Warning: The following may be offensive to card-carrying members of the National Rifle Association (NRA) who like to say that guns don’t kill people but that people kill people.
And that’s exactly what happened recently in Arizona when a 9-year-old girl fatally shot her shooting instructor with an Uzi submachine gun.
This chilling incident raises the question of whether any child should be legally allowed to fire a weapon designed for warfare – a weapon that fires 10 shots per second and 600 per minute.
The shocking nature of what happened on that shooting range no doubt is rekindling the gun control issue.
The NRA didn’t help itself two days later when its website displayed a video showing seven ways for kids to enjoy themselves at a gun range.
The resulting uproar brought down the website video but the issue won’t be going away soon and neither will the obvious questions.
What were her parents thinking when they arranged for the little girl to take shooting lessons with a fully-loaded killing device that many firearms experts say is too powerful even for some adults.
Why would that experienced instructor risk his life and that of the young girl by handing her the weapon with the selector on fully automatic?
Incredibly, no laws were broken, according to the county sheriff, and the shooting death surely will be ruled accidental.
No one at that shooting range apparently knew that an 8-year-old boy in Massachusetts killed himself a few years ago with an Uzi at a gun show when strong recoil flipped the gun to his face.
Our guess is that NRA lobbyists already are working to make sure that no one changes or even questions the right of anyone of any age to shoot any type of weapon.
It might be simpler to just try to outlaw adult stupidity.