Boy, 8, shoots himself to death at Mass. gun show

  1. LowlyPion

    LowlyPion 5,324
    Homework Helper

  2. jcsd
  3. When I saw the thread title, I thought he must be an American.

    And yes, he was...
  4. Just read about this. They better put dad on suicide watch.
  5. Evo

    Staff: Mentor

    The proud father pulling out his camera for a snapshot of his 8 year old firing an uzi.

  6. It's horrible particularly because it was so preventable.
  7. russ_watters

    Staff: Mentor

    How could they not have predicted this? Handguns kick. Automatic handguns kick a lot. The best they could have expected was for him to smack himself in the head with the gun.
  8. Astronuc

    Staff: Mentor

    That is the first thought I had. An 8 year old should not be in a position to fire an automatic weapon like that (first time!) without an adult with hands nearby to catch it if it recoils - just like it did.

    And the dad was reaching for a camera instead of paying attention to a potentially dangerous situation - or fatal in this case.


  9. Why should a 8 year old get hands on any weapon regardless of an adult presence?
  10. LowlyPion

    LowlyPion 5,324
    Homework Helper

    It's a little young perhaps. But I had a .22 pump action rifle at the age of 12 that held about 30 shorts or about 21 long rifles. I was hell on snakes and frogs and turtles and cans.
  11. Integral

    Integral 7,288
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    Why not? I was about that age when I first shot a gun.

    The very least they should have had the Uzi in single shot mode. (Never seen one, am assuming it HAS a single shot mode.) The kid had fired other weapons, but no mention of caliber.

    Automatic weapons are notorious for 'walking" up as they fire, this boy simply did not have the strength required to hold it down.

  12. You must be really old then.

    Letting children play with guns is an indicator of bad society. If they grow up with weapons, they will be more dependent on those weapons which is unhealthy. Whenever there's a problem, they would think of guns and assume that every problem can be solved with them! It's just my opionion and I realize that I am going with the extreme cases ...
  13. LowlyPion

    LowlyPion 5,324
    Homework Helper

    I can't speak for others, but I have no sense of ever thinking that a gun is a solution to anything but pests. I always held my barrel down, always had the safety on unless prepared to fire, never fired until I was certain of what it would hit, never looked down the barrel unless cleaning it, and then only from the ammo end out. It's only a tool. And even as a kid I never had anything but the utmost respect for it's potential for misuse.

    The gun came to me from my father and it had a gouge in the stock that was a constant reminder to me whenever I handled it that came from the story behind it. The gouge came from when my father was carrying it, when he was younger, and he was out hunting with it slung under his arm. It was struck by a bullet from another hunter on the other side of a hill - out of line of sight. Every time I handled it I was reminded by the blemish of the power of chance, and the responsibility of the person pulling the trigger, and the thought that there but for that blemish I might never have been.
  14. sorry, but this isn't quite right. sure, he shouldn't have adults teaching him to treat guns as toys the way these guys were doing. i believe in gun ownership, and own one, but don't understand some guys' fascination with blowing up pumpkins. not that i didn't go through such a destructive phase, but i was about 12.

    but in general, a gun culture, at least in the traditional rural hunting sense, doesn't imply violence. the normal way of going about it is to give a kid a toy gun and teach him not to point even the toy at people. when he shows he can handle the toy responsibly, he can upgrade to a low-power BB gun. then a pellet gun, and eventually a .22, etc. raised properly, he doesn't think of it as a weapon, it's a powerful tool that demands responsibility.

    4-H even used to do this in high schools:

  15. For hunting:

    I am strongly against killing innocents (all living beings), thus against weapons that are used more for aggression than for defense, but in here I mentioned earlier that

    I should also mention (before someone else points this out) that there's a difference between hunting animals for fun and huting them for food and I am non-vegetarian.

    P.S. I haven't touched any impacts on society in this post.
    Last edited: Oct 28, 2008
  16. Integral

    Integral 7,288
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    I am sorry this is udder nonsense. A gun is NOT a toy, just because you teach a child to handle a gun does not mean it is a toy. Quite the opposite, children taught to safely handle and respect fire arms are not going treat them like toys. It is kids who are NOT taught proper firearms safety that get into trouble when they happen to get thier hands on a weapon.

    A persons approach to problem solving in completely independent of their familiarity or in familiarity with firearms.

    The simple fact is, any house with a firearms and children, the children should be taught firearms safety and respect.
  17. In general I'm not so hot on the idea of guns, for reasons like what happens when they're handled carelessly like in this story, but if someone is going to have access to and use them during the course of their life it makes sense to me to start exposing them to it at a young age.
  18. Congratulations on having your prejudice confirmed.
  19. Borek

    Staff: Mentor

    I don't think it is a prejudice, I think it is statistics. My first idea was that it happened in US as well. I can be wrong, but I am not aware of any other country in which "gun culture" is as strong as in America.

    I am not judging it - this is just a statement of fact.
  20. cristo

    cristo 8,386
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor

    Is that because the thread title includes the word "Mass." which is short for Massachusetts? :rolleyes:
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