It seems there are a lot of news items lately that I’ve thought to mention here and give the label “Stupidity”. Some just make me shake my head; some make me cry. In the latter category, we have this tragic story about an 8-year-old boy who killed himself with an Uzi that he was shooting with his father’s permission and encouragement:
A Massachusetts police chief, two Connecticut men and a gun club were indicted Thursday in the case of an 8-year-old boy killed by a submachine gun he was firing at a gun show.
The boy, Christopher K. Bizilj of Ashford, Conn., accidentally shot himself in the head while taking his turn with a 9-millimeter Micro Uzi on Oct. 26 in Westfield, Mass. He was accompanied by his father, an emergency room doctor, who, the authorities say, had chosen the Uzi for him to fire.
Let’s list at some of the details here, because one can barely believe them unless they’re laid out in front of one: The boy is 8. He wanted to shoot an Uzi at a gun show, and his father let him. This is illegal, because in Massachusetts, children are not allowed to fire machine guns even with parental permission (imagine!). The gun club let them do it anyway (wink, wink). It seems that the boy couldn’t control the kickback.
I can only imagine who else might have been killed by that out-of-control machine gun wielded by a scared child, had it not done him in first.
The club, the sponsor, and the men who provided the weapon have been charged with involuntary manslaughter. The father has not; says the District Attorney, “The father will be punished every day for the rest of his life for what happened.” I suspect that if the father had instead, say, allowed his son to take the wheel of the family Hummer, the DA would not have been as understanding.
And that’s one of my two major questions here: What sane person hands an 8-year-old a real machine gun with live ammunition? In this case, we seem to have at least four apparently sane adults, including a doctor and a police chief, who’ve done so.
The second question is this: What is anyone doing with live ammo in a machine gun at a gun show? This stuff is truly beyond imagination. There’s no reason for these sorts of weapons to be readily available, and there’s no reason to be passing them around at “gun shows”, loaded and deadly.
 And I mean “tragic” in the literary sense, the only way I use the word.