In News of Responsible Gun Owners today, we have the story of some loving parents who know that you can never start too soon when it comes to putting firearms into the hands of your tykes. Sure, maybe in the olden times you might give your kid a .22 rifle so that they can become accustomed to safely handling weapons, but that's so passé! Instead, why not be like the parents of a nine-year-old girl from New Jersey, who took her to the Last Stop shooting range so she could learn how tohandle a fully automatic Uzi on their family vacation to Arizona. Not that she could own one -- you need special licensing from the Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms to have a full-auto weapon, and in what can only be seen as pissing on the graves of the Founding Fathers, the feds still won't give such a license to children, because they hate Freedom.


But you can certainly get your hands on an Uzi at Last Stop, with supervision from a licensed firearms instructor, and that's the qualification held by Charles Vacca, who taught the unidentified child how to handle an Uzi. In the partial video released by the Mohave County Sheriff's Office, Vacca is seen moving the girl into an appropriate firing stance, then steadying her back as she fires a single shot. And then, because semi-auto is for wimps, he switches the gun to full auto and invites her to fire a burst, at which point the video ends, because the kick of the weapon caused her to lose control of the gun and at least one stray round went into Vacca's head, killing him instantly.

Still, we should note that Vacca did at least ensure that the young lady was wearing ear protection, so you really can't fault him or the shooting range for their attention to safety.

The gun range's manager, Sam Scarmardo, explained to NBC News that Last Stop is a kid-friendly kind of gun range.

"[T]he established practice at most shooting ranges is 8 years old and up with parental supervision."

He said Vacca was a "great guy, with a great sense of humor" and called him "very conscientious and very professional."

Scarmardo said that the range has never had a similar incident in over a decade of being open — "not even a scratch."

"I just ask everybody to pray for Charlie, and pray for the client, she’s going to have a hard time," said Scarmardo.

We're thinking he might sound a bit like Dan Aykroyd as Irving Mainway.

One detail that's just starting to get some attention: Last Stop isn't exactly a traditional shooting range where you go to for target practice -- it's a genuine tourist trap /campground/burger joint/buy lottery tickets spot/impulse & pee stop on Highway 93 between Las Vegas and Kingman. They've got ICE COLD Beer, a Full Bar, and Pool Tables, and their homepage crows that "LAST STOP Arizona is the Biker's MUST STOP":

Sadly, that "Shoot a Machine Gun @ Arizona last Stop" slideshow seems not to be working today, but there are some fun videos of people shooting guns at Last Stop posted by the Las Vegas-based operators of the gun range, Bullets and Burgers. We grabbed an excerpt from this very loud video from "Bullets And Burgers," which shows how much fun kids can have at Last Stop's full-auto gun range:

Looks like little kids got to fire fully automatic weapons as a matter of course, with no interfering adult hands. Not that Burgers and Bullets is cavalier about safety of course, as we see in this screenshot from their Facebook page:

This is your lucky day!!! Philip shooting the one and only .50 cal Barrett Sniper Rifle!!!! You can skip the hardcore military training and come shoot the Barrett at Bullets & Burgers!!! No need for gun skills here...just fire at will and have a Blast!!!!

We're betting there's no way that photo caption will ever come back to bite them in the ass.

We suppose we also should mention that wet-blanket killjoy Ronald Scott, a "Phoenix-based firearms safety expert," said that

most instructors usually have their hands on guns when children are firing high-powered weapons. "You can't give a 9-year-old an Uzi and expect her to control it," Scott told the Associated Press.

But he probably didn't say it with a fun rock soundtrack either.

If this story is sounding familiar, you may be thinking of the 2008 death of 8-year-old Christopher Bizilj, who lost control of an Uzi that his father let him shoot all by himself at a Massachusetts gun show. That bit of Responsible Gun Handling was overseen by a teenager, who did at least tell the father that the Uzi was too powerful for the boy to handle.

The Arizona shooting is still under investigation; Bullets and Burgers, we should note, has excellent reviews at TripAdvisor.com, including one from a 12-year-old who claimed he got to fire a .50 caliber sniper rifle. It's the best place to go to let your child shoot actual combat weapons!

[NBC News / ArizonaLastStop.com / NBC News again / Image credit: "Kid With Gun," Bernard Dumaine, 2012]

Doktor Zoom

Doktor Zoom's real name is Marty Kelley, and he lives in the wilds of Boise, Idaho. He is not a medical doctor, but does have a real PhD in Rhetoric. You should definitely donate some money to this little mommyblog where he has finally found acceptance and cat pictures. He is on maternity leave until 2033. Here is his Twitter, also. His quest to avoid prolixity is not going so great.

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