America Loves Guns

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  1. Avatar Road Scholar
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    I’m tending to view these guys the same way as the anti-vaxxer crowd. I wouldn’t really care that much as long as they were just killing themselves and their own. You know, thin the herd and improve the gene pool.

    Unfortunately, they end up endangering the rest of us as well so it becomes a threat to public health. And then when anyone suggests even the most minimal measures to alleviate the danger people start jumping up and down yelling about their “rights” and… the whole thing is just exhausting.Report

    • Avatar Saul Degraw in reply to Road Scholar
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      @road-scholar

      The shooting instructor apparently tweeted a bunch of things on the day of his debt about people who were concerned with guns were emasculated. So the snarkier sections of the Internet are screaming that the guy got his Darwin award.

      I’m just sad. Sad for the kid who is going to be scarred by this for a long time if not the rest of her life. This absolutely wasn’t her fault but she was taken to a place that advertised gun shooting as just being a really good time and played on all sorts of action movie fantasies.

      The place also allegedly had a liquor license. The site is down today so I can’t confirm.Report

  2. Avatar Gabriel Conroy
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    Can we at least agree that 9 year olds should not be allowed to handle automatic weapons under any circumstance?

    Yeah, I can agree with that.

    But probably not with whatever inference some gun control people might be prepared to draw from it about all people who own guns or support gun rights.Report

  3. Avatar James Hanley
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    says:

    Punk has the answer.Report

  4. Avatar Mad Rocket Scientist
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    says:

    I hear my dog whistle…

    No comment on Burger’s & Bullets because it probably falls along the same lines as Shooter’s Grill in Rifle, CO. As long as the establishment keeps safety as a top priority, it’s probably a fun time.

    Re kids & guns: I agree with this Adults new to firearms have trouble handling full auto, even sub-guns. Kids will even more so. You need to spend more than a little time letting them get a feel for it before you let them rock & roll. I want to feel sorry for the instructor, but honestly, he should have known better. I feel absolutely horrible for the little girl who, because an adult was stupid, will have to find some way to live with this.

    @road-scholar

    Re: pink guns for girls – And your point is? Does the color somehow make the gun more dangerous, or cause people to exhibit less responsibility? Or is it statistically more attractive to irresponsible adults? As for the sizing, it should be sized for little hands. If it was adult sized, little kids would not be able to safely shoot it. I started shooting at age 9 or 10 through the Boy Scouts, and the .22 rifles were sized for kids. Part of the reason the guy is dead is because Uzi’s are not made in kid sizes, so a 9 year old would have a hard time controlling it no matter what (it should have been clamped in a bench vice).

    Our parents lived through guns being marketed to kids, as did their parents, and their grandparents, and on and on.Report

    • Avatar James Hanley in reply to Mad Rocket Scientist
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      But the little girl will shoot her eye out!Report

      • Avatar Road Scholar in reply to James Hanley
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        That’s so funny, @james-hanley ! A few years ago a kid in my hometown was playing around with his bb gun. Decided to take a shot at a bird sitting on the roof. The bb ricocheted off the metal gutter and hit him in the eye.

        It didn’t put out his eye. It went into his brain and killed him instantly.Report

      • Avatar Mad Rocket Scientist in reply to James Hanley
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        @road-scholar

        You do understand the probability of a ricochet BB maintaining enough velocity to be deadly & deflecting on the precisely correct angle to be fatal, right? You probably have a better chance of being struck by lightning.

        Extreme edge cases are even worse than anecdotes for data.Report

      • Avatar James Hanley in reply to James Hanley
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        Maybe you never saw the movie.

        Or is this a, “a bad thing happened once so we can never joke about anything remotely like it moment?” In which case, we really should be condemning that movie.Report

      • Avatar Jaybird in reply to James Hanley
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        My aunt made fun of a movie when she was eating a snack. She gigglesnorted and choked to death.

        I don’t see what’s so funny.Report

      • Avatar Road Scholar in reply to James Hanley
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        says:

        @mad-rocket-scientist

        You do understand the probability of a ricochet BB maintaining enough velocity to be deadly & deflecting on the precisely correct angle to be fatal, right? You probably have a better chance of being struck by lightning.

        Of course I do. It was a freak accident. Otherwise do you think I would be enthusiastically supporting my daughter’s participation in competitive shooting? I just don’t want us to lose sight of the fact that every projectile that exits the barrel of a gun is a potentially fatal event. Even something as seemingly innocuous as a pellet from a bb gun sold in the toy aisle of Wal-Mart.Report

      • Avatar Mad Rocket Scientist in reply to James Hanley
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        @road-scholar

        Well lead with the fact that your kid is a BB marksman (good for her, by the way!). That changes the whole color of the comment.Report

    • Avatar veronica d in reply to Mad Rocket Scientist
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      I kind of agree. The way I see it, this is a tragic fuckup, and tragic fuckups will happen from time to time. I’m not fan of guns, but there are six billion people in the world. Shit happens.

      And come one, people, there is one proper response to this: OMG this is terrible.

      As far as the dude’s stupid tweets. Sure, fine, they were ridic, and if he were living I’d call him a sexist jackass. But he is not alive and he didn’t deserve to die.

      On pink guns, I guess there is some danger kids might see them as toys. And if not your kids, cuz you gave them the perfect gun education that keeps kids from trying dumb things, then the neighbor’s kid when visiting your house. At least it’s worth thinking about.Report

      • Avatar Mad Rocket Scientist in reply to veronica d
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        Well, the first step is to get a gun safe…

        Yes, I know, we have 300+ million people in the US, there are bound to be a disturbing number of idiots who let their kids sleep with their guns. When Bug is old enough, I’ll try not to let him play with those kids at their house.Report

    • Avatar Mad Rocket Scientist in reply to Mad Rocket Scientist
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      Let me just add that pink guns, while obviously marketed to young girls, are not mass marketed to that demographic.

      When you start seeing ads during cartoons geared toward girls, or in magazines, or on websites, intended for pre-teen & young-teen girls, then I might agree. But the reality is these are guns marketed to dads who want to see if their little girl is interested in learning to shoot, and a small rifle with pink furniture is more appealing to a young girl.

      These kinds of rifles weren’t dreamed up by the “evil” gun industry, they were originally custom rifles made by parents with the extra couple hundred dollars to have the gun fitted with different colors. The gun industry took note of how much the aftermarket parts were selling colored parts & ran with it.Report

    • Avatar LeeEsq in reply to Mad Rocket Scientist
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      @mad-rocket-scientist, I think the problem with pink guns for girls or whatever they do for boys is that it turns a deadly weapon into a toy that is attractive for kids. The entire problem with Bullets n’Burgers business model and presumably there are other shooting ranges like it is that it turned gun use into a game and they didn’t seem to take it with the seriousness that they should have. It goes against the image of responsible gun use.Report

      • Avatar Mad Rocket Scientist in reply to LeeEsq
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        says:

        @leeesq

        I address the toy issue below. As for the restaurants, I’d have to visit it to know if they aren’t taking safety seriously (or read a review from someone who is very familiar with firearms & what constitutes good safety). Most media, of any stripe, is utterly clueless about firearms & gun safety, so their opinions are always taken with a grain of saltReport

      • Avatar LeeEsq in reply to LeeEsq
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        I’m getting my impression that Bullets n’Burgers was not exactly serious about safety from their own website. The fact that they decided to take it offline is telling that it would be deeply embarrassing to them at this moment.Report

      • Avatar Mad Rocket Scientist in reply to LeeEsq
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        This site?Report

      • Avatar LeeEsq in reply to LeeEsq
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        Yes, that site. I understand that they have to advertise how fun they are but it doesn’t give a good impression that they take safety seriously. The beer doesn’t help much.Report

      • Avatar Mad Rocket Scientist in reply to LeeEsq
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        Eh, it’s Vegas-ish. I don’t know that what you are seeing isn’t just marketing. I’d really have to visit & see how the operation is actually run.Report

      • Avatar greginak in reply to LeeEsq
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        Vegas has a bunch of places that cater to tourists want to shoot guns. It is a real thing down there. When i comes down to it, this is all about colossally irresponsible instructor and parent. They let the child down badly. Plenty of 9 year olds do activities with adults that could be dangerous. I’ve know people who take kids that young or younger into wilderness alaska in canoes or rafts. Is that dangerous, well it can be. But the positives far outweigh the negatives. Of course the people i’ve know were very safety conscious so they choose safe routes or rivers with plenty of gear and other adults as back up. There is less of story here other than a stupid headline. At least he wasn’t from Florida, they already have plenty of crazy.Report

      • Avatar Mike Schilling in reply to LeeEsq
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        The Bullets and Burgers Adventure is a private outdoor range set in a stunning outdoor desert landscape. We separate ourselves from all other Las Vegas ranges with our unique ‘Desert Storm’ atmosphere and military style bunkers

        I suppose if it weren’t tacky, it wouldn’t be Vegas. And for a lucky few it does come with genuine military-style PTSD.Report

      • Avatar veronica d in reply to LeeEsq
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        I don’t have a problem with a cool and fun gun range folks can try out. Why not?

        The safety depends on the range masters. Are they trained? Do they run a tight ship? Do they instruct the patrons properly, who cannot be expected to understand gun safety?

        I mean, clearly this guy fucked up. And perhaps his employer had a bad policy about kids and automatic fire. (I don’t actually know their policy.) But the idea we should never have a fun-cool gun range open to the public? Seems silly.

        But selling beer? That seems to cross a line from “tacky and will annoy liberals” to “actually, this is pretty irresponsible, and anyone should see that.”Report

    • Avatar Mad Rocket Scientist in reply to Mad Rocket Scientist
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      I’ve thought about what @road-scholar said a bit more & I’m going to add that I believe he is thinking about it the wrong way (this addresses @veronica-d point as well).

      I have no trouble making & marketing weapons in attractive colors, or even marketing them to parents for their kids. I do take issue with companies making & marketing toy & pellet guns to look like real firearms. It’s not uncommon to hear about the police killing a person holding an AirSoft or BB or pellet gun modeled after a real weapon, but for the life of me I can not recall the police gunning down a guy with a NERF gun or a SuperSoaker.

      Toys should not bear any resemblance to realistic, common firearms.Report

    • Avatar Saul Degraw in reply to Mad Rocket Scientist
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      says:

      @mad-rocket-scientist

      Maybe this is just my liberal and coastal and bourgeois ears but when I heard about this story and heard that the establishment was called Bullets n’ Burgers, my mind went to the opposite of thinking they made safety a top priority especially when I saw the ads that showed which gun from which movie they had. The phrase Bullets n’ Burgers sounds more like it is 180 degrees from responsible gun safety.

      In my mind, you can have a responsible firing range that lets kids under 18 shoot with supervision and training but they would not let an under 18 year old fire an Uzi under any circumstance.Report

      • Avatar Mad Rocket Scientist in reply to Saul Degraw
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        says:

        @saul-degraw

        I think 18 is a bit old as a cut-off, but I can certainly see anyone under 10 shoots full auto from a bench vice, and anyone over 10 is, with very careful supervision & training, allowed to shoot small caliber full auto. A child can work up to auto rifles & sub guns, but it takes practice so they get used to the recoil & learn to control it (which is why the link I posted up above outlines a very gradual approach to it).

        It’s hard to impress just how difficult it is to control a full auto weapon, even small caliber ones. There is a reason the military prefers 3 round burst to full auto. You can control those first 3 or 4 rounds, but after that, it really tries to get away from you & you have to work hard to keep it on target. It takes a lot of practice & a bit of upper body strength to keep control. The guy who was killed was far too relaxed about it, letting the girl pop off a few rounds & then going full retard. It’s easy for adults to forget just how little strength & control kids have.Report

      • Avatar j r in reply to Saul Degraw
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        Maybe this is just my liberal and coastal and bourgeois ears…

        Saul, I think that you should have stopped right there. You’ve just admitted that you don’t know much about gun range safety, but you’re objecting because it somehow feels unsafe to you.

        If I were going to open a business that involved a gun range, there are all sorts of people that I might hire or consult. I would hire someone with the expertise to run the range, someone to make sure it was safe, someone to handle lessons. I might even do market research among gun owners and recreational shooters to see what sort of signals potential customers look for in assessing safety. The thing that I would absolutely not do is hire some coastal liberal who knows nothing about guns to try to make sure that my business doesn’t look bad on social media.

        If we are going to talk about this issue, let us least agree to privilege real technical knowledge over how things might appear to people who don’t know anything about them.Report

      • Avatar Saul Degraw in reply to Saul Degraw
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        @j-r

        I clearly know more than the damn people at Bullets n’ Burgers.Report

      • Avatar j r in reply to Saul Degraw
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        On what exactly is that claim based? This one incident?Report

      • Avatar Mad Rocket Scientist in reply to Saul Degraw
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        @j-r

        I think Saul is being facetiousReport

      • Avatar Mike Schilling in reply to Saul Degraw
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        They need a sign with a smiling Fiona Glenanne holding out her hand and saying “You have to be this tall to fire the Uzi.”Report

      • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Saul Degraw
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        Maybe a law that says that only males should be able to use firearms?

        If it saves even one life!Report

    • Avatar EB in reply to Mad Rocket Scientist
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      By definition, our parents lived through guns being marketed to children. What about the people who didn’t live through it? (See also: complaints about dangerous toys and almost all “kids today” comments.)

      You can’t draw conclusions on the safety of something by examining a pool of people selected for having not been harmed by that something.Report

    • Avatar Jim Heffman in reply to Mad Rocket Scientist
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      “Re: pink guns for girls – And your point is? Does the color somehow make the gun more dangerous, or cause people to exhibit less responsibility?”

      Maybe he’s just worried about stereotyping and gender roles. Like, why should something have to be pink in order to be interesting to women?Report

      • Avatar Kim in reply to Jim Heffman
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        I find pink guns to be freaking patronizing. It’s a gun. It should come in a decent dun color. If you must make “girly” guns, make ’em puce. But, really, don’t. Cause it’s dumb.

        A good friend of mine was on the marksmanship team in her school, and I saw her shoot once or twice. She didn’t need any pink guns to be cool.Report

      • Avatar Mad Rocket Scientist in reply to Jim Heffman
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        Well, some women just like pink. But the marketing is for young girls, who, for whatever reason, seem to be into pink (not all of them, obviously, but enough that there is a healthy market for it).Report

      • Avatar Damon in reply to Jim Heffman
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        I once texted a picture of a a Hello Kitty AK 47 (semi auto) to my anti gun friend, saying I had picked this up at a gun show for her. Her response was worth it. 🙂

        It’s just color. No different than getting that 10K Kriegoff all fancied up for another 15K.Report

    • Avatar Road Scholar in reply to Mad Rocket Scientist
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      @mad-rocket-scientist : Re: pink guns for girls – And your point is? Does the color somehow make the gun more dangerous, or cause people to exhibit less responsibility?

      Could you dial down the condescension a notch, please? Of course it doesn’t make it intrinsically more dangerous. But what it does do is create the impression that it’s a toy, just like the Lego blocks and Playskool toys the kid’s barely grown out of that are also sold in bright primary colors. Of course those real toys aren’t capable of killing their little playmates.

      I understand that you’re an intelligent and responsible parent and gun owner. And your kids are above average, just like all the other denizens of Lake Woebegone. But I’m sure you also realize that fully half the populace has an IQ of less than 100. It would also be apparent from this story that there isn’t much of a general intelligence or common-sense requirement that’s enforced in order to qualify as a range instructor. Hence the Darwinian incident.

      I’ll make a deal with you: I won’t generalize from the stupidest and the worst if you don’t insist on generalizing from the best and the brightest.

      Or is it statistically more attractive to irresponsible adults?

      I think it shows questionable judgment on the part of parents given what I believe about it above. But this is all just my intuition talking and I could very well be jumping at shadows. I’m certainly not calling for them to be banned or anything.

      As for the sizing, it should be sized for little hands. If it was adult sized, little kids would not be able to safely shoot it. I started shooting at age 9 or 10 through the Boy Scouts, and the .22 rifles were sized for kids.

      The sizing per se isn’t a problem and I don’t have any issue with the Boy Scout program. As I noted to ScarletNumbers above, my daughter is on the Jay-Cees bb gun team. They stress the safety as if they were handling much more dangerous rifles. I trust the Scouts are just as good. And I took the NRA hunter safety course when I was about that age as well. That was before they became the political lobbying arm of the gun industry and actually supported reasonable gun control measures.Report

      • Avatar Mad Rocket Scientist in reply to Road Scholar
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        @road-scholar

        Could you dial down the condescension a notch, please?

        Sorry…

        As I said somewhere above, I’m less concerned about colorful guns than I am with toys that look too real. I haven’t seen a growing trend of kids with Hello Kitty Kalashnikovs suffering from shooting accidents related to misunderstanding the lethality of their guns, but I have seen a growing trend of people with look-a-like toys getting killed by police & people who can’t tell the difference in the heat of the moment. So as per my discussion with Damon up above, I’m a little more worried about that part of the equation at the moment.Report

  5. Avatar Michael Drew
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    says:

    I’m assuming it’s a smartphone thing, but the post is currently formatted into a kind of verse for me. It’s kinda funky.Report

  6. Avatar Patrick
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    You know, this is one of those things that “there outta be a law” really doesn’t jump into my head.

    For two reasons.

    One:

    Somebody posted on Facebook, “I can’t believe that there’s no law against a kid handling a fully automatic weapon” to which I responded “that’s probably because nobody has been fucking stupid enough to hand a kid an Uzi before”.

    Two:

    Anybody that stupid is probably also dumb enough to sneer at whatever the law is and hand the kid an Uzi anyway.

    So I don’t see this changing much. I mean, this is one of those stories going around in the pretty pro-gun circles of folks I know and they’re all pretty incredulous.

    Kinda like someone deciding to try and turn their car into a JATO-assisted racing machine. If we try to pass laws for every bonkers idea somebody can come up with, our legal code will be filled with so much junk you’d never be able to pass the bar.

    This is one case where I’m pretty sure that every single firearms establishment in the United States is getting a phone call from their insurance adjuster with some standard changes to the policy, and that will be sufficient to eliminate anything except cases of #2 from happening again.Report

  7. Avatar trizzlor
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    says:

    I think you can deconstruct almost any leisure activity this way after an accident. People buy tickets to an “amusement” park where they’re dropped from absurd heights in a metal cage, they even bring their kids. People pay 3x mark-up at a bar” to drink copious amounts of poison that will make them throw up and get fat. etc. etc.

    Should we try to steer our culture in the direction where giving a 9-year old an Uzi is universally unacceptable? Yeah, I guess so, but there’s a lot of other gun-related stuff that should be at the top of that list. In the immortal words of Josiah Bartlet:

    BARTLET: This is a debate that is obviously going to continue in town halls, city halls, state legislatures,
    and the U.S. House of Representatives. There is a population in this country that seems
    to focus so much time and energy into this conversation, so much so that I am forced to
    ask this question — is there an epidemic of flag burning going on that I’m not aware
    of?

    BARTLET: I mean it, man, is there an emergency-level outbreak of flag desecration no
    one’s kept me posted on?

    Just replace [flag burning] with [accidental shooting at a gun range with a kooky name].Report

  8. Avatar Mike Schilling
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    says:

    I do want to see a photo of the moron showing the little girl how to fire the Uzi, captioned “I am the NRA”.Report

  9. Avatar Mad Rocket Scientist
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    One more thing about this (yes, incidents like this bug me).

    There is a subset of gun owners who are of the mind that the proper way to teach respect of a firearm is to put a little fear of it into the newbie. You can search YouTube & find videos of guys handing their girlfriends or wives or kids large caliber weapons & then having them shoot it without proper instruction & guidance. The result is almost always the person being mildly injured from the recoil (badly bruised shoulder, or face), and some stupid macho crap to follow from the “experienced” gun owner.

    I don’t know that the man who was killed falls into this set, but it wouldn’t surprise me if he did, which would explain why he gave the girl so little instruction (I’m speculating, but he may wanted the recoil to freak her out a bit), figuring he could step in quick enough if it got away from her.

    To say that people like that bug the ever living out of me…Report

    • The most important thing my father taught me about guns was to always assume it’s loaded and never touch one unless he was there with me. (He had quite a large number of guns.) Even our toy guns that looked like toy guns we weren’t allowed to point at each other, unless they were water guns, and even then, they were the cheap jelly-colored translucent ones.

      I’ve probably already said this before, but another way he “taught” me about guns was taking me to what must’ve been scores of gun shows, where he rented two or three tables. In fact, most of our family vacations revolved around traveling with him gun shows. What I learned is that after the first 10 minutes of being there, guns can get really boring.Report

  10. Avatar Damon
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    says:

    Saul,

    In answer to your questions:

    1) I first thought this was like a diner with a range out back. Turns out, it’s just a range that serves you lunch as part of your range package. From the website: “The Bullets and Burgers Adventure is a private outdoor range set in a stunning outdoor desert landscape.”……” Our guests have the opportunity to fire a wide range of fully automatic machine guns and specialty weapons. You will choose the guns which you want to shoot from our extensive collection and we provide the eye/ear protection, ammunition, and expert guidance.”…. “To top it off, lunch is included inside the World Famous Arizona Last Stop restaurant located onsite. You will be treated with the World Famous All American Hamburger, fresh cut french fries, and a drink. The All American Burger is guaranteed to be the best hamburger you have ever eaten.”
    Why would anyone start a business like that? First off, most people who like to shoot guns, can’t afford to OWN fully automatic weapons, don’t want to go through the regulatory hassle, or both. So, you can go to this kind of place and see what it’s like to fire an Uzi or REAL machine gun. Cost of owning a simple WWII era Thompson machine gun (the gun the mobsters used in all those movies): 22,000.00. You know who has money like that? Rich retired guys.

    2) Hell yes, they are fun to shoot. Shooting is fun, if you like it. Shooting machine guns and automatic sub machine guns would be even more fun. Note, you gotta enjoy shooting.
    3) Allowing a 9 year old kid to use a full auto uzi? Stupid. I’ve not seen the video, but I doubt the kid could even handle it on semi auto. I’d never give a kid something like that UNLESS they had demonstrated the following: physical capability to handle the weapon, had quite a bit of experience shooting similar semi autos, had quite a lot of experience shooting in general, knew range safety, etc. I’d say that pretty much would rule out any 9 year old, but perhaps not all.
    “A business called bullets n’ burgers does not conjure up images of responsible gun use in my head.” Would it make a difference if the place was called “responsible gun firing range”? Look, this is a business open to the public. It’s the range master who’s responsible for ensuring a safe outing for the patrons. He’s got to push back if the parents push him to do something unsafe or unwise and he’s got to be smart enough to know when to go ahead. That’s why this incident is so unfortunate and why firearm safety is so important. The consequences of failure can be terminal.Report

  11. Avatar morat20
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    says:

    The problem with American and guns is this:

    We treat guns as toys. They aren’t toys. They’re tools or weapons, depending on your purpose. Even for things like sports shooting, they’re equipment.

    They aren’t toys.

    When I learned gun safety, it was from very serious people who’d kick you out if you so much as touched the rifle without permission. They didn’t mess around. They tolerated no foolishness, no horseplay, and you didn’t touch a gun until you could repeat the basic rules of guns in your sleep. (Treat all guns as loaded, don’t put your finger on a trigger unless you’re prepared to shoot, never point a gun at anything you don’t plan to shoot. Don’t pick up the gun until you’re told, don’t FIRE until you’re told, stop firing immediately if told to stop).

    You didn’t fire the gun until you could safely handle it first. Strangely, nobody ever got freaking shot.

    To be blunt, the archery instructor at Scout camp seemed more safety-conscious than this guy, and the odds of a 10 year old with a 30lb bow managing to put an arrow into him was pretty low (much less seriously hurting or killing him).

    There’s a million things we can talk about with Americans and guns, but I think — just in terms of sheer WTF — is the fact that a lot of people only play lip service to gun safety.

    This dead guy? I’d bet money this wasn’t the first time he’s done something this stupid with a gun. Nobody brain farts out “Let’s hand a nine year old an Uzi on full auto and stand back, see what happens” unless they’ve gotten away with a lot of similarly stupid things.

    A friend of mine’s been to a similar range. The range safety boiled down to handing them exotic guns (mostly military stuff, fairly low end), showing them how to load the ones they selected, then showing them the range. The guy that took them (NOT the guy working there) was the one who ran them through quick-and-dirty safety like “Treat them as if they’re loaded, keep your fingers off the trigger, keep them pointed down range”.

    I don’t know when it changed, or why, but it seems to be pretty wide spread.Report

    • Avatar Mad Rocket Scientist in reply to morat20
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      @morat20

      To be fair, SOME people treat guns as toys. Too often, they make the headlines. Nobody writes a national headline about the responsible parents who took their kids shooting and nothing bad happened because everyone was safe & careful.

      As to why we seem to have this growing trend… sigh… I don’t know. Marketing? Hollywood? The decline of hunting culture?Report

      • Avatar morat20 in reply to Mad Rocket Scientist
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        Oh yeah, I wouldn’t dream of claiming all of them do. (Not when I know so many that do, in fact, treat guns seriously. I’m related to a number of them).

        But it seems a growing segment doesn’t take it seriously, and they seem to be the ones who are most…evangelical…about guns.

        If only 5% are idiots about guns, but that 5% is the ones who are most gung-ho about selling guns and getting other people to use guns and getting their faces out their as the ‘face’ of guns, well….they can have an outsized effect.

        There’s “pro-gun” in the sense that you’re a hunter or sports shooter or even just a collector who is very much about gun rights and doesn’t want his ability to hunt or collect infringed. And then there’s “pro-gun” in the sense of “We should arm everyone! Kids have to learn to shoot to pass fifth grade! If you don’t own a gun, you’re not American! BUY GUNS NOW!”.

        If those latter ones are less strict on safety, it’s their standards that are going to proliferate. And honestly, there does seem to be a correlation between the more…rapidly pro-gun approach and a lackadaisical sense of gun safety. (I suppose that ‘By the way, this is a very powerful tool and can injure or kill you if you’re not respectful and safe with it’ probably does not sell as many guns — literally or figuratively — as ‘You wanna be a man? Arm up’ and ‘Guns, it’ll keep you safe from all those dangerous things I just told you about’ and ‘Guns, it comes in pink!”).

        Eh, I’m also personally against (not the point of law or anything, I just think it’s dumb) both idiotic and useless ‘tactical’ accessories AND painting guns cute colors. The first is just idiotic posing (which I think promotes being an idiot with a gun) and the later makes guns look less threatening than they actually are. Which promotes carelessness.

        I don’t own any guns — don’t need to, with the number of hunters floating around my family. I just borrow (as long as I pay for my ammo and clean them, they’re fine with it) and that way I don’t need to deal with getting a proper gun-safe and storing the things properly. ’cause that’s part of owning a gun to me — safe storage (from thieves and careless hands). I couldn’t buy a pistol without first looking into locked cases, gun safes, ammo storage — all with layers of ‘keep people who shouldn’t be touching them from touching them’ security.

        Same way the smart electricians around here padlock the freaking breaker boxes to make sure no idiot comes along and turns the power back on when they’re fixing something.Report

      • Avatar Mike Schilling in reply to Mad Rocket Scientist
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        says:

        Nobody writes a national headline about the responsible parents who took their kids shooting and nothing bad happened because everyone was safe & careful.

        Just like nobody writes a national headline about government officials who are honest, conscientious and helpful. Except Breitbart, when they’re framing one.Report

      • Avatar Mad Rocket Scientist in reply to Mad Rocket Scientist
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        says:

        @mike-schilling

        Touche’Report

      • Avatar Mad Rocket Scientist in reply to Mad Rocket Scientist
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        says:

        Same segment, I think, that falls into the group I mentioned above, who think it’s OK to scare newbies in order to teach them to respect the weapon.

        I don’t disagree with you, @morat20 , or @damon , I just have no idea how to alter it beyond what I am doing, which is preaching as best I can, & practicing what I preach when I take newbies out for their first time. I can teach respect for a weapon with a dozen watermelons, & nobody gets hurt.

        Ideally, I’d prefer to expand the Civilian Marksmanship Program and get people to join & take their classes. However, that would require both sides of the debate to back off a bit (the pro-gun folks who object to any government involvement in setting training/proficiency requirements because it’ll be a gateway to gun control; and the anti-gun folks who object to the same because it’ll encourage more people to own & use guns).Report

      • Avatar Damon in reply to Mad Rocket Scientist
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        says:

        @mad-rocket-scientist

        Concur MAD. That’s what I do as well. Given my political orientation I feel the same way, so I do what I can where I can to make a difference.Report

      • Avatar Kazzy in reply to Mad Rocket Scientist
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        says:

        @mad-rocket-scientist @morat20

        I’ve said this before but it bears repeating…

        The first time I handled a gun, some other “city slickers” and I joined our country bumpkin friend and his boys at his bachelor party. We went trap shooting. Guess which idiots treated the guns like toys? Those of us with no experience, no training, no respect for the tools. We were quickly set straight — respectfully but firmly and unequivocally — by the pros.

        Now, me and the city slickers are surely not representative of the various demographics we fall into. But I’m confident saying the vast majority of gun owners would have handled the situation exactly as my friend did. Are there idiots who love but don’t respect guns? Sure. But knowledge of a topic — passion for a topic — tends to lead to better respect for it and a healthier relationship with it.Report

      • Avatar Saul Degraw in reply to Mad Rocket Scientist
        Ignored
        says:

        @kazzy

        I’ve been thinking about what you are kind of talking about today.

        There seems to be a lot of moaning in the United States about people with opposing attitudes live apart and don’t really talk to each other. The Big Sort has been a thing for a long time. There seems to be an assumption that if opposing sides got together, we would reach understanding and some kind of consensus.

        I often find that most people imagine that this consensus is really more like the “magical transformation of the liberals” and co-mingling is more like trolling.

        Open Carry advocates are a good example of this especially when think that going into liberal neighborhoods is a great example of standing for civil liberties.

        http://www.oregonlive.com/portland/index.ssf/2013/01/rifle_toting_activist_in_portl.html

        Sometimes respect and consensus is doing “When in Rome do as the Romans do”Report

      • Avatar Kazzy in reply to Mad Rocket Scientist
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        says:

        @saul-degraw

        With this friend in particular — who is by far the most conservative good friend I have — the exchange is fairly mutual. I’m probably more willing to stretch in some ways, but I think that id a function of personality more than ideology and I would not attempt to map lur personality traits onto our political ideologies. And he has many more liberal friends than I do conservative. While he will often give voice (quite genuinely) to common conservative talking points, I’ve never heard him engage in the divisive type of us-vs-them, “piss off a liberal today” nonsense. Both of us are better off for having the other in our life (for reasons beyond a typical friendship).Report

    • Avatar LeeEsq in reply to morat20
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      says:

      This is my take of the incident. The Bullets n’Burgers website really left a poor taste in my mouth because everything suggested that they weren’t taking gun safety seriously. They offered alcohol for the adult patrons and it seems that lettting people drink beer and shoot guns at the same venue is asking for problems regardless of how you treat gun safety. The entire reinact Desert Storm really didn’t help things either because its turning actual gun use into a game.Report

    • Avatar Damon in reply to morat20
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      says:

      @morat20

      You’re dead on Morat. This is how I grew up as well. I actively screen people I’ve interacted with for just this behavior. One person is on my “no play” list because he acted like an idiot. I simply DO NOT SCREW with safety and I have little tolerance for anyone who doesn’t.Report

    • Avatar Saul Degraw in reply to morat20
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      says:

      @morat20

      My view is this:

      1. We have a substantial minority of people who because of decades of talk radio culture or counter-culture are hopping angry and willing to rebel and scream and fight against anything that smacks the tiniest bit of paternalism no matter how sensible or reasonable said proposal or regulation is. The fact that someone is making a regulatory or safety suggestion is enough to inspire rebellion.

      2. Shock the Bourgeois exists as a motto to live by in both the right wing “real America” culture and left-wing counter culture. And a business called Bullets n’ Burgers basically seems to exist as a way of trolling with that name.Report

      • Avatar Damon in reply to Saul Degraw
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        says:

        @saul-degraw

        I’ll speak to your point 1 only. Maybe it’s talk radio? Maybe talk radio is popular BECAUSE people are tired of being told what to do and how they should live their lives, like they are children? Your definition of “sensible or reasonable” is simply that. Yours.

        This is why I can’t have BuckeyBalls or Lawn Darts.Report

      • Avatar j r in reply to Saul Degraw
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        says:

        @saul-degraw

        I really think that you are projecting here. This was a a Las Vegas business aimed at attracting tourists. Here’s the Trip Advisor page: http://www.tripadvisor.com/Attraction_Review-g45963-d3697929-Reviews-Bullets_and_Burgers-Las_Vegas_Nevada.html

        Read the reviews. How many of them talk about how great it was to stick it to those unmanly liberals?Report

      • Avatar Mike Schilling in reply to Saul Degraw
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        says:

        Maybe talk radio is popular BECAUSE people are tired of being told what to do

        And being told what to believe makes a nice change.Report

      • Avatar Damon in reply to Saul Degraw
        Ignored
        says:

        @mike-schilling

        I find both offensive.Report

      • Avatar Saul Degraw in reply to Saul Degraw
        Ignored
        says:

        @damon

        You are sort of proving my point. Notice I also said that counter-culture rebellion is part of the blame and not just talk radio but maybe sometimes people should listen to why they are being told to do something instead of being angry at being told that something is a good idea.

        If your reaction to being told to wear a seatbelt while driving or to wear a helmet while riding a motorcycle is to get hopping mad, you have a problem.Report

      • Avatar Damon in reply to Saul Degraw
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        says:

        @saul-degraw

        Saul, my response to being told I need to do something is to question the person telling me WHY they think that they have the authority to tell me what to do. I’m not a child and they aren’t my parents. If the reasons why I should do something are sound, I’ll consider doing it. If not, I won’t. Telling me to do something and not giving a reason is the same as “because I said so”.

        Generally excluded from this questioning are cops for obvious reasons.Report

      • Avatar dhex in reply to Saul Degraw
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        says:

        @saul-degraw

        when social conservatives address point one but instead talk about the sanctity of family, importance of religion in public life, and the culture of rebelliousness that endorses homosexuality, erosion of marriage, etc, do you think they have a point or do you think of them as bigots?Report

      • Avatar Saul Degraw in reply to Saul Degraw
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        says:

        @dhex

        I don’t see them as comparable. Seatbelt and helmet laws are sensible regulations aimed to lowering the risk of severe injury in car and motorcycle accidents and from preventing a waste of resources. Medical needs to respond whether a person was wearing a seatbelt or not. The chances of them clearing out quickly in case of proper seatbelt uses are much higher.

        I really don’t get what is so enraging about the idea of proper safety regulations designed to prevent fewer malfunctions and fewer workplace accidents.

        Yeah I can find micromanagement annoying to but that does not make all regulations and suggestions evil. Almost everyone here agrees that it was rather dumb for the kid to be given an Uzi. Yet any suggestion that firing ranges should not let kids handle automatic weapons becomes the worst thing ever because AmuricaReport

      • Avatar Saul Degraw in reply to Saul Degraw
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        says:

        And I am rather fine with being cursed at for being paternalistic if it means that there will be less children who develop PTSD because someone decided it would be great to hand them an Uzi on automatic and the kid accidentally kills someone because common sense says that kids are not strong enough for having guns.

        And I am fine with being seen as paternalistic if it means less serious accidents at the workplace or on the roads.Report

      • Avatar dhex in reply to Saul Degraw
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        says:

        @saul-degraw

        “We have a substantial minority of people who because of decades of talk radio culture or counter-culture are hopping angry and willing to rebel and scream and fight against anything that smacks the tiniest bit of paternalism no matter how sensible or reasonable said proposal or regulation is.”

        your focus does not seem to be on helmets or “sensible regulations” (i doubt anyone supports insensible regulations beyond the irs, who are clearly all discordians) but to a counter culture that is steeped in antinomianism.

        now, given that it’s of course not steeped in antinomianism – i doubt you’re describing anarchist radio hosts, for starters – your response to someone saying “people should evaluate their own risk” is dependent largely on aesthetics. when you say to a religious conservative – let’s say you got cornered by a mitzvah tank on your way to guys and dolls – “i don’t think being gay is a big deal” you are also saying “people should evaluate their own risk and live their own lives”.

        most people are anything but antinomian – you just have a vast gulf of disagreement over the unsaid completion of “people should live their own lives” which is “…except in these areas which need to be controlled.”

        and we all do this. but to pound on about some kind of sinister anarcho-consevative cult of individualism is to miss the point of what’s actually happening in the service of creating some kind of dark tower enemy who responds to your fears and desires.

        tl;dr – sports bar ist krieg.Report

      • Avatar dhex in reply to Saul Degraw
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        says:

        @saul-degraw

        “And I am fine with being seen as paternalistic”

        are you really? i think you may be many things, but inured to the slings and arrows of others’ opinions is not one of them.Report

      • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Saul Degraw
        Ignored
        says:

        And I am rather fine with being cursed at for being paternalistic if it means that there will be less children who develop PTSD because someone decided it would be great to hand them an Uzi on automatic and the kid accidentally kills someone because common sense says that kids are not strong enough for having guns.

        Fewer.Report

      • Avatar Saul Degraw in reply to Saul Degraw
        Ignored
        says:

        @dhex

        The issue is that being gay and gay marriage really does hurt or change anyone else. Not wearing a seat belt or helmet can have huge consequences for other people. So can running a shooting range that plays a bit fast and loose with training and who can fire what weapons as this story showed and others pointed out. So is maintaining a proper workplace and I can tell you cases of serious injuries from people who liked to cut corners, not keep proper records, etc.

        I’ve mentioned them to Gabriel when he gets defensive about regulators coming in and telling skilled mechanics/electricians what to do. I was working on a construction accident case. A guy got blinded because the elbow from a concrete pump blew out and wet concrete and rocks went flying into his face. The equipment was owned by a leasing company that had some in-house mechanics. The inhouse mechanics tested for wear and tear by hitting the elbow and pipes with a hammer to hear for special sounds. They found using an ultra sound to be too time consuming at the end day when they just wanted to go home. The engineer who designed the equipment was mortified by this technique because he think it increased wear and tear.

        So who is right? Who is wrong? Is it overly burdensome and anger inducing for the mechanics to be told by an engineer on how to test for wear and tear? What if a government regulator or agency came in and said “do what the engineer says”?

        Note I am not saying that people under 18 should not be allowed onto shooting ranges or Uzis should be banned from shooting ranges. I am saying that Bullets n’ Burgers is not the best name optically speaking and that 9 year olds are probably not strong enough to handle automatic weapons on full tilt, power. And perhaps a law is necessary. I disagree with Patrick that a shooting range is likely to ignore such a law.

        Also I was probably being hyperbolic and defensive with my paternalistic line.Report

      • Avatar dhex in reply to Saul Degraw
        Ignored
        says:

        @saul-degraw

        “The issue is that being gay and gay marriage really does hurt or change anyone else.”

        neither does bike helmets. they help prevent more serious injury, not accidents.

        and that’s amore!

        more seriously though you’re addressing 500 different issues and real or imagined opposition to them; i’m speaking of rhetoric, which is humanity’s only true god.Report

      • Avatar j r in reply to Saul Degraw
        Ignored
        says:

        I am saying that Bullets n’ Burgers is not the best name optically speaking …

        Does that mean that you also want to regulate for optics?Report

      • Avatar dhex in reply to Saul Degraw
        Ignored
        says:

        optics and fail are the two words i’d like to ban most; it’s failure, not fail, you goddang jackanapes!

        and optics, jesus, can’t we just say “this looks bad”? i work in pr/marketing and if anyone said optics around me i’d make fun of them. unless i worked for an eyeglass manufacturer and a consultant said it, in which case i’d punch them repeatedly while yelling “TAKE IT BACK! TAKE IT BACK!”Report

      • Avatar Gabriel Conroy in reply to Saul Degraw
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        says:

        @saul-degraw

        You mention that story a lot–on at least three separate occasions on these threads by my count–and on the last time, I did concede that the worker was wrong and the engineer was right.

        My “defensiveness,” as you say, has less to do with “regulators” and more to do with the automatic assumption that in any given disagreement the engineer in all cases must be right simply because he/she has gone to college while the mechanic must be wrong simply because he/she didn’t (assuming, of course, he/she didn’t). But yes, based on the facts as you present them, the engineer in this case was right.Report

      • Avatar ScarletNumbers in reply to Saul Degraw
        Ignored
        says:

        @dhex

        I think the phrase “epic fail” has a certain mellifluousness to it.

        As for “optics” that one came out of nowhere. All of a sudden everyone was saying it. Sort of like “verbiage”.Report

    • Avatar Michael Drew in reply to morat20
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      says:

      @morat20

      Let’s not be getting all dismissive-like of Boy/Girl Scout archery instructors, now. i’m not aware of any evidence they’re doing anything wrong as a group…Report

  12. Avatar Wardsmith
    Ignored
    says:

    I’m going to open a new store called ATF.

    Because let’s face it, what’s more fun than alcohol tobacco and firearms?Report

  13. Avatar Kazzy
    Ignored
    says:

    http://parenting.blogs.nytimes.com/2014/08/27/american-kids-learning-to-aim-and-fire/

    Great piece on the topic.

    I will say that I generally agree with most (if not all… I just haven’t read all his comments…) of what @mad-rocket-scientist has said here. As we talked about when a younger child (5?) killed a sibling not long ago, I’d draw the line for “kids and guns” at the age when children typically develop a full conceptual understanding of the permanence of death. I believe this is somewhere between 7-9 but would defer to folks with greater expertise than I. If a child is still in the “Bang, bang, you’re dead. Okay, now get up” stage, they’re too young for a gun because they can’t even begin to approach reasonably understanding the potential consequences of their actions. Once they’re beyond that, I’d be uneasy but inclined to allow children training-and-then-use. I’d probably want a means by which we can enforce accountability (legal, financial, and otherwise) on those who facilitate a child’s gun use in the event something goes wrong. This won’t stop the crazies (nothing will) but it should encourage responsibility in behalf of the adults involved. Oh, and if we’re putting a gun in small hands, make it as safe as possible. If this means a “kid-sized” gun, so fucking be it!Report

    • Avatar Mad Rocket Scientist in reply to Kazzy
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      says:

      @kazzy

      You might like this lady

      http://www.corneredcat.com/Report

      • Avatar Kazzy in reply to Mad Rocket Scientist
        Ignored
        says:

        Thanks, @mad-rocket-scientist .

        Curious your thoughts on my idea of imposing an age limit based on developmental milestones w/r/t conceptions of death.

        I recognize it would have probably NOT impacted this case (9 would probably be beyond the limit) and that it would be largely enforceable (I would not want to empower the state to police everywhere gun owners might be and checking library cards), but if it promotes consciousness and serves to unmuddy the waters by being based in developmental psych (instead of the culture wars), it seems a small but no doubt step forward.Report

      • Avatar Mad Rocket Scientist in reply to Mad Rocket Scientist
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        says:

        I think it is perfectly reasonable & it should be the standard parents use to determine whether or not a child is ready to handle a variety of items.

        I’m not sure of the legal term, but I could even see legal action against adults who allow children access to guns after the fact. I.E. police would not check to see if a child was developmentally ready to be around firearms, but if something happened, the fact that a child was not ready could be held against the adult.

        And yes, the girl in question would be beyond that. Again, kids that young can be taught to handle something like an Uzi/Mini-Uzi, but it’s a process that is slow & patient. Not something that can be done in 5 minutes or less.Report

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