped, cock-shaped shield of some kind.

  57. 57
    aimai says:

    @Suzanne: Tried for what? The child doesn’t have enough agency to choose the activity, let alone refuse it. If you want to argue that the parents are unfit then go ahead–but we are not cutting down on the epidemic of child deaths in hot cars by charging the dead children with suicide.

  58. 58
    The Dangerman says:

    Sad part of all this? Beyond the cadaver, I mean….

    …business at this place will go well up.

  59. 59
    Suzanne says:

    @a hip hop artist from Idaho (fka Bella Q): In reality, I would say that the kid could be convicted of involuntary manslaughter as a juvenile, and the only consequence would be some sort of safety training, essentially the guns version of traffic school.

  60. 60
    pseudonymous in nc says:

    @Gene108:

    Basically the reviews are for people without a lot of firearms experience or from places not soaked in guns like the USA.

    So, a bangstick brothel.

  61. 61
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    I’m not afraid of firearms.

    I respect them. Enough to not consider them toys.

    The “responsible” gun owner has no respect for these weapons. They think they ARE toys.

    Or compensation for small dicks. Or both.

  62. 62
    Gene108 says:

    Looking at what Bullets and Burgers website, the Uzi may have been one of the smaller guns they had available.

  63. 63
    InternetDragons says:

    It’s insane to suggest putting that 9 year old on trial. The adults, though – that’s a different story.

    I have been around guns my entire life. I’m a small woman, and even when I was in peak physical condition (actively involved in rock climbing, with very good upper body strength) there is no way on earth I’d consider picking up and firing a fully automatic weapon without very, very gradually working up to it.

    Sometimes you can sort of understand when people make stupid decisions. In this case, I have no idea what that instructor was thinking or how he could have rationalized the decision to put that weapon on automatic mode and have her fire it. Even in the brief video that’s popped up of the girl firing the weapon in single shot mode just prior to the accident, you can see how tentative and borderline out-of-control she is.

    The gun nuts will, as usual, be all over themselves to explain this away. It’s disgusting that we already have one idiot talking about how this could never have happened at HIS shooting range.

  64. 64
    Mandalay says:

    @Suzanne: You want to charge a nine year old girl with involuntary manslaughter???

    IANAL but I don’t think that is possible. At least I hope not.

  65. 65
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Gene108: Yeah, an M2 above.

    M2s are .50cal machine guns. Crew served weapons. Huge motherfuckers, mounted on vehicles, most often, but can be placed on a tripod on the ground. Normally has a crew of three for that, because it’s too fucking heavy to hump around and fire by one soldier.

  66. 66
    Ruckus says:

    @SpotWeld:
    They were also one shot muzzle loaded black powder, wad and shot weapons. No auto, semi-auto, clip loaded, 30 rd mags, night scopes, blah, blah, blah. A fast loader could get off maybe 4-5 shots a minute. A normal person maybe 2, possibly 3.

  67. 67
    jonas says:

    @Suzanne: That’s completely ridiculous. The kid obviously had no idea what she was doing — the parents and the business here are 100% responsible for putting her in a deadly situation.

  68. 68
    jonas says:

    @Mandalay: Well….maybe in Texas

  69. 69
    randy khan says:

    You know, I take no joy from this at all. The guy who died almost certainly was negligent, but that doesn’t mean he deserved it. The girl is going to have a terrible time in her life for many years, if not forever. Her parents – even considering the awful decision they made to let her shoot the gun – are going to have a hard time, too. There is nothing at all good here, and even if I did think that the instructor got what was coming to him, it wouldn’t be worth the trauma to the girl.

    (And, no, the state can’t and shouldn’t charge her with anything, even as a juvenile, if the description of what happened is remotely right. Any negligence was on the part of others, not her. She was put in a situation where bad things were likely to happen by people who should have known better.)

  70. 70
    pseudonymous in nc says:

    Actually, the top two TripAdvisor attractions for Vegas are gun ranges. Joy of joys. Though I wonder if they lean on customers to post reviews…

  71. 71
    Violet says:

    Every time a gun is fired and someone gets hurt or killed the gun owner should be charged. I don’t care if the gun was picked up by a toddler and he killed his five year old brother. I don’t care if the teenager picked the lock on the gun safe. No matter what the gun owner should be charged.

    If the laws were to change just that little bit then things might begin to shift. It’s the MADD model. Make the people responsible for drunk driving pay. In the case of guns, make the gun owner pay. No one’s saying they can’t own a gun. They can own all sorts of guns. They just have to be responsible with them. When they’re not, make them pay.

  72. 72
    Suzanne says:

    @Mandalay: I want the kid to be forced to hear about the horrible consequences of very bad judgment, as well as what good judgment would be, which she obviously was not hearing at home or from the adults around her. I don’t want her to be thrown in prison or on probation, but I do think some degree of discipline is called for.

    At my kid’s middle school, the students all have to sit through a certain degree of “character education”, which is basically how to not be a raving asshole. Because a large portion of the student body is not getting that at home. If they’re not going to get it at home, they have to hear it somewhere.

  73. 73
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Violet: This comment by Violet contains the reference to the M2.

    I will confess, it is something of a rush to fire one of these. They are big, awesome weapons. They were mounted on bombers such as the B17, B24, B25, and B29 to fire at fighters attacking the bombers. John would be familiar with them, much more than I, because one was mounted on his tank in the Gulf.

  74. 74
    Suffern ACE says:

    @pseudonymous in nc: 4 of the top 20. Vegas was better when it wasn’t so family friendly. Bring back gamblers, brothels and showgirls.

  75. 75
    karen says:

    And they say there is no G-d.

  76. 76
    InternetDragons says:

    @Suzanne:

    What is wrong with you? That 9 year old was supposed to be guided and protected by the adults around her, all of whom failed miserably, and now she is going to live out “the consequences of very bad judgement” on their parts. But it’s mostly going to be pinned on her.

    Your silly “character education” curriculum has nothing to do with the hell this kid is now going to be in for the rest of her life.

    I have a great idea. Let’s take the kids of drug addicts and put them on trial, too. And the kids of child abusers. Because the victims always have to bear at least some responsibility, right? Otherwise, those 6- and 7- and 9 year olds would have by gods had the backbone to DO THE RIGHT THING. Worthless little wimps.

  77. 77
    jibeaux says:

    My daughter is nine. She likes to chop the carrots with a little paring knife. I watch carefully because she tends to confuse which side is the blade. That is as daring as it gets in Casa jibeaux. What the hell is wrong with people is all I can say about that. Also, the #1 attraction in Vegas should be Lotus of Siam restaurant.

  78. 78
    pseudonymous in nc says:

    @Villago Delenda Est:

    I will confess, it is something of a rush to fire one of these. They are big, awesome weapons.

    I’m sure it’s something of a rush to land a Boeing Dreamliner, but I wouldn’t put a 9 year-old in the cockpit.

    (Not a personal dig: you know what I mean here.)

  79. 79
    Violet says:

    I saw a video attached to an article about this shooting and in the video the guy who was killed in standing next to a young girl shooting a gun apparently at their gun range. Is that this girl? And if so, WTF? Did the parents post that? The shooting place? WTF? Who does that and why? After this poor girl shoots and kills the guy? WTF?

  80. 80
    pseudonymous in nc says:

    @Suffern ACE:

    4 of the top 20. Vegas was better when it wasn’t so family friendly.

    Mainly because it’s cheaper and easier for people to fly into Vegas, and they all now know about the machine gun ranges — and want to do it more than seeing Celine Dion at the Celine Dion Theatre. Easy to set up, ka-ching ka-ching, it’s the American way.

  81. 81
    Citizen_X says:

    Shorter Charles Vacca: WOLVERINES!!! Rat-a-tat-tat.

  82. 82
    wasabi gasp says:

    Missed this one.

  83. 83
    Eric U. says:

    @Mandalay: I’m afraid of guns, particularly when they are being held by stupid people, which seems to be increasingly the case. I like to shoot, but I have never chosen to do so since I was in the Boy Scouts. The Air Force got that out of my system. It was mildly amusing the first time I got to go to the range until the moron next to me pointed his .38 at my head. After that, I just shot the remaining rounds I had in the general direction of the target and left. I swear the same moron was aiming at my target by mistake because there were more holes in it than there should have been

  84. 84
    trollhattan says:

    @Violet: Yup.

  85. 85
    Suzanne says:

    @InternetDragons: The children of drug abusers are not using drugs themselves. The children of child abusers are not abusing others. This girl killed someone, and she at least needs to hear from a responsible adult how the only thing a kid should ever do around a gun is put it down and walk away. It is not her fault that her parents are complete and total failures, but she still needs to get some guidance ASAP.

  86. 86
    Hypatia says:

    Charles Vacca is from Greenville, SC. I wonder if he knows George Tierney, Jr of Greenville, SC?

  87. 87
    Violet says:

    @pseudonymous in nc: It reminds me of places like Dig This (also in Vegas) where you can operate heavy machinery like bulldozers. It’s a theme park type place where you get to do things you’d never get to do at home–operate heavy equipment, shoot guns, whatever. People do that sort of thing on vacations all the time–whitewater rafting, mountain climbing, hot air balloon rides, whatever. Most of those things have an element of danger. But usually you can’t kill someone else if things go wrong.

  88. 88
    karen marie says:

    @Suzanne: It would seem that the kid has direct experience of the consequences of her parents’ and the dead guy’s bad judgment. I am stunned at the victim blaming here. She’s nine years old. She did not drive to a gun range, grab a weapon out of someone’s hands and pull the trigger.

  89. 89
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @pseudonymous in nc: Oh, I quite agree with you.

    The other thing with a .50 cal is before you fire it, you’re warned about recoil and drift and all those other things. Which apparently the 9 year old with the Uzi was not, and if the “instructor” had been a professional, he would have been prepared for recoil and lack of control by a 9 year old. But he was first and foremost, it seems, a gun nut. An ammosexual.

  90. 90
    Ruckus says:

    @InternetDragons:
    Just as an aside in all of this. In the navy, at least the several centuries ago when I was in, you had to qualify with all the weapons you are entrusted with. That consisted of the ship being several miles off shore and everyone who had to qualify would go to the back of the ship(the flat end, as opposed to the pointy end) and one at a time you were handed the appropriate weapon and 2 loaded clips. Insert the clip fire in the opposite direction of the travel of the ship, hit the water, rinse/repeat, done. Hand the unloaded weapon back to the gunners mate. A couple of the gunners mates had to fire the BAR. Which stands for Browning Automatic Rifle. It fires 30-06 rounds, which is pretty powerful, with a 20 round clip, at the rate of 600 rounds per minute. It can be fired from the shoulder. First guy fires off an entire clip without much movement. Second guy pulls the trigger and before he can get his finger off he has rotated 90 degrees, and lost all the color in his body. The approximately 40+ people there hit the deck. I think I was down before the 5th round left the barrel. Not knowing how to handle a weapon is one of the most dangerous things in modern life. Handing an Uzi to a child should be criminal negligence. I’ve handled lots of guns been around them, hunted with them, have had 4 times in civilian life when as little as an inch difference in my position would have killed me. I know how to handle guns. More importantly I know that most people don’t have a fucking clue. I could care less about having a gun and I’d love it if we could figure out a way to not have them everywhere, especially in the hands of fucking morons. They do absolutely nothing to make us safer. Just to be clear, that’s absolutely nothing to make us safer. Part of that is that an awful lot of the people with an interest in guns are exactly the ones who shouldn’t even be allowed to play with themselves, let alone a deadly weapon.

  91. 91
    Suzanne says:

    @karen marie: I don’t think it’s victim-blaming to assert that a kid who exhibited some poor judgment, because she was surrounded by adults who have poor judgment, might need to hear from another adult what good judgment looks like. YMMV.

  92. 92
    CaseyL says:

    @Suzanne: Oh, that sounds like a great place to work. Congrats on landing a terrific job!

    But I disagree with you on consequences for the 9-year old. Even if she was eager to get her hands on the damn Uzi, she is far too young to understand probabilities and consequences of handling that kind of weapon. Her parents, on the other hand, should be horsewhipped. And the “instructor”… well, he’s already paid the price for being an idiot.

  93. 93
    pseudonymous in nc says:

    @Ruckus:

    one at a time you were handed the appropriate weapon and 2 loaded clips.

    You said “clip”, therefore anything you say about guns is heresy. [/NRA]

    Anyway, it’ll be a good test of whatever legal boilerplate disclaimer form got signed.

  94. 94
    Shortstop says:

    I note that Mr. Vacca was originally from Greenville, SC. I wonder if he knew George Tierney Jr.?

  95. 95
    Enhanced Voting Techniques says:

    And this clown who equated firearms to penises was a range instructor? God lord.

  96. 96
    Suzanne says:

    @CaseyL: My elder Spawn is ten, and I try to use incidents where she displays poor judgment or planning or foresight as “teachable moments”. I would hope that someone would do the same for this kid, but it sounds like her parents are Teh Suxxors.

    The thing is, everyone is saying that this kid will be haunted by this for the rest of her life. To an extent, I hope that is true, because that would show that she understands the gravity of the situation and has empathy. However, I don’t think every kid would be so affected, especially if their parents raised them to be shitty. Some kids torture animals and beat smaller kids and they do it because their parents never talked to them about being good people. But because her parents sucked enough to PUT AN UZI IN HER HANDS, I am not optimistic that the rest of her parenting has been any good, either. So I think that it’s not unreasonable to think that she might need a large dose of good parenting in order to get her life on track.

  97. 97
    Ruckus says:

    @CaseyL:
    I tend to agree with everyone that the child is too young to be held responsible. But at what age is it appropriate to have the conversation that Suzanne is suggesting? 12? 16? In this case it looks like 9 to me. So, how else do we go about having this conversation? The parents seemingly haven’t had it, it sure looks like the child hasn’t had it. And should have. We have an awful lot of kids around that are smart as can be believed. Smarter and well adjusted even. A lot of them aren’t. And they aren’t getting this at home. How do we turn around the idea that we have total independence/freedom as americans, without any idea of the responsibility it takes to live with the rest of us without killing someone if not at least to have that conversation? Would the appropriate time to have had it with this child been before the gun range? I think so. But that didn’t happen. So when?

  98. 98
    MoeLarryAndJesus says:

    Semi-automatic karma.

    Can’t say I think the world has been diminished here.

  99. 99
    Ruckus says:

    @pseudonymous in nc:
    I used the word clip because that’s the word we used in the navy. We also used the word magazine if we were being pedantic. But clip was most used. Of course I walked on the floor, went through doors, which were mounted in walls, and called the side of the ship left and right and went towards the pointy or flat end using the hallways and stairs. Look up those terms in the navy. We did that because it pissed off the lifers.
    ETA Also in the navy a magazine is usually a room(compartment) where ammo is stored. Small arms magazine, missile magazine, etc. A clip was what the ammo was placed in to load into a small arm, pistol, rifle, etc.

  100. 100
    moderateindy says:

    The only one that can stop a bad 9 year old girl with an Uzi, is a good 9 year old girl with an Uzi.

  101. 101
    kc says:

    The gloating over the guy’s death is a bit unseemly.

    There’s a video at the Arizona Republic website. It’s cut off right after the girl loses control of the gun. It doesn’t show the guy being hit, thank goodness, bit it’s still horrifying. He’s standing RIGHT beside her. She’ll have nightmares for the rest of her life.

  102. 102
    aimai says:

    @Suzanne: This is fucking insane and you should be ashamed of yourself for saying it once, let alone repeating it. This is just a shockingly stupid and insensitive thing to say and goes under the heading of totally useless and even abusive advice. This kid is going to be in therapy for years over this. She will be under no illusions about guns and doesn’t need a lecture about them. The parents should be charged and the range shut down–no children should be permitted to fire guns at all with or without permission. But that is a separate issue.

  103. 103
    aimai says:

    @Ruckus: I just don’t get this line of argument. Parents who are pro gun are actively discouraging this kind of conversation–the NRA and ALEC have literally prevented doctors from even discussing this with their patient’s parents. Why you think that government, or liberals, or teachers or anyone else is going to be authorized to speak to children over the objections of their parents and their right wing communities is beyond me. This is one of the most fraught areas of the politicization of everything in this country–the right wing has been nuts on the subject of outsiders interfereing with religion/education/gun rights etc… for decades.

  104. 104
    Citizen_X says:

    @Ruckus: I think you know this, but for something like a BAR, or an M60, it’s not so much a matter of “not knowing how to handle a weapon,” it’s simply not having enough body mass. Something InternetDragons alludes to above. I’ve fired a 30-06, and I don’t want to even think about firing off 20 rounds in 2 seconds. Don’t they usually pick the big guy in a squad to carry the M60 or similar weapons?

    A real-life example: the favorite weapon of Clyde Barrow, of Bonnie and Clyde fame, was a BAR, and he was a big man.

  105. 105
    JCT says:

    @kc: Notice how tiny she is? How is she supposed to control a fully auto UZI?

    I remain awestruck by the profound stupidity exhibited by every adult involved with this horrible story.

  106. 106
    Suzanne says:

    @aimai: I’m not ashamed. I think taking a human life is a really, really, REALLY big deal.

    It’s not like there is a glaring, bright line between Adult Who Is Totally Responsible For Every Action They Take and Child Who Is Completely Blameless. There are developmentally-appropriate ways to talk to kids about things like this, and the girl, for her own good, needs to hear them.

  107. 107
    kc says:

    @JCT:

    Yep. There oughta be a law . . . but I realize that’s never gonna happen.

  108. 108
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Suzanne:

    Frankly, what you’re talking about is getting the kid some good therapy even if it’s over her parents’ objections, which I think everyone here agrees she’s going to need a lot of in the future.

  109. 109
    Origuy says:

    The website for this place says “Minimum age – 8 years. Age 8 – 17 must be accompanied by parent or legal guardian at all times.” So the parents should have been standing there when the little girl was handed an automatic weapon. She must have trusted them to keep her from doing anything wrong. Why should she be punished?

  110. 110
    Suzanne says:

    @aimai: That is EXACTLY why I think the girl needs some court-ordered safety classes, and certainly also some court-ordered therapy—because she didn’t hear that message from any of the adults involved in her life so far.

  111. 111
    Citizen_X says:

    @kc:

    The gloating over the guy’s death is a bit unseemly.

    Sorry, but no. After the kid in Massachusetts got killed shooting an Uzi, he needs to be told this is a bad idea? He’s still handing little kids automatic weapons? Fuck him. He’s lucky she didn’t kill herself.

    Fucker deserves to be dug up, re-animated, and shot again. Gloating over that will start to approach unseemly.

  112. 112
    GxB says:

    @Suzanne: Sorry if I missed it Suzanne, but do you think there should be charges on the parents? I can’t say I totally agree with you but I kind of get what you’re angling at – I don’t doubt her parents are yahoos – sort of a “scared straight” thing?

  113. 113
    kc says:

    @Citizen_X:

    Fucker deserves to be dug up, re-animated, and shot again

    And I thought the NRA fans were the bloodthirsty ones.

  114. 114
    Suzanne says:

    @Origuy: I don’t think getting her age-appropriate safety training and therapy is punishment. I was exceedingly clear that I didn’t think that jail or probation was appropriate.

    I think having parents that would hand you an Uzi is punishment.

  115. 115
    Suzanne says:

    @GxB: Yes, I think her parents should go to jail for criminal negligence and child abuse, and should certainly lose custody.

  116. 116
    karen marie says:

    @Suzanne: I am glad she won’t be getting any lecture from you. Wow.

  117. 117
    kc says:

    @Suzanne:

    “Safety training?”

  118. 118
    Mike J says:

    @GxB: It certainly seems like somebody should be held responsible. This was as accidental as chugging a fifth of gin and going for a drive.

  119. 119
    kc says:

    Nobody’s getting criminally charged with shit, people. Apparently there’s no law against letting a kid shoot a fully automatic weapon. And it’s Arizona.

    Forget about it.

  120. 120
    Ruckus says:

    @aimai:
    I know this.
    What I’m saying is how do we make so that we can hear of fewer of these kinds of stories? Over time I had this conversation with my parents, and I’m betting you and most of us did as well. From what I’ve seen and heard these days many, many kids never get anything like a discussion of responsibility. There were a few in the military who didn’t get it until they got in the military. And for some of those it still didn’t sink in at all. But at least a good portion heard it and had a modicum of understanding of it. Some still do but I feel that many more do not. Which would be OK in the wild, wild west but sucks in a modern, much more heavily populated society.
    Let’s take guns for example. In the late 18th century guns were single shot muzzle loaded long guns and pistols. Pretty inaccurate, slow to load, reasonably difficult to do a lot of damage with except that medicine was pretty barbaric as well. Well now in the 21st century we have automatic, semi-automatic, 30 or more round magazines and we have lots of them. We kill about as many people with guns in the US as we do with cars, but not nearly as many people have guns or use them most every day. We control how we drive(sort of anyway), we have licenses, if we are horrible there is a chance we will have to pay for that. How do we account that a 1 1/2 ton (or maybe much more) iron box with wheels can be used by the majority of people nearly every day with somewhat reasonable safety, while a small killing tool which most of us have no use for, has little to no responsibility for it’s use and for which most of the people who have them, drool over them, fondle them, would marry them if allowed, kills the same approximate number? How and when do we at least have that conversation? Never? I’d say I don’t care about the NRA or conservatives if it wasn’t that these assholes cause the most problems and never want to take responsibility. Do we just give up?

  121. 121
    Citizen_X says:

    @kc: (Note: one of those steps is impossible.) :-P

  122. 122
    Suzanne says:

    @kc: Yes, like, “if you ever see a gun, PUT IT DOWN AND WALK AWAY”. I got classes and counseling on gang activity and drugs in junior high school. Most kids learn the basics of fire safety. In school I actually got taught firearm safety at Girl Scout camp, with girls younger than this girl.

  123. 123
    kc says:

    So anyway, Bullets and Burgers has a bachelorette party package. And a sniper package. Looks awesome.

    I’ll bet that place is making money hand over fist. Maybe I should open one in SC.

  124. 124
    trollhattan says:

    @Citizen_X:
    But why bicker about who shot who? This is supposed to be a happy occasion.

  125. 125
    GxB says:

    @Suzanne: No argument there – don’t think it will happen though, the right to bear…. shalt not be infringed in this looney bin.

    As a more general comment, someone needs to save this guy’s page along with a short explanation, commit it to paper, and pull it out every time another rabid knuckle-dragger starts in. It won’t do a damn bit of good to argue, just sadly sigh and let the facts speak for themselves. Still ineffectual, but it’ll save some wasted words and possibly heart strain due to BP spikes.

  126. 126
    balconesfault says:

    When I was 8 or 9, my dad was in charge of training at an Army Base outside town. I used to hang out with him there during the summer – even had my own fatigues, etc. All summer I’d wanted to fire live rounds on the range (I’d actually fired blanks often), so my dad finally relented. He had me down in a prone position with the range rifle, and he had one of his staff sergeants lie on top of me holding the rifle on my shoulder, and he let me fire a few shots downrange in this position. I remember my shoulder hurt for a week. My dad would have as soon let me lie on my own with the rifle … much less try to fire it in a standing position … as he’d have handed me a live hand grenade with the pin pulled and asked me to hold onto it for a few minutes.

    Since then, I shot 22’s plenty of times on Boy Scout ranges, and have shot skeet with a shotgun. Never felt the need to go gun fetishist. Have to think that has some relation to the fact my dad taught me they were something to respect, but not to idolize.

  127. 127
    Ruckus says:

    @Citizen_X:
    Body mass makes it easier. Proper usage makes it work. Both of those gunners mates were not huge people. And yes I’ve fired a 30-06 and it has a kick and I sure wouldn’t want to fire off a 20 round clip, full auto. But I have fired off 12ga magnum shotguns, both pump and semi auto, rapid fire from the shoulder and you can properly control the weapon if you know what to expect. But if you don’t you will never hit anything you are aiming at. I’ve also seen Thompson sub machine guns fired off the back end of the same ship and while the recoil is less the gun is harder to use because it climbs and rotates to the left and rises as it is fired, unless you know exactly how to control it.
    Notice that control is the keyword in all usages of a projectile weapon.

  128. 128
    trollhattan says:

    @GxB:
    “He died doing what he loved” resonates better after a failed Everest attempt, but defending the holy 2nd must be a close…uh second.

  129. 129
    kc says:

    @Suzanne:

    I guess that would teach her to be more careful the next time her parents take her to shoot a machine gun.

  130. 130
    Violet says:

    @trollhattan: That he was killed by a 9-year-old girl kind of undercuts his ammosexual bravado.

  131. 131
    balconesfault says:

    @Ruckus:

    Let’s take guns for example. In the late 18th century guns were single shot muzzle loaded long guns and pistols.

    Or as I often make the point – we have guys walking around today armed in such a way they could have won the Battle of Concord single-handedly.

    Which is one reason that while I’m appalled at the militarization of our police forces – I’m not surprised. Thanks to our gun laws the cops never really do know when they might be facing a barrage of lethal fire equivalent to what a platoon in Afghanistan might lay down to when Taliban forces are firing in on their position.

  132. 132
    Violet says:

    I still want to know who posted that video of her. Her parents? The ammosexual brothel? Who?

  133. 133
    Suzanne says:

    @kc: This is Arizona. She’ll be around another gun in no time.

    One in three drivers in this shithole has a gun in their car. I am of the opinion that all kids, and out here especially, need to learn gun safety. Same principle as teaching them to swim, even though I don’t have a pool. Because pools are everywhere.

  134. 134
    SatanicPanic says:

    I’ve said it before, I’ll say it again, if no one gets prosecuted in these accidents, people will start finding ways to make “accidents” happen to people they don’t like.

  135. 135
    GxB says:

    @Mike J: I’d think so too – but we’re talking guns in America here, all bets are off. Let’s just say I won’t surprised of this being ruled a “blameless unfortunate accident” no matter the circumstances. We can’t hurt the poor defenseless guns… guns never hurt anyone…

    I had a good idea Suzanne is POed at the parents, just didn’t catch what she thought would be just.

  136. 136
    Ruckus says:

    @aimai:
    Shorter than my answer at 120.
    How do we move forward? How do we gain any idea of responsibility towards each other and the society that we live in? I know of several people who have no idea what that means, for everything in their lives is about them. For many it will be that way for their entire lives, unless someone is able to force some lesson on them that will get through their thick heads. But what about the rest of us? Shouldn’t we be able to have a society that at least most of us can live in without such a large percentage of irresponsible people? Or is this just a pipe dream? A wish upon a star thing. OK I’ll say it for you, complete bullshit.

  137. 137
    kc says:

    @Violet:

    I gather from one news story that it went from parents’ cell phone to Sheriff’s Dept to news site.

  138. 138
    kc says:

    @SatanicPanic:

    No need to go to all the trouble of making look like an accident, when you can just shoot your target and then assert you were standing your ground.

  139. 139
    GxB says:

    @trollhattan: To which I’d probably say “Well, at least he died with his balls intact.. Other, apparently, less useful parts maybe missing so ‘win’ I guess…”

    @Violet: Yeah, that’s what I’m driving at – thank you.

  140. 140
    trollhattan says:

    @SatanicPanic:
    No details yet, but an arrest was made for this, so perhaps.
    http://blogs.seattletimes.com/.....noqualmie/

    In many states, including Nevada, gun deaths now exceed motor vehicle deaths. We’ve worked tirelessly to reduce car deaths and do nothing about gun deaths. Is that okay?

  141. 141
    Suzanne says:

    @Violet: “ammosexual brothel” = WIN

  142. 142
    Violet says:

    @Ruckus: You don’t go after the guns. Stop agitating for regulating gun sales. It gets nowhere and just riles up the owners and NRA to push for even more lax laws. “See! They’re coming for our guns!” I’d sure like to but it’s not an effective strategy.

    You target the behavior. You can have all the guns you want but if one of your guns is used in a way that hurts someone or even property you pay big time. That’s the “responsible” part of “responsible gun owner” is. Make them pay for their fuckups, even if it’s a teenager picking the lock to the gun safe. Should have had a better gun safe.

  143. 143
    West of the Cascades says:

    I don’t like to post just to echo the second comment on a thread, but I am really glad this guy is dead. I am sorry for the girl who has to live with it, but I hope she’s resilient enough and gets enough counseling to realize that she did nothing wrong.

  144. 144
    SatanicPanic says:

    @trollhattan: I guess Washington wants to avoid “accidents”. If only the rest of the nation followed their lead.

  145. 145
    Ruckus says:

    @Violet:
    Personally I think in the end we will have to do both. But I agree and was the point I’ve been making, we seemingly have gotten to a point where responsibility is just a silly word. Financial sector, zip, zero nada. Use of lethal force, cops or otherwise, very close to zip, zero, nada, well unless you are black, in which case with little to no use of any force, full penalty up to and including death by cop. As I’ve asked before, is it really worse now? I think it is. There are more of us, there is less room, somehow we have to learn to live, if not in harmony, at least in a tactful peace. I don’t know how to do that, I do know that some think restrictive religion is the answer, but really that is just violence spelled differently and aimed at anyone who is an other.

    I’m not looking for a pony here. I understand that there will always be assholes who either don’t want to get along or want everyone to get along with them. I’d just like to see the asshole quotient get a little smaller and a little less powerful.

  146. 146
    Digital Amish says:

    A nine year old still has the right to spray automatic weapons fire. The tree of liberty has been watered with the blood of a patriot. Well played, Mr. Vacca

  147. 147
    Mandalay says:

    @Ruckus:

    Use of lethal force, cops or otherwise, very close to zip, zero, nada

    There is a very depressing OpEd in the NYT today detailing how SCOTUS is instrumental in protecting bad cops.

    How to improve the situation? Load up Congress and the courts – especially SCOTUS – with people who view things differently. But that is easier said than done. Even if Democrats controlled all branches of government they still wouldn’t increase responsibility, accountability or culpability for cops or gun owners or Wall Street.

    Why would that be so? Just look at their track record.

  148. 148
    VividBlueDotty says:

    @Suzanne: So if a 9 year old gets on a roller coaster and due to being small gets knocked around and accidentally dislodges the safety bar, falls out and is crippled but not dead, the child should be lectured about roller coaster safety?!? This seems to be analogous to what you are saying. Admittedly, this girl will be emotionally crippled instead of physically, but I think the child’s “agency” in both situations is the same…ZERO.

    Furthermore, I think gun safety training for this child would be the opposite of helpful and would more likely be traumatic. I expect that if she ever picks up a gun again in her life it will be to take her own life. She is going to be seriously messed up and in need of THERAPY, not safety training.

    Furthermore, you seem to be saying her training should include the idea that she, at nine years old, should actively distrust the decisions her parents make for her. Despite the fact that they clearly made a poor decision here (or uninformed at the very least), I’m afraid if THAT point hit home, she would be even worse off.

  149. 149
    Gene108 says:

    @VividBlueDotty:

    If an amusement park did not have safety requirements regarding the size of people, who can safely ride roller coasters I would hope the government (state , local or federal) would shut them down.

    @Violet:

    If you see what is happening with SYG laws and reducing the requirements of getting CCW permits, the gun lobby is moving government to impose lighter penalties for gun usage, ie shooting people.

    Attempting to do anything about guns, other than allow gun owners to do whatever they, whenever they want, wherever they want will be deemed an attempt at outright gun confiscation.

    There is no possibility of reasoning with the gun lobby anymore. They have set up a situation, where it is either going to be their worst nightmare or gun laws keep getting eroded.

    There is no way to compromise with them anymore.

  150. 150
  151. 151
    TriassicSands says:

    I had zero feelings of sadness when I read this (from another source). Taking a nine-year-old child to a weapons range is obscene and unforgiveable. Putting an Uzi in the hands of a child is so appalling there are no words to describe it.

    Hard to argue with him since he went out and proved it.

    Of course, he proved exactly the opposite. The little girl didn’t kill him — the Uzi did, since the recoil made her lose control.

    I don’t know when I’ve felt less charitable toward people — it might have been a good thing if the parents had been in the line of fire too. Then, maybe, the little girl could be adopted by parents (or a parent) willing to raise the child in a sane and responsible way.

    The real victim here is the little girl. She still has the same idiots for parents and who knows what kind of psychological damage this will do to her. If she’s anything like her parents, probably none — she’ll shrug it off as no big deal.

  152. 152
    InternetDragons says:

    Gee, Suzanne, you are certainly an inspiration. Because surely you are the only one here who thinks that taking a life is a “really big deal”. Thanks so much for reminding me of that, because without your guidance I would never have realized it. It’s equally inspiring that you now want to provide your self-righteous lectures to that devastated 9 year old and call it “good parenting”. You are truly vile, but like most narcissists you’ll never see how toxic you are.

    Ruckus – I hear what you are saying, but after an incident like this, the issue of who should or shouldn’t have conversations with a child about gun safety and what those conversations should consist of is moot. The adults around her have, thanks to their utter lack of judgment, created such a cataclysmic event in this child’s existence that all that matters now is trying to reconstitute her life. These conversations are still important for most kids, but for the ones whose parents have abdicated their responsibility and caused grievous damage to the child as a result, basic healing has to take place first.

    I don’t think folks are less inclined these days to have conversations about responsibility with the kids they are in contact with as parents or teachers or mentors…but there are cultural and political influences running at such high volume that some of the fundamentally important stuff is easily drowned out. So all we can do is make sure we are available to the kids through whatever roles we play in their lives, keep highlighting that fundamental stuff, and try to make some changes in a society that has somehow come to believe that children firing Uzis is a great summer vacation activity. I know this sounds lame, but it’s all I’ve got at the moment.

  153. 153
    TriassicSands says:

    @kc:

    Maybe I should open one in SC.

    I think I have a better idea — get the heck out of SC.

  154. 154
    PurpleGirl says:

    I haven’t kept thinking about this incident but the thought occurred to me that the parents thought it would be “cute” to take pictures of the child holding and shooting the Uzi. You know, like many of our parents took pictures of us as babies holding a bottle of beer or naked on a bear-skin rug. Well, today’s version of those pictures is taking a video with your cell phone. It’s something they probably couldn’t do at home, but on vacation in a place that has the gun that could be used… well, why not.

  155. 155
    Elizabelle says:

    Bullets and Burgers? Jeez, that sounds like a parody business from The Simpsons marathon.

    Guy’s Facebook page makes him look like a jerk. Video of him “instructing” the 9-year old in his last moments of life — he sounds so friendly and happy and enthusiastic.

    And his enthusiasm for placing weapons in the hands of those who could not handle them took him off this mortal coil.

    “Ammosexual brothel.” Perfect.

  156. 156
    Chris says:

    @Cacti:

    Guns don’t kill people.

    If nothing else, you would think incidents like this would give pause to that tired fucking cliche. Unless the NRA’s contention is that the nine-year old MEANT to shoot the guy in the face, then it would seem that guns, and not just people, do in fact kill people.

    Or, if you prefer, “the totally inadequate gun regulations in this country, combined with the fact that they are, in fact, fucking guns designed expressly with killing people in mind, led to a situation in which nobody intended to kill anybody, and yet somebody died anyway.”

  157. 157
    Chris says:

    @SpotWeld:

    This is why the idea that as things stand now, the US has a “well regulated militia” fails.

    Yeah. I’m not especially scared of guns. I’m not especially scared of people with guns. I’m scared of Americans with guns.

    As others have pointed out in these debates… Canada, too, has a gun culture. Switzerland has a gun culture. Even France and England have a gun culture. What these places do not have is the kind of pronographic-level fetish with guns as the ultimate symbol of manhood and patriotism, which, without regulations or restraints, predictably leads to situations where it’s considered appropriate that a fucking nine-year old is handling a gun in the first place.

  158. 158
    Chris says:

    @Gene108:

    I cannot fully blame the parents without more info.

    I blame the parents for allowing a nine year old to handle a gun. Full stop.

    @kc:

    The gloating over the guy’s death is a bit unseemly.

    To quote what I said about the dancing in the streets when Bin Laden died: I won’t engage in it, but I can’t blame anyone who does.

    And in this case, the pictures lifted from his Facebook wall should explain exactly why. This was a guy who spent his life mocking and dismissing as limp-dicked girly men anyone who objected to incidents precisely like this one. There are better people to save my sympathy for.

  159. 159
    Keith G says:

    @randy khan: thank you. It took 69 entries for someone to write something that was both humane and thoughtful. Sometimes this place is nuttier than the wing nuts.

  160. 160
    Mister Papercut says:

    False flag! Obama gun-grab! Who was the 9 year old working for? Quick, to the Countertops Inspectionmobile!

  161. 161
    Draylon Hogg says:

    @Suzanne: In the UK a child cannot be held criminally responsible until the age of ten.

  162. 162
    ThresherK says:

    I don’t know about the rest of you lefties, but I’m tired of being the proverbial cleanup crew for their disasters.

    I started at saying “why isn’t the safety training keeping up with the firepower”?

    Graduated to “let me dial 9-1 to get a head start”.

    And now I’m at the point where the only reasonable response is to laugh at them.

    There’s nothing more freeing than watching people wallow in the mess they made themselves.

  163. 163
    Jamey says:

    Cue Nelson Muntz…

  164. 164
    Patricia Kayden says:

    @kc: I’m not gloating but I have no sympathy for someone who was so foolish that he thought putting a dangerous weapon in the hands of a child was a great idea. There are consequences to stupid actions and unfortunately for him, the consequence cost his life.

    I kind of agree with Suzanne that the girl needs some counseling about making good choices, however, I wonder who would provide such counseling to her since she’s in a state where it is perfectly okay to give a child a machine gun.

  165. 165
    Chris says:

    @ThresherK:

    I don’t know about the rest of you lefties, but I’m tired of being the proverbial cleanup crew for their disasters.

    I can’t “this” this enough.

    Because it applies to so much more than just gun control: red states slashing their spending to the bare bones and then begging for federal help to fill the gaping vacuum they left behind, businessmen running their companies and the economy around them right into the fucking ground and then expecting a bailout, Republican presidents leaving disaster-stricken economies and foreign policies for their successors to deal with…

  166. 166
    brantl says:

    Yeah, a nine year old killed him, it wasn’t the gun, people! Let me guess, she breathed on him hard, he fell over, got a concussion and hematoma, and died?

  167. 167
    Fred says:

    Bitter-irony? Live by the gun…
    It is neither ironic or unusual that someone spending all their time messing with guns and instructing untrained people to mess with guns gets killed by a gun.
    Guns don’t make people safe from guns. Staying away from guns makes people safe from guns.

  168. 168

    Repeat after me.

    Men who carry guns are cowards. Ask them what they are afraid of.

    Change the conversation to guns=cowards and we may change the culture.

  169. 169
    TomG says:

    I just had an idea –

    The anti-choice crowd are finding innovative ways to shut down abortion clinics while technically abiding by Roe vs Wade. Maybe there could be legislation drawn up regarding shooting ranges which heavily restricts their operation (and imposes strict safety rules) while still obeying the letter of the Second Holy Amendment.

  170. 170
    Patricia Kayden says:

    @TomG: In blue states. I don’t see that happening in red, pro-gun states.

  171. 171
    Suzanne says:

    @VividBlueDotty: Unfortunately, this girl, at nine years old, should have distrusted the decisions her parents made for her, because her parents were complete dumbasses.

    @Draylon Hogg: I was pretty clear that I don’t believe the girl deserves any punishment harsher than gun safety training and therapy. I don’t know how to mandate that she gets those things without entering the juvenile system, however. If a judge put her in foster care and made that a condition for her, I think that would be an OK way to handle it.

  172. 172
    Cervantes says:

    @randy khan:

    You know, I take no joy from this at all. The guy who died almost certainly was negligent, but that doesn’t mean he deserved it. The girl is going to have a terrible time in her life for many years, if not forever. Her parents – even considering the awful decision they made to let her shoot the gun – are going to have a hard time, too. There is nothing at all good here, and even if I did think that the instructor got what was coming to him, it wouldn’t be worth the trauma to the girl.

    Every word.

  173. 173
    Cervantes says:

    @TomG: I like the idea. Thanks.

  174. 174
    Cervantes says:

    @ThresherK:

    I don’t know about the rest of you lefties, but I’m tired of being the proverbial cleanup crew for their disasters.

    @Chris:

    Because it applies to so much more than just gun control

    Thing is, the disasters are not only “theirs.” Often, if not every single time, “we” are affected as well, either directly or, in the “no man is an island” sense, indirectly. (This latter sense is not only philosophical, it is also material.)

    But when one group of people proclaims that, or acts as if, society does not exist, then it really is up to the rest of us to either (1) keep political and social power from them, or, failing that, then sadly (2) clean up after them.

  175. 175
    Ajabu says:

    @Ruckus:
    I understood all your terms. In my brief time in the USCG I remember responding to “Where’s so and so?” with “He’s in the front of the boat winding up the rope.” The lifers were not amused.

  176. 176
    pseudonymous in nc says:

    @Gene108:

    Attempting to do anything about guns, other than allow gun owners to do whatever they, whenever they want, wherever they want will be deemed an attempt at outright gun confiscation.

    Yep, that’s the corrosive part: the gradual indemnification of the [White] American Ammosexual from any consequences, because Exercising Your Second Amendment Rights is now sacramental. It’s protected speech but with bullets.

    And when you have a lot of cultists who are completely shit with guns, that’s not fun.

  177. 177
    Ken T says:

    @Mandalay: “Testosterone is everything to a gun nut.”

    One fantasizes about that which one lacks.

  178. 178
    pseudonymous in nc says:

    @Ruckus: Yeah, I was just riffing on how the NRA has its sacred vocabulary, so anybody who uses the word ‘clip’ is a heretic and must be ignored, even if they’ve fired all sorts of guns in the Navy. Perhaps especially if.

  179. 179
    Ken T says:

    @PurpleGirl: “the parents thought it would be “cute” to take pictures of the child holding and shooting the Uzi.”

    It’s the exact same mindset as visiting Yellowstone and wanting a picture of Junior petting a bison – which often has similarly tragic results.

  180. 180
    Paul in KY says:

    @Villago Delenda Est: I have fired one once. Very impressive bang, etc.

  181. 181
    Paul in KY says:

    @Suzanne: I think that can be done in a non-courtroom setting.

  182. 182
    Richard Grant says:

    The death of a Second Amendment savant, no matter how frequently it occurs, is always a tragedy and I intend to mark the occasion by not shooting wildly into the air.

  183. 183
    J R in WV says:

    I think most of the blame here goes to the deceased, who was responsible for managing the customer’s “shoot”. The range would have allowed an adult to shoot that thing after a brief safety lecture, but allowed kids 8-16 (or some age group like that) to shoot only with a range instructor.

    If he had put his hand out above the weapon before she pulled the trigger, to “catch” the gun if she had trouble hanging on to it, no harm would have been done. But she pulled the trigger really quickly, and even if he intended to reach out, it might have been too late.

    Suzanne, I think most of what you have said is fine; I don’t understand why some have reacted so violently to your level headed opinions. Please don’t take misguided opposition too seriously.

    I think the kid will be OK, it was so fast and loud and out of control she will probably know there was little she could have done differently. Did the range instructor warn her that it would tend to rise up and to the left? Don’t know. If he did, would it have helped? Don’t know. Did he tell her to touch the trigger for just an instant to get used to it? Don’t know.

    All we know is that it went very, very wrong. Worse than Opps! wrong.

    I wonder how much the little girl weighed? I’m glad she wasn’t shot like the little boy last year or whenever.

    I think 10 is pretty young to hold children criminally responsible. I know there have been some gruesome crimes committed in Britain by little kids, still…

    Maybe the parents learned something from what would have been a very hard lesson. The range will probably (I would hope) be liable to the instructor’s family for failing to take steps which would have protected him. I’ve shot at ranges that had an adjustable horizontal bar across a shooting position which would keep a weapon from rising very far, in this case that might have saved the ammosexual’s life.

    not much else to say. not torn up about this like Mike Brown’s murder under official cover.

  184. 184
    Violet says:

    @J R in WV:

    Maybe the parents learned something from what would have been a very hard lesson.

    Yes, maybe. Maybe they learned something. Let’s not prosecute them for any kind of child abuse or negligence because of course The Have Suffered Enough Already. Let’s just hope they have maybe learned something and move along. Nothing to see here.

  185. 185
    Xantar says:

    @Suzanne:

    Sure, she should get some guidance, but your suggested method for doing that is to criminally charge her and bring her to trial. You even suggested involuntary manslaughter as a charge. How exactly is that supposed to teach her the judgment you want her to get? It makes much more sense for CPS to simply take her away from her parents and get her some counseling.

    Nobody’s arguing that the child shouldn’t get guidance. It’s just that your proposed way of doing it is insane.

  186. 186
    polyorchnid octopunch says:

    @Suzanne: What the nine year old should have done in an ideal world has no bearing on what nine year olds do in the real world when it comes to things their parents say is okay. Real children don’t think or act the way you seem to think they should, which is why our legal system has no culpability for kids that young… and yours shouldn’t either, no matter what you (an adult with hindsight and experience) think she (a child with neither) should have done. Her parents and the owners and management of the range are the people who should be doing some court time, not her.

    Also, the idea that you think she should have “gun safety training” forced on her is absolutely insane. I’m pretty sure that after she saw that guy’s brains splattered all over the wall the last thing she wants to do right now is be forced to handle guns again. She may decide she wants to do that some years down the road, but personally I think she needs to spend some time talking to someone (not her insanely stupid fucking parents) about what happened.

    The fact that you think that forcing gun safety training on a nine year old who just blew someone’s head off by accident as a direct result of the adults in her life and in that situation being bone stupid is a reasonable response to what happened goes to show how absolutely insane you USers are about guns; your blind spot on guns is so massive that even the people that want to see better controls on them still can’t wrap their heads around their proper role and use within society.

    Seriously. Given what has happened to this girl, I don’t see how the courts violating her agency after the business abused it and her parents disregard for the stupidity is going to make anything better. It’s that blind spot that led to this situation in the first place.

  187. 187
    Cervantes says:

    @Violet: I share your anger at the parents. I am not sure what to do with it. Can you think of a punishment that does not hurt their dependent(s) as well?

    Or is that not an issue? After all, do we consider collateral damage when prosecuting and sentencing other people for their harmful actions? Countless innocent lives — entire communities — are newly despoiled each year with scarcely a thought. Is there a choice?

  188. 188
    a hip hop artist from Idaho (fka Bella Q) says:

    @Suzanne: Can you get me to the place where a 9 year old has the capacity to distrust her parents’ judgment? I cannot get there on a sane and logical pathway. I just can’t get my brain around what you propose here.

  189. 189
    Cervantes says:

    @a hip hop artist from Idaho (fka Bella Q):

    Can you get me to the place where a 9 year old has the capacity to distrust her parents’ judgment? I cannot get there on a sane and logical pathway.

    We brought up our kids to question our judgment, increasingly as they matured — in fact, to never feel that (anyone’s) authority over them was absolute. “Because I say so” is not a phrase that ever escaped our lips. Outside of emergencies — which they usually knew enough to recognize, anyway — dealing with their questions was, for us, not only necessary but a real pleasure.

    That said …

    I just can’t get my brain around what you propose here.

    Me, neither, to the extent I understand it.

  190. 190
    TerryC says:

    @Mandalay: “a man with a gun is fearless”— It’s always projection is a good rule and it applies here. They’re afraid and think they need guns to make them unafraid. They can’t understand that we’re not. How sad they are? Can we help them be more unafraid without weapons?

  191. 191
    TerryC says:

    @Mandalay: “a man with a gun is fearless”— It’s always projection is a good rule and it applies here. They’re afraid and think they need guns to make them unafraid. They can’t understand that we’re not. How sad they are? Can we help them be more unafraid without weapons?

  192. 192
    Cervantes says:

    @TerryC:

    Can we help them be more unafraid without weapons?

    It’s Catch-22 — “the best there is” — thanks largely to how the Court has been reading the Second Amendment.

  193. 193
    Tripod says:

    I guarantee this idiot was one of those pointing weapons at federal agents in that broo-hah over grazing rights.

  194. 194
    Suzanne says:

    @polyorchnid octopunch: This girl lives in Arizona. I live in Arizona. I can tell you that this means that this girl will never, NEVER be away from guns. She will go to a friend’s house, and guns will be there. There are shooting ranges next to the fucking Ikea here. The school my husband teaches at went on lockdown last week because a fucker decided to wave his gun around in the park across the street. She needs to know what to do, and her parents aren’t teaching her. I consider THAT insane.

    @a hip hop artist from Idaho (fka Bella Q): Much like Cervantes, I always encourage my kids not to do things because I said so, but because it ‘a smart. And I talk to them about it A LOT. Did no one else get hours and hours of lecture about how to avoid stranger danger, or “get away from an adult that makes you feel funny, even if they’re an adult”? That is good parenting, and obviously this girl didn’t get it.

    I will say that I am probably inclined to think the juvenile system is a reasonable way to deal with this because my sister is a public defender for juveniles, and she is very focused on helping them get all the social services they need. She says it is more social work than law, and the goal is to get them whatever they need to turn their lives around. And if the girl goes into foster care, she would probably go to a relative, and relatives of the waste cases that are her parents may be similar losers. Also, the people I’ve known who are foster parents tend to be assholes, and ironically, also gun nuts. So this may color my thinking.

  195. 195
    Rasputin's Evil Twin says:

    @Mandalay: Can you get beer there? That would this ‘Murican experience complete.

  196. 196
    Rasputin's Evil Twin says:

    @max: Wasn’t his last run an accident? It looked like a train wreck to me.

  197. 197
    John says:

    There’s a chain mail repost on his fb page that says “If your reading this, repost and receive a large amount if money in 25 minutes. If you fail to repost, you’ll loose something worth keeping”. Now that is irony.

  198. 198
    Elizabelle says:

    @Suzanne:

    I believe the 9 year old lives in New Jersey. She was on a family vacay.

    And congrats on the new job. Sounds great!

  199. 199
    polyorchnid octopunch says:

    @Suzanne: She doesn’t live in Arizona; reports are that the family’s from New Jersey and was vacationing in Vegas. Your view on insanity is coloured by the massive blind spot in the US about firearms. The ubiquity of firearms in your society is completely off the hook.

    I’m very glad I live in a culture that views the idea if handing SMGs to children as a criminal act, because it is by any reasonable definition of the term.

    ETA: I also find it very interesting that it’s reasonable for the state to force her to handle firearms after the absolutely disastrous first experience with them. As I said… I think that after watching the dude’s brains get splattered all over the landscape that she probably understands at a very visceral level just how dangerous they can be. I don’t think she needs a gun safety course to know that.

  200. 200
    low-tech cyclist says:

    I see that the most recent entry on his FB page (dated last month) is “Charles Vacca changed his profile picture.”

    Maybe his next of kin should update his profile pic to one that shows what he looked like right after that kid accidentally went postal on him.

    Usually I don’t laugh even when my worst enemy dies, but I seem to have made an exception in this case.

    Oh, and this: “The Bullets and Burgers website markets a unique shooting experience for customers.” Heh, indeedy!

  201. 201
    Paul in KY says:

    @SatanicPanic: Certainly a savvy kid could get away with it.

  202. 202
    polyorchnid octopunch says:

    I’d like to share with you folks the Canadian perspective on the entire concept behind this business. It’s very apparent from the words, expressions, and body language of the people giving this report: http://www.cbc.ca/news/world/a.....-1.2747867

  203. 203
    Aardvark Cheeselog says:

    @g: If we had a functional justice system, some waivers would be ruled egregious, and the judge would also say “Baliff, kick these nuts in the butt.”

  204. 204
    Paul in KY says:

    @Mandalay: Will need another 20 years in a row of Democratic presidents to do that. It can be done, though.

  205. 205
    Violet says:

    @Cervantes: Punishment in general hurts entire families and sometimes communities. If someone commits armed robbery and gets caught, prosecuted and sent to jail their families and dependents are hurt. Sometimes that’s how it goes.

    As for the parents in this case, let’s think about a slightly different situation. What if they had knowingly put their daughter into a car driven by a drunk driver who then had an accident and killed someone and the daughter was injured? Other people around them knew the driver was drunk. Maybe there was video just prior to the driver getting into the car. Would the parents be prosecuted for being irresponsible? Probably so.

    The parents not being prosecuted at all but the whole thing being treated as They Have Suffered Enough is wrong. Perhaps the parents need to undergo firearms training. Maybe they should not be allowed to own or shoot guns. Maybe they need parenting classes. Perhaps family counseling should be mandated. Maybe all of that. There are ways for them to pay a price for being idiots who let their nine-year-old daughter do this without actual jail time or whatever.

  206. 206
    Jonny Scrum-half says:

    I haven’t read the entire comment thread, but I saw several remarks about how commenters are glad that the instructor is dead. I’m not sure what to say other than WTF is wrong with you? It’s clear that the guy was immature and irresponsible with guns, and maybe he was a right-wing asshole, but what could justify saying that you’re glad that he died? Like anyone else, he has family and friends who will miss him, and he had ambitions and dreams that now are over.

    The people crowing about this guy’s death are just the mirror image of people who say that Michael Brown “had it coming” because he robbed a convenience store. Something is seriously wrong when human beings think that it’s better to choose sides in a political argument rather than consider the humanity of other people.

  207. 207

    @Violet:

    “…”It’s the MADD model….”

    I agree with this 1000%!

  208. 208
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Jonny Scrum-half:

    I think that for most people (including myself) it’s less, He deserved it and more This is what happens when you treat guns like toys, you fucking idiot.

  209. 209
    Betty Cracker says:

    @polyorchnid octopunch: They seem incredulous that it could actually be legal to allow a nine-year-old to fire an Uzi. And in a sane society, that would be unbelievable.

  210. 210
    Betty Cracker says:

    @Mnemosyne: Co-signed.

  211. 211
    Mandalay says:

    @Rasputin’s Evil Twin:

    Can you get beer there?

    Yes you can!

    Give a man some beers, and then give him a machine gun. What could possibly go wrong?

    This country is fucking insane.

  212. 212
    Cervantes says:

    @Violet:

    Yes, useful ideas, thanks.

    (Re culpability of the owner, or operator, or staff of the site — I am guessing you have discussed these in other comments.)

  213. 213
    frank says:

    Jesus, what is wrong with all of you?
    A man has died by a little girls hand, clearly an unfortunate accident. You anti gun fuckers, what are you going to do when this world goes into world war in the worst way? Throw rocks. Lol. Oh let me be so kind to answer that for you, big brother will protect us.
    It’s not the people for the love of guns that’s the problem in this country it is you people that parade around in your little plastic Lives and think the government should do everything for you. Talking about cps investigating this shooting and charging the parents.
    Believe it or not guns are here to stay
    have been for a long time…
    You all better wake the fuck up. You all sound like a bunch of robots waiting for your next instructions from big brother. pathetic for all of you who know nothing of what went on in this family’s life to make such judgments about them. You people make me sick to think your American’s.

  214. 214
    MCA1 says:

    @Gene108: Whaaaa? Any consumer/parent can distinguish the in your face immediacy of the danger of firearms from that of practically any other form of entertainment. Especially right here in war torn Amurika. Flashy bright signs and marketing materials are no excuse. And the comfort that gov’t regulation is usually in place to allow consumers to take on an assumption of risk also doesn’t apply here, not with respect to anything having to do with guns in the U.S.A. There should be an assumption that, in fact, there a’int no regulations whatsoever with respect to Bullets and Burgers, because the NRA would have seen to it.

    In addition, this is an activity that is way, way different from the assumption of risk inherent in something like jumping out of a plane. Why? Because not only could you get yourself killed on a firing range with a bunch of amateurs with uzi’s in their hands, but YOU MIGHT ACCIDENTALLY KILL SOMEONE ELSE. Which, of course, is exactly what ended up happening here. That’s not the case when you get on Space Mountain.

  215. 215
    Mandalay says:

    @Keith G:

    Sometimes this place is nuttier than the wing nuts.

    Though I don’t agree with it, I kind of understand why folks here will sometimes wish death on people who have done bad things.

    But I will never understand those here who wish pain and suffering on others, and want to gloat about death. And it sometimes comes from folks who might otherwise be viewed as intelligent, compassionate people.

    Nietzsche and Orwell had worked this out a long time ago of course, but it’s still chilling to see it on BJ.

  216. 216
    MCA1 says:

    @Mnemosyne: Agreed, although Johnny Scrum-half has a point. If people wanted to express the sentiment of “Damn, what an idiot and it’s hard to have my usual level of sympathy for innocent people slaughtered in a firearm incident” then they should have said so, rather than “Ha ha. I’m glad another human being is dead because he had some opinions that are loathsome to me.”

  217. 217
    Mandalay says:

    @Jonny Scrum-half:

    The people crowing about this guy’s death are just the mirror image of people who say that Michael Brown “had it coming” because he robbed a convenience store.

    Well said, and your analogy is entirely appropriate.

  218. 218
    Cervantes says:

    @Jonny Scrum-half: People are just sick of being terrorized — and being blamed on top of it. It’s not an excuse, just possibly an explanation.

  219. 219
    Egypt Steve says:

    They’ll get my gun when they pry my cold, dead head from up my ass.

  220. 220
    Violet says:

    @Cervantes: I don’t know if I’ve discussed those in other comments. Obviously the owner of the facility is responsible for allowing such young kids to handle such dangerous weapons. There should be consequences for that decision. It’s ridiculous. Fines, prison time, being shut down. All of the above. But I’m sure they’ve got lawyers on retainer and I have no idea what the law is. There may be no way they can be charged with anything.

    I was focusing more on the parents’ decision to let their daughter shoot there. Because that’s where the initial failure lies. The parents should not have done that. They don’t seem to have good sense.

  221. 221
    Egypt Steve says:

    @frank: The last thing this guy did — the very last thing — was to scar and traumatize a little girl for life. Hell of a way to check out.

  222. 222
    Ken T says:

    RE: criminal punishment for the parents. At this point, I’m not sure which way I’d go on that. I definitely reject the “they’ve suffered enough already” meme, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that they are criminally culpable. Stupid, yes. But unless and until some evidence comes out that they themselves are (at least theoretically) knowledgable about guns, I’m not sure they are or should be chargeable. It would be one thing if they put the gun in her hands themselves and said “go have fun”; but that’s not what happened. From their point of view, they patronized a commercial establishment that promised them a safe experience. To use the roller coaster analogy from above, if the ride operator assures them that it is safe, should they be held liable for not knowing that he’s full of it?

  223. 223

    Can you imagine how sad this story might be if it actually was “guns kill people” instead of “people kill people?”

  224. 224
    judge crater says:

    This whole sickening episode just reinforces the notion that 27 percent of the population is living in bizzarro world in which they wish they could return to the 19th century. They are nostalgic for a mythological America where everyone (except blacks) had freedom and was self-sufficient and didn’t rely on anyone higher up the government ladder than the town sheriff.

    It’s a righteous fervor that taps into a host of atavistic fears and anxieties (the reptilian brain). Just read the NRA manifesto and the ravings of Wayne LaPierre. Guns are the valium of this culture. Firing an Uzi is a puberty right that can be imposed, as in this case, even earlier in life. The demeanor of the now deceased firearms instructor is so telling: his sweet, dulcet tones leading her from single shots, “Alright” to “…now full auto!”. All while the proud parents recorded it like a high school graduation.

    Lovely.

  225. 225
    Paul in KY says:

    @Jonny Scrum-half: I’m not ‘glad’. I do think it is damned funny (except for the little girl being traumatized).

    This guy was hoist by his own petard. The petard being ‘shoot em if you got em, any age, any gun’.

  226. 226
    Paul in KY says:

    @frank: DougJ, is that you?

  227. 227
    brantl says:

    @Fred: Except, how far’s good enough, for you? For me, and planning around that .22 shell that has been fired on the optimal 45 degree angle, it’s a mile and a half.

  228. 228
    judge crater says:

    @frank: See my opinion above.

  229. 229
    Cervantes says:

    @Violet: Thanks. As I said, I share your anger at the parents for endangering the kid and other people, especially as the danger is completely obvious.

    Would you argue that, by a similar argument, state and local law-makers ought to be fired (recalled, not re-elected, etc.) for permitting such businesses to exist in the first place?

    And if so, would you then extend the argument to all firing-ranges, etc., that admit children? Should they be allowed to exist regardless of whether they sell food and alcohol?

    (I’m just listing a few obvious questions. Don’t feel obliged to respond.)

  230. 230
    Laertes says:

    The parents did nothing wrong. They could have reasonably expected that the range instructor knew what he was doing. Given proper adult supervision, a nine-year-old can handle a gun safely.

    As it turns out, Vacca was incompetent. But the parents had no way of knowing that. Happily, the consequences of Vacca’s incompetence fell mostly upon Vacca himself. Still, that kid has suffered a terrible trauma, and the parents ought to talk to a lawyer about seeking compensation from the gun range. The operators of that range did their child a lot of harm, and that responsibility most likely doesn’t end with Vacca.

  231. 231
    brantl says:

    @frank:

    Jesus, what is wrong with all of you?
    A man has died by a little girls hand, clearly an unfortunate accident. You anti gun fuckers, what are you going to do when this world goes into world war in the worst way? Throw rocks. Lol. Oh let me be so kind to answer that for you, big brother will protect us.
    It’s not the people for the love of guns that’s the problem in this country it is you people that parade around in your little plastic Lives and think the government should do everything for you. Talking about cps investigating this shooting and charging the parents.
    Believe it or not guns are here to stay
    have been for a long time…
    You all better wake the fuck up. You all sound like a bunch of robots waiting for your next instructions from big brother. pathetic for all of you who know nothing of what went on in this family’s life to make such judgments about them. You people make me sick to think your American’s.

    Funny, Frank, the most that the government has ever had to do for me in particular is pay me unemployment, when I’ve been laid off, or fired without cause. I own guns, and I no more want an idiot like this to have access to a gun, or have parents letting 9 year olds shoot automatic weapons than I want to drink Drain-O. And I will do all that I can to avoid the “world war” happening that seems to have taken up residence in your skull, too.

  232. 232
    Cervantes says:

    @Laertes:

    Given proper adult supervision, a nine-year-old can handle a gun safely.

    In my view, the two halves of your statement don’t go together. Conjoining them strikes me as an absurdity.

    I’m saying this just so you understand the truth of your statement is not universally obvious.

  233. 233
    Violet says:

    @Cervantes: I haven’t thought about this issue to that extent. I think our gun laws are ridiculous and if recalling lawmakers that allow them to be what they are would solve anything then I’m all for it. However, pretty much every politician cowers before the NRA so they’d all have to be removed. I think some other things need to change before that would happen.

    I personally think admitting children to firing ranges is dumb. Children are less predictable than adults, their brains aren’t fully developed and they’re small. Would you be okay with a toddler at a gun range? If not, why not? Is there an age where it’s okay?

    Maybe kids could go to gun ranges if they’ve completed X hours of gun safety training in a classroom and they’d only be allowed at certain times–not too many people, high adult to kid ratio–only be allowed to use certain firearms. I’m not against kids learning gun safety in general, but it’s the kind of thing that should be done in an age-appropriate manner and under strict supervision. This obviously was not.

  234. 234
    Cervantes says:

    @frank: Well, your logic, grammar, punctuation, and spelling all make me dizzy, so I’d say we’re even.

  235. 235
    Laertes says:

    @Cervantes:

    It seems perfectly clear. Maybe you could spell out in more detail which bit you find confusing.

  236. 236
    Violet says:

    @frank:

    You people make me sick to think your American’s.

    You make me sick to think you received your grammar education in America.

  237. 237
    Cervantes says:

    @Laertes:

    It seems perfectly clear. Maybe you could spell out in more detail which bit you find confusing.

    Well, to be precise, I did not say it was unclear or confusing. I said it was absurd.

    How predictable do you think the mind of a nine-year-old child is (never mind her coordination, balance, and other motor skills)? Would you willingly put your life in the hands of a nine-year-old?

  238. 238
    Laertes says:

    frank: The day is never going to come when I’m glad that those sad little creeps who pose for half-naked selfies with their guns and dress in camo for neighborhood watch meetings were allowed to keep their guns.

    Nobody’s coming to take away your little toys, but if you’re going to continue to hang around here, we are going to come to take away your little fantasies. The day when we’re glad you’re here to protect us is never going to happen.

    You gun nutters are just LARPers, except you’re sad and deluded and dangerous to everyone around you.

  239. 239
    Laertes says:

    @Cervantes:

    Okay, here’s me: “Given proper adult supervision, a nine-year-old can handle a gun safely.”

    And here’s you: “How predictable do you think the mind of a nine-year-old child is (never mind her coordination, balance, and other motor skills)? Would you willingly put your life in the hands of a nine-year-old?”

    Can you explain to me what these two statements have to do with one another? Because I can’t see it.

  240. 240
    Cervantes says:

    @Laertes:

    The day when we’re glad you’re here to protect us is never going to happen.

    Read that again, frank, and weep.

  241. 241
    Vulcher says:

    @Violet: Amen!

  242. 242
    Cervantes says:

    @Laertes:

    Sure.

    This was your opinion:

    Given proper adult supervision, a nine-year-old can handle a gun safely.

    And I called that absurd because:

    Proper adult supervision, cognizant of the unpredictability associated with nine-year-old children, consists of removing the gun safely from the child’s possession.

    And yes, that is not a fact, either; it’s my opinion.

  243. 243
    Laertes says:

    Let me lay out where I’m coming from, Cervantes, just so we’re clear:

    I think Vacca was incompetent. A nine-year-old girl can not safely handle an Uzi, and being a gun expert, he should have known this.

    However, it is not generally true that no nine-year-old can safely handle any gun. Nine-year-olds safely handle firearms all the time, and given proper adult supervision there’s nothing wrong with it. So when that little girl’s parents took her to the shooting range, and relied upon the judgment of the professionals there to decide which weapons she was and wasn’t capable of safely handling, they weren’t negligent.

    With the benefit of hindsight, we know trouble is coming when that girl undertakes to fire the weapon on full-auto. And a gun expert should have known aforehand that it was a bad idea. But her parents aren’t, so far as we know, gun experts. There’s no reason they should have been alarmed when that man handed their little girl an Uzi. It was perfectly reasonable for them to rely upon his judgment.

    As it turns out, the parents were mistaken about the competence of the range staff, but showing that something is a mistake is a long way from showing that it’s negligence.

    There’s no obvious negligence on the part of the parents, that is. Everyone from that range attendant on up through his supervisors to the owners of the range were terribly negligent, and in a just world those parents would receive their last dime and then some.

  244. 244
    polyorchnid octopunch says:

    @Betty Cracker: Yep. And we (i.e. English Canadians) are the people THE MOST LIKE YOU CULTURALLY IN THE ENTIRE WORLD… and even we think you’re completely off your nut about guns.

    Not only that, we’re right.

    I want to see a USSC justice who pays attention to that “well-regulated” part in the second amendment. The fact that those assholes can dub themselves ‘originalists’ while completely ignoring that part of the clause tells me the only original part of them is their asshole, gaping wide as it has their heads shoved up in their business in there.

  245. 245
    Cervantes says:

    @Laertes: Thanks for elaborating.

    About this:

    I think Vacca was incompetent. A nine-year-old girl can not safely handle an Uzi, and being a gun expert, he should have known this.

    Vacca was both incompetent and a gun expert?

    Re nine-year-olds and guns, we’ve each stated our opinion.

    My opinion on that colors what I think about the decisions made by the kid’s parents; no need for me to elaborate.

    And as for this:

    There’s no reason they should have been alarmed when that man handed their little girl an Uzi. It was perfectly reasonable for them to rely upon his judgment.

    Right, now you’ve got me thinking you’re pulling my leg again.

  246. 246
    Laertes says:

    Vacca was both incompetent and a gun expert?

    Very close. Vacca was incompetent. And the parents were reasonable to expect that he was a gun expert.

    Suppose they took their car to a nearby repair shop. The mechanic does a terrible job and their brakes fail later that day on the highway. They roll the car and their little girl is killed.

    Do you think that the parents were at fault because they relied upon the work product of this incompetent mechanic?

    I don’t. Sure, he was incompetent. But the parents had no way of knowing that. It was reasonable for them to expect that he knew what he was doing, and it was reasonable for them to rely upon his work product. Turns out they were incorrect about his competence, but showing that they were wrong is a long way from showing that they were unreasonable.

    See what I’m getting at here?

    They weren’t experts. One gun looks very like another. They weren’t crazy to figure that the guys running the range knew what they were doing.

  247. 247
    Cervantes says:

    @Laertes: Ii agree with you that the parents thought he was an expert on guns, and that they should not be faulted for thinking that. If that’s your point, I agree.

    On the other hand, I do think they made other mistakes. (See above.)

  248. 248
    Rafer Janders says:

    @Laertes:

    Can you explain to me what these two statements have to do with one another? Because I can’t see it.

    If a nine-year old requires “proper adult supervision” to handle a gun safely, then, by definition, a nine-year old cannot handle a gun safely, since proper adult supervision is required. This is a case where the precondition eclipses the rule.

    (It’s sort of like saying “given proper adult supervision, a nine-year old can throw a grenade safely / mix methamphetamine safely / pilot a jet safely” etc. Perhaps true, but only to the extent an adult is hands-on there, and thus all things that nine-year olds generally shouldn’t do).

    (Plus, remembering only myself as a dreamy uncoordinatedd nine year old goofball, but I could have had all the adult supervision in the world and, given a gun, I would still have beeen as likely to hit myself and everyone around me as I would have been to hit a target).

  249. 249
    Rafer Janders says:

    @Laertes:

    Suppose they took their car to a nearby repair shop. The mechanic does a terrible job and their brakes fail later that day on the highway. They roll the car and their little girl is killed.

    Except it’s more like they strapped their child into the cockpit of a Formula 100 racecar and let a driver speed her around a track. The driver may be experienced, they may even be justified in assuming he’s experienced, but racing at high speeds around a twisty track is per se a dangerous activity that no child should be exposed to, just as it’s per se dangerous to hand a young child a machine gun. Going to a mechanic, or any other similar activity, is not similarly per se dangerous. Going to a gun range is.

  250. 250
    DrBB says:

    Well, yeah, this guy has some “different ideas” about guns than I do, so I should be all compassionate and understanding ‘n’ stuff. But some of those ideas, like “Gun rights today. Gun rights tomorrow. Gun rights forever.” have a distinct and oddly familiar ring to ’em, and I don’t think it’s merely coincidence.

    http://youtu.be/hLLDn7MjbF0

  251. 251
    Cervantes says:

    @Rafer Janders:

    Yes, a child cannot give informed consent.

  252. 252
    Laertes says:

    Going to a gun range is [dangerous].

    It’s really not. If properly run, a gun range is perfectly safe.

    When I was a kid, probably not much older than nine, my uncle showed me how to use a gun. He’d served in the infantry in Korea, but having been raised a farm boy in the mid-20th century he’d have been familiar with guns long before the army got to him.

    Anyway, he had this .22 bolt-action rifle with maybe a five- or six-round internal magazine. That’s what we used. He showed me how to load and unload it, how to carry it and aim it and fire it, and so on. All perfectly safe. This was proper adult supervision, and a weapon appropriate to a boy of my then age.

    To people other than gun nutters, one gun looks very like another. My mom wouldn’t have known the difference between Uncle Mike’s varminting rifle and a BAR. If he’d handed me a weapon that I couldn’t handle, it would have been his fault, not hers. She had every reason to expect that he knew what he was doing.

    Some gun range operators are dangerous idiots. As far as I’m aware, such are a minority. If you’re going to argue that we ought to, as a legal or moral matter, presume that a gun range is dangerous until proven otherwise, you’ll need some data to back you up. (N.B. “data” is not the plural of “anecdote.”)

  253. 253
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @pseudonymous in nc:

    You said “clip”, therefore anything you say about guns is heresy. [/NRA]

    The entire futhermucking Army is filled with heretics, then, because it is SOP to colloquially refer to a magazine as a “clip”, particularly a “banana clip”, that is, a 30 round magazine for an M16 series weapon.

    You WILL get into a world of hurt for referring to your personal infantry firearm as a “gun” though. It’s always called “a weapon”. “Gun” has a very specific military meaning that does not include small arms like M16s.

    Also, too, I stand by my comment at #2. I’m glad this guy is dead. He’s exactly the sort of twisted ammosexual we need fewer of in this country.

  254. 254
    kc says:

    @Suzanne:

    She lives in New Jersey.

    I think the NRA agrees with you that young children should be trained in the use of firearms. They even proposed to teach gun safety in public schools, if I recall correctly.

  255. 255
    Rafer Janders says:

    @Rafer Janders:

    To expand on this, the mechanic analogy is really off-base, because (a) there’s nothing inherently dangerous in having a mechanic fix your car if needed (indeed, it’s safer than not having a mechanic fix it and (b) just like doctors, dentists, etc., going to a service provider like a mechanic is a necessary part of modern life.

    But no one needs to go to a run range. No one needs to shoot an Uzi. It’s an entirely voluntary and extremely dangerous activity, and if you don’t think it’s dangerous, you shouldn’t be there in the first place. It’s like taking your nine-year old crocodile-wrestlin, and then saying “oh, but he seemed like such an experienced crocodile wrestler! We thought he knew what he was doing! How could we know he’d get our child eaten by a crocodile?!”

    The fault there is not in trusting the supposed crocodile-wrestling expert — it’s in taking your child to wrestle a crocodile in the first place.

  256. 256
    Rafer Janders says:

    @Laertes:

    It’s really not. If properly run, a gun range is perfectly safe.

    I’ve been to gun ranges. I’ve shot everything from a six-shot revolver to an AK-47 to an M-60. And no, they are not perfectly safe. You know why? Because IT’S A GUN RANGE.

    The entire purpose of a gun range is to shoot live ammo from hot weapons. That, by itself, is an inherently dangerous and unsafe thing to do, every time. Every single time your finger is on the trigger, you have an increased risk of shooting yourself or others. Every other person around you could, if they wanted, kill you before you even knew it.

    “If properly run….” is a MIGHTY BIG IF. A gun range is only as safe as the dumbest, most reckless person there.

  257. 257
    Larv says:

    I have to agree with Laertes. I don’t think the parents are automatically negligent, it would depend on exactly what happened. If the father wanted to take a video of his little girl shooting an Uzi and pressured Vacca into letting her do it, then sure, he shares in the blame. But otherwise I think they’re justified in assuming that the range professionals are capable of judging what is and isn’t safe, especially if the parents were pretty naive about guns to begin with.

    Also, I’ve seen several people assume that the parents must themselves be gun nuts. Is there any evidence for this? Because just visiting a Vegas gun range doesn’t make someone a NRA member. As somebody upthread noted, lots of the customers of Bullets and Burgers are Europeans. They’re probably not gun nuts, just people looking to do something slightly transgressive that they’d never do at home. I’m pretty liberal and pro-gun control, but if I was in Vegas I might do the same. Let’s be honest, shooting guns can be fun. That’s a large part of the problem; too many people treat them as fun toys instead of dangerous tools. But Vegas markets itself on the “what happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas” attitude. It’s a place to do normally forbidden things. Similarly, most of the people playing craps in the casinos do not have gambling problems. So I don’t think we can just assume that the parents are gun-loving whackos.

    I’ll also co-sign Jonny Scrum-half @206. The guy may have been a gun-nut, he may have been amazingly stupid and irresponsible here, but laughing at his death is fucking ghoulish. It’s the same kind of shit we get outraged about when the other side does it. Two of the first three comments say they’re glad he’s dead, which is pretty fucked up. He’s an idiot, not a monster. Some perspective is in order.

  258. 258
    Rafer Janders says:

    @Laertes:

    If you’re going to argue that we ought to, as a legal or moral matter, presume that a gun range is dangerous until proven otherwise, you’ll need some data to back you up.

    If you don’t presume that guns, by themselves, are dangerous until proven otherwise — not to mention gun ranges filled with many people who are complete and utter strangers to you shooting live ammo — then you have no business being anywhere near a gun. You are demonstrating that you have absolutely no respect for gun safety.

    Sure, there are relatively safe ways to handle guns, just as there are safe ways to handle knives and snakes and nuclear weapons and poison. But you know why we keep emphasizing safe ways to handle them? Because if not handled absolutely safely every time, they are all very very dangerous.

  259. 259
    Rafer Janders says:

    @Laertes:

    If properly run, a gun range is perfectly safe.

    Tautology. All that is saying is “if it is safe, then it is safe.”

  260. 260
    Violet says:

    @Larv:

    But otherwise I think they’re justified in assuming that the range professionals are capable of judging what is and isn’t safe, especially if the parents were pretty naive about guns to begin with.

    And that’s a problem. Guns are dangerous; they’re not toys. But the entire experience is marketed like it’s “an adventure” not a place where you’re handling an item that can kill people. It’s different from whitewater rafting or skydiving in that if you don’t know what you’re doing you aren’t likely to kill someone else. You’re handling a gun, which is an item meant to kill people or animals. That’s its purpose. To market that as fun and on the same level as a theme park is wrong. For parents to show up and think it’s on that level is also wrong.

    As I said upthread, any responsible parents who want their kid to learn how to handle guns should research how to do that before they begin. That research will not turn up that the place to do it is Bullets and Burgers nor will it show that the way to do it is to allow a nine-year-old to shoot an Uzi. The parents were irresponsible to let her shoot the gun at all.

  261. 261
    Jonny Scrum-half says:

    @Villago Delenda Est: Here’s a link to a post that includes a video of the last 30 seconds of life for the guy who you’re glad is dead: http://www.lawyersgunsmoneyblo.....m#comments

    I agree with some of the commenters who say that this guy was an idiot. From the 30 seconds that I see on the video, it appears to me that this guy thought guns were toys. From his Facebook postings, it seems as if he bought into the tribal nonsense that you aren’t a real man unless you own and use guns. Based on those small bits of information, I’d say that this guy was a victim not only of his own failure to think, but also of the ideology being pushed by the NRA and the Tea Party backers, who brainwashed him into holding a simplistic – childish, actually – view of guns.

    You can double-down on being glad about his death, but I don’t get it, and I hope that you try to understand that your opinion is just as tribal as the message that this guy bought into.

  262. 262
    Larv says:

    @Violet: @Violet:
    I don’t necessarily disagree with any of that. But I think the majority of the blame lies with the owner/operator of the range that markets it as family fun (as well as the lack of any kind of regulations to prevent them from doing so). I doubt that the parents went there intending to teach the kid to shoot; more likely the dad wanted to go and they brought the kid along because the marketing said it was fun and safe for children and what else do you do with a 9-year old in Vegas? I think there’s an assumption that if a business says something is safe it must be, and people just don’t question that as much as maybe they should. Amusement park rides look tremendously dangerous but are actually extremely safe – that’s part of the fun. Statistically, gun ranges probably are pretty safe too – actual shootings are relatively rare. I don’t think it’s necessarily irresponsible to take a kid to a gun range (although I think there should be age limits, probably somewhere in the teens). What’s truly irresponsible is giving an automatic weapon to a child whose hands and strength are obviously inadequate to control it. I busted my nose at the same age shooting a .410 shotgun because it was too big and I couldn’t control the recoil, and the difference between a .410 and a fricking Uzi in terms of lethality is just immense. I can’t wrap my head around anyone thinking that was a good idea, and that’s why I’d like to know exactly what the decision process was – whose idea was it, were any concerns voiced, etc… Is it normal there to allow children to handle fully auto weapons? I tend to agree with Laertes that the parents should sue the owners, not necessarily because they deserve anything but because absent regulations that’s the only way to prevent businesses from promoting or allowing this sort of idiocy. And I don’t hold out much hope for any sort of gun-related regulations in Nevada.

  263. 263
    AkaDad says:

    The Army, Navy, Air Force, Coast Guard, Marines, National Guard, and the police don’t have have enough weaponry to stop a war, we need Frank.

  264. 264
    Paul Gottlieb says:

    I guess Jesus needed another asshole in heaven In all seriousness, they put an UZI on full auto in the hands of a nine year old girl? That 2nd Amendment is really awesome! At Great Adventure that kid wouldn’t be old enough for some of the rides

  265. 265
    LevelB says:

    I wonder if OSHA could regulate these gun ranges. Seem to be some workplace safety issues….

  266. 266
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Jonny Scrum-half: I don’t regret the death of another brainwashed fool, if you insist on seeing it that way. Frankly, I think he fully bought into the idiocy and reveled in it. So he’s gone. Good. One less of these idiots with firearms to gun down those who dare to suggest that they need to have their fucking toys taken away from them, before they harm someone To include themselves.

  267. 267
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @LevelB: OSHA is one of the wingnuts’ favorite punching bags. Oh, noes, they’re restricting our freedom to kill ourselves!

  268. 268
    Ken T says:

    @LevelB: “I wonder if OSHA could regulate these gun ranges. ”

    In this particular case, no. Nevada is a “state plan” state, which means that Federal OSHA has relinquished jurisdiction. It would be up to the State.

  269. 269
    Cervantes says:

    @Ken T: Aren’t state plans supposed to be equally or more protective of workers than is federally mandated? Still not enough leverage, I imagine.

  270. 270
    Jebediah, RBG says:

    @frank:

    A man has died by a little girls hand, clearly an unfortunate accident.

    No, dingus, not by a little girl’s hand – by the bullets sprayed out of an Uzi he put in her hand. Sure, just an unfortunate accident. Totally unavoidable. No reasonable person could see any danger in giving a little girl a machine gun. This was just like someone stubbing a toe.

    You anti gun fuckers, what are you going to do when this world goes into world war in the worst way? Throw rocks. Lol. Oh let me be so kind to answer that for you, big brother will protect us.

    If by “big brother” you mean the government, then yes, because it’s the government that has the military. Or are you suggesting that you unregulated, disorganized, pea-brained gun worshipers could somehow fight off an invading army? You idiots can’t even prevent yourselves from being shot in the head by nine-year-old girls.

  271. 271

    @Laertes:

    “Given proper adult supervision, a nine-year-old can handle a gun safely.”

    I think they are going to engrave that on his tombstone. How touching. Just, in “the bad place.”

  272. 272
    gina says:

    @Violet: if you go to any gun range that i am familiar with you have to sign waivers releasing the business ie:gun owner from any and all responsibilty. As the parent, this itself would cause me to back out.

  273. 273
    LevelB says:

    @Ken T: If it works like the environmental programs, OSHA could take it back and administer it. I am sure that resources to do that would be an issue. At the very least, guidance should be given publicly, perhaps standards written. Do you know if perhaps gun ranges are exempt from oversight?

Comments are closed.