What possible reason could any parent have to encourage their child to use an Uzi? Despite how "mature" the 9-year-old who accidentally fatally shot her range instructor seemed to everyone involved, IMHO there is no justification for allowing her to shoot a sub-machine gun. I can hardly write about this, I am that outraged, angry, and stunned.
Instead, here are today's Los Angeles Times letters to the editor, because our voices matter:
What an outrageous display of irresponsibility at this Arizona gun range. ( “Uzi accident is fatal,” Aug. 27)
I am not only talking about the girl’s parents or the gun instructor.
More to the point, it is the senselessness of voters in this country who insist that legally possessing a gun designed solely to rapidly kill multiple people represents 2nd Amendment freedom.
Ron Landesman, Los Angeles
Smoke was coming out of my ears while I read this article. In what universe does a sane, reasonably intelligent person show a 9-year old how to fire an Uzi?
Lord knows I’m no firearms expert, but even I know the recoil could be substantial if the shooter weighs about 60 pounds, the average weight of a 9-year old girl.
Benjamin Franklin famously answered a question about the new nation, calling it “a republic — if you can keep it.”
Has our country’s passion for guns overtaken our capacity to reason? And does that passion threaten our liberty? I think the Founding Fathers would be spinning in their graves if they saw how the extraordinary republic they created interprets the “right to bear arms” amendment today.
Danielle Karson, Pasadena
Kids cope by internalizing responsibility for terrible things that happen — even if it’s not their fault — in situations far less dramatic than this.
So I have one question: How will these children (and God only knows how many more) — who, at their ages, are cognizant enough to understand what happened — cope with the tremendous guilt for the rest of their lives?
David Fritz, Reseda
The tragic death of the gun instructor is puzzling on so many levels. First, why was he teaching a 9-year-old to fire an Uzi? And why were this child’s parents bringing her to a range to learn to shoot an Uzi?
We all know Arizona , like many other states, has issues with crime, illegal immigration and drug smuggling, but has it really come to arming children with Uzis? I sure hope not.
Marty Foster, Ventura
My thoughts are with the 9-year-old girl, her family and the family of the deceased. Having said this, among the questions I have are:
When are we Americans going to learn to divorce ourselves from this love affair we seem to have with guns?
How much more tragedy must we endure at the hands of guns?
Hugo Pastore, Torrance
When is it ever necessary in the U.S. for anyone under the age of 10 to use an Uzi? What is wrong with us as citizens? We should be howling in outrage.
Please, can we finally legislate control of automatic weapons? There is no need for them in daily life.
This was an avoidable tragedy on so many levels.
Susan Van Buren, Newbury Park
The mind boggles. Most parents would not allow their 9-year-old to cross the street by themselves, not to mention handling dangerous machinery.
What earthly reason is there for putting a fatal assault weapon in the hands of a child?
Is this how far the reach of the NRA goes?
Nancy Lazerson, Encinitas
If I have the facts right from your news article and your Op-Ed piece, then we are allowed to put an Uzi into the hands of a 9-year-old girl, but we are prohibited from hugging her when she realizes that she has taken a human life. (“Too litigious for hugs,” Opinion, Aug. 27)
Wayland Marie, Riverside