A fatal incident in which a nine-year-old girl accidentally killed her instructor with an Uzi at an Arizona shooting range this week has sparked outrage on social media.
Pundits, talk show hosts and journalists expressed disbelief that a child would be allowed to fire an Uzi, a powerful submachine gun.
Her parents recorded her shooting lesson on a cellphone, capturing the moment when she lost control of the gun after it was set on fully automatic mode. The Mohave County Sheriff’s Office released a portion of the video.
Mohave County Sheriff's officials released video?! "9-year-old girl accidentally kills shooting instructor with Uzi" https://t.co/gRpEm12W24— David Clinch (@DavidClinchNews) August 27, 2014
The shooting touched off a debate over age limits at gun ranges. An expert told The New York Times there are no age limits for firing guns in Arizona, and some shooting ranges might be exempt from the federal law that forbids those under 18 from possessing a handgun.
Republican strategist Ana Navarro questioned why children were allowed to engage in such dangerous activities.
U can't drink, smoke, vote, enlist, drive, or enter into a contract when ur 9 years old. But can legally shoot an UZI at a gun range. #Crazy— Ana Navarro (@ananavarro) August 28, 2014
Neera Tanden, president of the liberal think tank Center for American Progress, made the same point.
I'm a little unclear on how you have to be 16 to drive, 18 to vote, 21 to buy alcohol but can legally handle an Uzi at the age of 9.— Neera Tanden (@neeratanden) August 28, 2014
The gun control group the Brady Campaign tweeted that it’s “absolutely ridiculous” children can use an Uzi.
Absolutely ridiculous. Children DO NOT need to shoot this type of weapon! http://t.co/BjiSOAr3rT— Brady Campaign (@bradybuzz) August 28, 2014
A digital strategist documented a tweet the National Rifle Association’s NRA Women account issued following news of the shooting.
Talk show host Montel Williams tweeted that he is a gun owner and is offended a parent or instructor would allow such a young child to shoot an Uzi.
As a proud RESPONSIBLE gun owner the notion any instructor or parent thought it appropriate to let an 8yr old shoot an UZI offends me— Montel Williams (@Montel_Williams) August 28, 2014
The New Republic posted an article about a mother who was arrested for letting her child visit the park alone, and questioning why the parents of the girl who shot the Uzi were free.
In America Today, a 9-Year-Old Girl Can't Play Alone in a Park But She Can Play With an Uzi http://t.co/dNSFrjX1s9— The New Republic (@tnr) August 28, 2014
Former CNN host Piers Morgan, a vocal gun control advocate, said the incident should be a wake-up call for the U.S.
What kind of country/parent lets kids play with 9mm Uzi submachine guns? America, I beg you, WAKE UP: http://t.co/l9HedtgtC1— Piers Morgan (@piersmorgan) August 26, 2014