Guns are not toys. You’d think that a firearms instructor, of all people, would know that.
Especially when the gun in question is an Uzi submachine gun.
Developed in the late 1940s by Israeli Major Uziel Gal, it was introduced into the Israeli Special Forces in 1954.
Two years later, it was pressed into general issue among the Israeli Army.
It’s compact, easy to carry (weighing about seven pounds) and utterly lethal, firing 600 rounds per minute.
This was designed purely as a weapon of war. Its purpose is to quickly kill as many enemy soliders as possible.
In short, it’s not a toy for the amusement of children.
On August 25, a firearms instructor named Charles Vacca, 39, of Lake Havasu City, Arizona, learned that the hard way.
He was showing a nine-year-old girl how to use an Uzi submachine gun at the Last Stop outdoor shooting range in Dolan Springs.
The girl pulled the trigger and the recoil sent the gun over her head, shooting the instructor in the head.
He was flown to University Medical Center in Las Vegas, but did not survive.
Clearly, this was yet another entirely preventable killing.
First of all, why does a nine-year-old girl need to learn to use an Uzi?
As stated previously: This is a military weapon, designed solely for killing large numbers of people as quickly as possible.
So unless you’re a soldier–or a serial killer–this gun has no use for you.
Its bullets–up to .45 caliber–will not only go through their intended target–but into any bystanders who are unlucky enough to be behind him as well.
Contrast this with ammo like the Glazer Safety Slug, which uses No. 6 birdshot suspended in liquid Teflon. Upon impact, the round explodes within the target, scattering the birdshot for an almost certifiably lethal wound.
Thus, the Glazer round won’t pass through its intended target to strike someone standing behind him. And if the round hits a wall, it will shatter, thus reducing the danger of a ricochet.
Second, the instructor should have known that a 600-round-a-minute weapon is bound to have a big recoil. So he should have put his arms around hers to ensure that she had a firm grip on the weapon.
The result: Another casualty of the NRA mentality that says: Everyone of any age and inability should have access to high-caopacity military firepower.
This latest tragedy bears a striking resemblan/ce to the one that just as needlessly killed “American Sniper” Chris Kyle.
As a Navy SEAL sniper, from 1999 to 2009, Kyle recorded more than 160 confirmed kills–the most in U.S. military history. Iraqis came to refer to him as “The Devil” and put a $20,000 bounty on his life.
After leaving combat duty, he became the chief instructor for training at the Naval Special Warfare Sniper and Counter-Sniper team. And he authored the Naval Special Warfare Sniper Doctrine, the first Navy SEAL sniper manual.
Upon retiring from the Navy, he created a nonprofit company, FITCO Cares. Its mission: to provide at-home fitness equipment for emotionally and physically wounded veterans.
And he was a mentor to veterans suffering from PTSD–Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.
It was this last activity–and, more importantly, his approach to therapy–that cost him his life.
On February 2, 2013, an Iraqi War veteran reportedly suffering from PTSD turned a semi-automatic pistol on Chris Kyle and Kyle’s friend, Chad Littlefield, while the three visited a shooting range in Glen Rose, Texas.
The accused murderer is Eddie Ray Routh, of Lancaster, Texas. Routh, a corporal in the Marines, was deployed to Iraq in 2007 and Haiti in 2010.
Police later found the murder weapon at his home.
It was apparently Kyle’s belief that shooting could prove therapeutic for those suffering from mental illness.
Erath County Sheriff Tommy Bryant said that Routh’s mother “may have reached out to Mr. Kyle to try to help her son.
“We kind of have an idea that maybe that’s why they were at the range for some type of therapy that Mr. Kyle assists people with. And I don’t know if it’s called shooting therapy, I don’t have any idea.”
Chris Kyle was undoubtedly one of the foremost experts on firearms in the United States. Few knew better than he did the rules for safe gun-handling.
And yet he broke perhaps the most basic commonsense rule of all: Never trust an unstable person with a loaded firearm.
And it was the breaking of that rule that killed him.
Charles Vacca made a similar elementary mistake: He assumed that a nine-year-old girl was ready to take on the challenges of military hardware that was never designed for children.
And it killed him.