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Old 10-27-2008, 04:15 PM   #1
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It's All Legal And Fun

Horrible, horrible tragedy. I see it first and foremost from that point of view, but I still just can't fathom an 8 year old firing an Uzi, under any circumstances no matter what the "safeguards" are. I don't know if kids should be around guns- if you teach them how to safely use them and how dangerous they are is that better than if they see them as forbidden fruit and somehow get a hold of one? Of course an accident can happen with any gun, not just an Uzi.



By David Abel and Andrew Ryan, Globe Staff, and Matthew P. Collette, Globe Correspondent

Dr. Charles Bizilj stood 10 feet behind his son this weekend at a "Machine Gun Shoot" in Westfield as the 8-year-old aimed an Uzi at a pumpkin in the distance.

As Bizilj reached for his camera, the boy clutched the gun in his arms, squeezed the trigger, and lost control of the weapon, which flipped backwards and fatally shot his son, Christopher, in the head.

“It was all a blur,” Bizilj said this afternoon in a telephone interview. “I’m still in the grieving process.”

Christopher was accompanied by a trained professional as he held the 9-mm Micro Uzi machine gun at the Westfield Sportsman's Club Sunday afternoon, but Bizilj said he doesn’t think the shooting guide was holding the weapon as his son pressed the trigger.

“This accident was truly a mystery to me,” he said. “This is a horrible event, a horrible travesty, and I really don’t know why it happened. I don’t think it’s relevant that he wasn’t holding the weapon.”

He said his son, a third grader who loved to hike and bike, had experience firing handguns and rifles. But he said this was the first time he had fired an automatic weapon.

"I gave permission for him to fire the Uzi,” Bizilj said. “I watched several other children and adults use it. It’s a small weapon, and Christopher was comfortable with guns. There were larger machine guns with much more recoil, and we avoided those.”

Bizilj, the medical director of the emergency department at Johnson Memorial Hospital in Stafford Springs, Conn., said that his son was “very cautious, very well trained, and very much enjoyed firing.”

When his son pressed the trigger Sunday, it was the first gun he had fired all day. “It took about an hour to get there, and it was something he was looking forward to for months,” Bizilj said.

The annual Machine Gun Shoot and Firearms Expo is a two-day event. Police are investigating whether the Westfield Sportsman’s Club and the group running the event were licensed. “We haven’t confirmed whether either have been licensed,” said Westfield Police Lieutenant Hipolito Nuñez.

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."

"It’s all legal & fun," the advertisement says. "You will be accompanied to the firing line with a Certified Instructor to guide you. But You Are In Control – "FULL AUTO ROCK & ROLL."

Shooting targets for the event included vehicles, pumpkins, and "other fun stuff we can’t print here," according to the advertisement.

Christopher Bizilj was firing the weapon at an outside firing range and was wounded once in the head when the recoil forced the gun to rotate upward and backward, Nuñez said. The boy was taken to Baystate Medical Center in Springfield. He was pronounced dead at the hospital with one gunshot wound to the head. No one else was injured.

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.

“We do not know at this time the full facts of this incident, and it's being investigated," Nuñez said.

The event at the club was organized by C.O.P. Firearms & Training, an Amherst company that, according to its website, organizes machine gun shoots throughout New England. Officials from that group also could not be reached.
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Old 10-27-2008, 04:24 PM   #2
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I just heard about this, what a waste...

What do you suppose this means:

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Shooting targets for the event included vehicles, pumpkins, and "other fun stuff we can’t print here," according to the advertisement.
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Old 10-27-2008, 04:44 PM   #3
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What
the
hell?
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Old 10-27-2008, 04:49 PM   #4
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Why did we lift the ban on assualt rifles?
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Old 10-27-2008, 04:52 PM   #5
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Because you should have the right to turn a squirrel into a bloody pulp in 10 seconds or less...
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Old 10-27-2008, 05:51 PM   #6
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Because you should have the right to turn a squirrel into a bloody pulp in 10 seconds or less...

right that's it.. all the more reason to lift the ban.


frankly i'd rather see a possum get turned into a gelationous liquid goo just based on the fact that it's one ugly creature..
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Old 10-27-2008, 05:55 PM   #7
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Grieving mom recalls ‘angel’ son killed at gun show
By Jessica Fargen | Monday, October 27, 2008 | Home - BostonHerald.com

The mother of an 8-year-old boy who shot himself to death at a supervised gun expo in Westfield yesterday says she’ll remember her son as an angel.

“He was a beloved, beautiful child. He was an angel,” said Suzanne Bizilj of Ashford, Conn., whose third-grade son, Christopher, died Sunday after firing an Uzi submachine gun at the Westfield Sportman’s Club.

Christopher apparently lost control as he fired the gun, forcing it upwards and back, causing him to shoot himself in the head, said Westfield Police Lt. Hipolito Nunez. Christopher was under the supervision of a certified instructor, as well as his father, Dr. Charles Bizilj, when he was shot.

The annual machine gun show is advertised as a free-for-all for gun enthusiasts, and has created discord among some club members, said longtime club member Bob Greenleaf.

“To let an 8-year-old boy fire an Uzi is the height of stupidity,” said Greenleaf.

Greenleaf, a member of the club for 44 years, was so opposed to the annual machine gun shoot that he resigned from the club’s board of directors four years ago.
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Old 10-27-2008, 06:20 PM   #8
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i'm sorry for the family's loss and all but a 8 yr old kid SHOULD NOT BE HANDLING a automatic machine gun regardless of him being supervised..
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Old 10-27-2008, 06:26 PM   #9
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Just taking a look at youtube, you see so many videos if kids at those firing ranges that don't have any experience and they get any kind of gun. Some even get to shoot from stationary machine guns (though that might even be somewhat safer since those guns can't suddenly turn around like a machine pistol can, I still cannot understand how you can let your child dealing with this kind of guns, let alone real guns at all). And it's a real wonder these incidents don't happen more often.

Even adults getting handed any kind of guns results in dangerous situations as they just don't have a clue what they are handling there. Like shooting at parties after having had some drinks.
The danger of this stupidity, I think, is well represented in this video (don't worry, the title sounds worse than it is):
YouTube - Guy hit in head with .50 caliber ricochet

Just to think of it, this gun is created for the military to take out light-armored vehicles.
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Old 10-27-2008, 06:44 PM   #10
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Actually that looks like fun, I can see some appeal to parking a car in the middle of nowhere and shooting it to all hell.
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Old 10-27-2008, 07:07 PM   #11
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I may have to stop reading this thread. My heart is breaking for that poor boy.
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Old 10-27-2008, 07:45 PM   #12
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So is mine
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Old 10-27-2008, 07:50 PM   #13
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“To let an 8-year-old boy fire an Uzi is the height of stupidity,” said Greenleaf.
That pretty much says it all.
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Old 10-27-2008, 07:55 PM   #14
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To fire a gun is the height of stupidity.
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Old 10-27-2008, 07:58 PM   #15
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To fire a gun is the height of stupidity.

No it isn't; not at all. (There actually are legitimate reasons for firing guns.)


It's letting a second-grader fire an automatic weapon.
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