AN INSIDE LOOK - Commentary and opinions on local politics and life in general in Southeastern Massachusetts! Featuring the writings of Bill Gouveia, newspaper columnist for the Sun Chronicle and local cable TV talk show host. Feel free to read, comment and enjoy!
Friday, September 5, 2014
Reasons No 9-Year-Old Should Shoot an Uzi
This column originally appeared in The Sun Chronicle on Friday, September 5, 2014
AN INSIDE LOOK
By Bill Gouveia
a nine-year-old girl recently lost control of an Uzi while taking shooting
instruction at a place called “Bullets and Burgers” just outside Las Vegas and
accidentally killed said instructor, the question popped into my mind:Should nine-year-olds really be allowed to
long and careful consideration (approximately .00001 seconds), I came down on
the side of believing youngsters of that age should not be allowed to shoot an
automatic weapon for fun, or pretty much any other reason.Then I thought about how some pro-gun folks
might consider me to be biased against gun ownership.
I realized something many of them have not – that allowing a nine-year-old to
shoot an Uzi or similar type weapon is sheer stupidity and has absolutely
nothing to do with the debate over gun ownership and control.
in the spirit of illustrating that point, I developed the following list:Seven Reasons Why Allowing a Nine-Year-Old
to Shoot An Uzi is Nuts.
1.If you aren’t old enough to babysit, you
shouldn’t shoot an automatic weapon.If someone
is too young to take care of others, he or she is too young to have an Uzi in
their hands.Pretty simple, huh?
2.Giving a small child an automatic
weapon is a danger not only to them, but those around them.Remember, this poor girl didn’t physically injure
herself, but her instructor was killed.When we decide to let our children shoot automatic weapons for fun or
sport, our responsibility to others should trump our right to arm children.
3.Laws banning children from shooting
automatic weapons like Uzis are in no possible way a violation of the 2nd
makes this argument should be ashamed of themselves.You have a right to bring your children up
however you wish.But you have no right
to endanger the lives of those around you in doing so.Uzis are not a parental decision, they are
killing machines.They should be treated
4.Your nine-year-old is not allowed to
drive a car, so they should not be allowed to shoot an automatic weapon.And please – spare me the drivel about kids in that
general age range who drive vehicles in competition.There is no place in this country that
legally allows these kids to drive on our public roads.If you allow a child of nine to shoot an Uzi,
it is the equivalent of allowing that same child to drive an 18-wheel rig down
5.Allowing a nine-year-old to shoot this
type of weapon is a totally selfish act.In the minds of extreme gun advocates, this is about stopping and
preventing gun control laws.Some misguided
souls believe banning nine-year-olds from shooting Uzis is the first step
towards making them unavailable to anyone and taking away their guns.If you are willing to use your own children
as a political pawn at the risk of their safety, I feel sorry for you – and
even sorrier for them.
6.The argument that some nine-year-olds
who receive expert instruction are capable of handling an Uzi is crazy.Sure, there might be a really strong kid who can
handle the recoil and perform all the safety steps accurately and
repeatedly.But they would also have to
be blessed with the maturity to handle an accident and the stress that follows
it.I don’t care if you have him/her
supervised by a certified firearm instructor, the NRA Board of Directors, and
the FBI.They are still too young.
7.We are not talking about pellet guns
or .22 caliber weapons here, but rather an Uzi which fires 600 rounds per
that for just a second – 600 bullets per minute.In the hands of a nine-year-old.A kid probably in the third grade.That is not a decision that should be left to
the mother or father.That is nothing
short of sheer idiocy.
society we can’t pass laws that prevent bad parental choices.But we have and must continue to pass laws
that keep automatic weapons out of the hands of children.And that opinion is not because I am
It’s because I am pro-children.
Bill Gouveia is a local columnist and
longtime local official.He can be
emailed at firstname.lastname@example.org and followed on Twitter at