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Old 10-27-2008, 08:03 PM   #16
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What a terrible, tragic story.
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Old 10-27-2008, 08:08 PM   #17
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No it isn't; not at all. (There actually are legitimate reasons for firing guns.)

Hunting.
Shooting people.
Shooting tin cans, pumpkins, cars, and "other things we can't print here."


I guess I'll go for hunting.
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Old 10-27-2008, 09:58 PM   #18
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What an absolute damn tragedy. But by all means, bear arms. That family's right to grief, your right to bear arms. What the fuck ever. I don't get it. I never will.

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Old 10-28-2008, 12:55 AM   #19
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Hunting.
Shooting people.
Shooting tin cans, pumpkins, cars, and "other things we can't print here."


I guess I'll go for hunting.
I thought of my cousin on his ranch in Montana, and his gun he used to keep the foxes out of the henhouse. And a friend in Texas who uses one to defend himself against rattlesnakes on the range. Those are really the only uses I can see for them.

I can't see any reason a second-grader needs to be shooting an automatic weapon.
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Old 10-28-2008, 06:02 AM   #20
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What an absolute damn tragedy. But by all means, bear arms. That family's right to grief, your right to bear arms. What the fuck ever. I don't get it. I never will.

I agree.

Cops and Farmers. That is all. No one else needs a gun.
I know this wasn't a home shooting gone wrong but still, does a 8 year old need experience with guns? Does he need to go out and blow up some pumpkins with an assualt rifle? No he does not.
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Old 10-28-2008, 06:03 AM   #21
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Wouldn't a shovel be a better snake weapon? I've got a snake problem in my yard, and be stuffed if I could shoot an agro Brown accurately!
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Old 10-28-2008, 11:50 AM   #22
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Wouldn't a shovel be a better snake weapon? I've got a snake problem in my yard, and be stuffed if I could shoot an agro Brown accurately!
I agree, shooting a snake seems overly complicated and I have dealt with rattlesnakes before...

I don't like guns, other than money I think they may be the worst things ever conceived by the human race...
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Old 10-28-2008, 01:16 PM   #23
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You won't find me defending any gun at any time; I was responding to this over-simplification:
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To fire a gun is the height of stupidity.
However, I won't second guess a response to a rattler until I've encountered one attacking cattle on the range.
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Old 10-28-2008, 01:24 PM   #24
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This thread has brought me back to two years ago when we had a student die unexpectedly in an ATV accident. I am close to throwing up. I cannot think of a more horrific thing to happen in the lives of an elementary school community.
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Old 10-28-2008, 03:08 PM   #25
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In rural areas it is common for kids to begin to learn to hunt around 8-10ish. But obviously we're not talking automatic weapons there...expecting a child that small to be able to handle the recoil is idiotic.
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Old 10-29-2008, 09:38 AM   #26
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DA considers charges in shooting death of boy at gun show
Unclear which laws applicable in Westfield case

By Brian R. Ballou, Globe Staff | October 29, 2008

Two days after an 8-year-old boy fatally shot himself with a machine gun at a weapons exposition in Westfield, the Hampden district attorney launched a criminal investigation yesterday into the incident.

In a press release, District Attorney William M. Bennett said he has found "no lawful authority" or law that would allow an 8-year-old to possess or fire a machine gun.

The investigation is expected to focus on whether any state laws that govern the use of firearms were violated and whether those who allowed the child to handle the fully-loaded automatic 9mm Micro Uzi weapon were "reckless or wanton" in doing so.

The investigation is being conducted by local, state, and federal authorities, including the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.

Bennett was not available for comment on the investigation, but aides said there was no timeline on its completion.

The accident occurred during a "Machine Gun Shoot and Firearms Expo" at the Westfield Sportsmen's Club.

Christopher Bizilj, a child described as a model third-grader from Ashford, Conn., was shot in the head, apparently when the recoil of the firearm sent it up and backward.

His father, Dr. Charles Bizilj, said he stood 10 feet behind his son as a professional trained in using the weapon stood beside the boy.

"This accident was truly a mystery to me," he told the Globe earlier this week. "This is a horrible event, a horrible travesty, and I really don't know why it happened."

He said his son had fired handguns and rifles for three years. While Sunday was the first time the boy had fired an automatic weapon, the father said he had seen other children fire the weapon at the event.

Even with Bennett's statement that he could find no policy or agency that allows young children to handle such deadly weapons, it remained unclear yesterday what laws exist, state or federal, that specifically prohibit children from using automatic firearms at gun clubs.

Adam Martignetti, a spokesman with State Representative Michael A. Costello, said, "We're trying to figure out what laws are in play and what goes on in private gun clubs, because it's not exactly clear."

Costello, a Newburyport Democrat who co-chairs the House Joint Committee on Public Safety and Homeland Security, said Monday that he plans to draft a bill that would ban anyone younger than age 21 from firing an automatic weapon.

Daniel Vice, senior lawyer with the Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence, based in Washington, D.C., said in a statement yesterday that he believes, "Massachusetts law specifically prohibits furnishing a machine gun to any person under 18. It is unconscionable that the gun fair allowed and encouraged young children to fire machine guns."

State laws on the sale or furnishing of weapons or ammunition to minors allow instructors to furnish rifles, shotguns, or ammunition to students under the age of 18, provided the instructor has the consent of the parent or guardian of that student.

But Vice said Uzis are categorized as machine guns and are therefore in a different class than rifles or shotguns.

Since 1994, the Commonwealth has banned the sale and manufacture of assault weapons such as Uzis, but gun clubs that owned such firearms before the ban came into existence were allowed to keep them for use by members because of a grand- father clause.

John Rosenthal, founder of Newton-based Stop Handgun Violence, said, "this is a gaping hole, and these events by gun shops are a cynical loophole that allows citizens to shoot these weapons even though they can't own them.

"No adult under any circumstance should allow a child to hold, not to mention fire, a fully automatic weapon, period," Rosenthal added.
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Old 10-29-2008, 12:57 PM   #27
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"State law requires anyone under age 18 to have parental consent and a licensed instructor to fire an automatic weapon. Otherwise, there’s no minimum age to fire such a gun, Nuñez said."
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"In a press release, District Attorney William M. Bennett said he has found 'no lawful authority' or law that would allow an 8-year-old to possess or fire a machine gun."
MA law really must be unclear here, because those interpretations pretty much contradict each other.

If they're going to allow machine gun shoots, 21 is too high an age minimum--it doesn't make much sense that you can enlist at 18 and perhaps find yourself using such weapons for their intended purpose, yet you're somehow not old enough to shoot a pumpkin with one at a legal event.
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Old 10-29-2008, 07:22 PM   #28
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In rural areas it is common for kids to begin to learn to hunt around 8-10ish. But obviously we're not talking automatic weapons there...expecting a child that small to be able to handle the recoil is idiotic.
Exactly. My bro was firing guns and bows at that age (and we don't live in a rural area), but he took classes on safety as a child, and he was not firing UZIS!!! He was firing weapons he could handle and a small bow he could draw and control. Sheesh, you could not pay me - an athletic adult - to starting on a gun like that on auto....ouch.
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Old 10-30-2008, 07:21 AM   #29
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I thought of my cousin on his ranch in Montana, and his gun he used to keep the foxes out of the henhouse. And a friend in Texas who uses one to defend himself against rattlesnakes on the range. Those are really the only uses I can see for them.

I can't see any reason a second-grader needs to be shooting an automatic weapon.
I can vaguely understand the fox situation, I've lived in the country for most of my life, so I've seen cousins and friends seeing the use in shotguns for getting rid of foxes, feral cats etc. and in particular for putting down pets (a way that I certainly don't agree with, but I suppose one of convenience). Yet a gun still seems excessive. I figure it's less of a risk to throw a stone at an attacking fox than risk blasting away half your chickens. Although granted, I've never really been in the exact situation as your cousin.

As for serpents, what the hell is trespassing on his range? Jormungandr? The quickest and most reliable way to kill a snake is with a shovel or another long, hard object (don't get any crude ideas there), as Angela pointed out. Snakes are too slim and quick to be wasting a shotgun on them.

Regardless, this is an utter tragedy beyond words, and I can't possibly imagine what internal conflicts his father is going through.
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Old 10-30-2008, 08:41 AM   #30
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The sportsman's club boasted in an advertisement for the event posted on its website that the $5 entry fee was waived for children under age 16 and there was "no age limit or licenses required to shoot machine guns."
Yes! Come bring all your little kids in to shoot machine guns! That way we can indoctrinate them at a young age and create new gun nuts for the future!

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