There is no denying that some guns are incredibly powerful, especially automatic guns such as the Uzi. This raises the question of whether it is wise for children to get their first dose of gun action when they are unable to deal with the recoil from the gun, increasing the danger level of those around the shooter. Although Americans have a right to bear arms, failure to follow safety rules can lead to shocking incidents and serious injuries or death. For example, tales of a child shooting another child with a father’s gun are relatively common. However, a recent Arizona firearms accident has shocked the world and has reignited the discussion of appropriate gun safety with children.
FAMILY INCIDENT TURNS TO TRAGEDY
At the Bullets and Burgers shooting range in White Hills, Arizona, a family came to visit from New Jersey with their nine-year-old child. A recording released by police shows the child being instructed on how to fire an Uzi at a shooting range by Charles Vacca, a veteran from Lake Havasu. He was telling her to hold the weapon with two hands at all times and keep perpendicular to the range. The child took one shot after Vacca told her to fire. He then adjusted her stance and told her to go ‘full auto’. Her final act was to squeeze the trigger and lose control under the power of the gun. The volley of bullets forced her to lose her two-handed grip. The gun swung to the left, with bullets hitting Vacca in the head. Vacca was airlifted to the University Medical Center Hospital in Las Vegas after the girl shot him but he died later that evening. Mohave County Sheriff Jim McCabe released the 22 second video of the incident, describing it as ‘ghastly’. He told the Las Vegas Review that no charges were filed because Bullets and Burgers was a licensed property and legal in its operations. Social media and news outlets reacted in horror and questioned how a nine-year-old could be allowed to do that.
GUN AND OTHER ACCIDENTS MAY LEAD TO LAWSUITS
As shocking as the incident may be, the question of liability for an accident like this may not be easy to answer. It would seem simple to say that the organizers of the event are liable, but that may not be true depending on how the event was planned, how the instructor was hired and even how the shooting session was organized. The attorneys at Bernstein & Poisson in Las Vegas can help you understand your rights and pursue compensation if appropriate for injuries you suffer in an accident. Contact them today for more information.