U.S.

Uzi Shooting Renews Concerns About Children's Access To Guns

A 9-year-old girl fatally shot her instructor after losing control of her Uzi at a firing range. Critics question why she had the gun to begin with.

Uzi Shooting Renews Concerns About Children's Access To Guns
Keary O. / CC BY NC ND 2.0

A fatal shooting in Arizona has touched off a debate over whether children should ever be given access to guns. 

"A 9-year-old girl accidentally killed her instructor with Uzi submachine gun." (Video via KTTV

Authorities say the girl first fired several rounds in single-shot mode. When she switched to fully automatic, she lost control and accidentally shot her instructor in the head. 

The story is reminiscent of this fatal accident back in 2008. An 8-year-old boy unintentionally shot himself with an Uzi at a Massachusetts gun expo.  

If you're not familiar, an Uzi is a submachine gun capable of firing 600 rounds per minute. It was originally designed for use by the Israeli army in the 1950s but is now used by militaries worldwide. (Video via YouTube / IWI israel weapon industries)

JIM CAVANAUGH, MSNBC LAW ENFORCEMENT ANALYST: "It doesn't have a long grip like a rifle where you can stabilize the front. It's really not made for children to shoot."

Unsurprisingly, the Arizona accident has launched yet another debate over gun control. Mashable's Jim Roberts summed up the general sentiment on Twitter, asking, "What were her parents thinking?"

A recent study led by researchers at the Yale School of Medicine found about 7,000 American kids are injured from guns each year. Another 3,000 die from firearm-related accidents before reaching the hospital.

Cornell University researchers found children exposed to gun violence — whether at home, school, or in the media — can experience negative psychological effects in both the long- and short-term.

​The Arizona shooting range where the accident took place allows children 8 and older to shoot as long as they are accompanied by an adult. According to The Las Vegas Review-Journal, no charges will be filed in the case since the range is licensed.