KIMT News 3 - In a tragic accident earlier this week, a 9-year-old shot and killed her shooting instructor. The girl was shooting an Uzi sub-machine gun. In a viral video, the instructor has her fire once, then says “all right, full auto.” That’s when she lost control.
“No nine-year-old girl should be operating one of those, it’s just ludicrous,” says trapshooting instructor, Dave Wickman.
He has been immersed in the gun culture since age 5.
“My father was a hunter, a shooter, and enjoyed target practice. That was one of the things we enjoyed on Sunday afternoons,” says Wickman.
Before he even got his hands on a firearm though, his dad taught him the proper way to handle them.
“He was very, very adamant about gun safety,” says Wickman.
Therefore, when he hears of a 9-year-old firing such a powerful weapon in automatic mode, it doesn’t sit well with him.
“I do not think she should have been shooting at that age, certainly not even capable of handling anything like that,” says Wickman.
Wickman does however, think kids can handle certain guns with proper supervision. To learn how though, means heading out to the shooting range.
“We have a youth program that starts at age 10. They’re heavily supervised. Safety is the number one job here at the gun club,” says Steve Schutte, Ventura Gun Club President.
He says it’s important that children learn to respect firearms.
“They’re a part of our society, and if we, as certified instructors, don’t train young people to use fire arms properly and respect them, then I don’t know who else is going to do it,” says Schutte.
While we don’t know what kind of training this young Arizona girl had prior to the incident, no matter what, Schutte says that they need to start slow.
“You don’t learn to fly an airplane by flying an F-18 fighter jet,” says Schutte.
Even seasoned firearm vets, like Wickman, don’t have an interest in such dangerous weapons.
“I’ve never fired a fully automatic gun, and don’t really care too,” Wickman says.
If you want your child to know how to safely handle a gun, these experts say to seek out professional instructors, and always monitor what your kids are experimenting with.