The tragedy this week at an outdoor shooting range in White Hills, Arizona is two-fold. A 39 year old firearms instructor lost his life, and a little girl will have to spend the rest of her life coming to grips with the fact that she killed someone, even if it was accidental.
Teaching children to shoot for sustenance, self-protection and even sport are time-honored rural traditions, but an Uzi isn't a common choice for personal and home security, nor is it designed for hunting or sport. It's a weapon of war. Handing a loaded Uzi to anyone not properly and thoroughly trained in its use is asking for trouble, even under controlled circumstances. Putting it in the hands of a child is a recipe for disaster, and as an idea for a "fun" outing for a 9 year old, it's negligence with gusts up to insanity.
There's plenty of blame to go around for the White Hills tragedy, and it's shared equally by the owners of the shooting range, the parents of the girl and the ill-fated instructor. Common sense is paramount where firearms are concerned, and there was a startling absence of common sense all around.