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Thread: 26OCT08 tragedy still in court

  1. #1
    Regular Member MKEgal's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    in front of my computer, WI

    26OCT08 tragedy still in court

    An 8yo boy died 26OCT08 by shooting himself in the head with what is described as a "Micro UZI submachine gun".
    That is undeniably a tragedy.

    Making it worse is the State pursuing punishment against everyone except the person who was most directly responsible for the death.

    On trial for involuntary manslaughter are the organizer of the event (Ed Fleury, the former police chief), the Westfield Sportsmenís Club, and 2 men who were hired to run / supervise the shoot-a-pumpkin range. The club and Fleury also are charged with furnishing machine guns to minors.

    In NOV10, the club settled for a $1000 fine on the involuntary manslaughter charge, and will donate $20,000 to 2 charities as payment for furnishing machine guns to minors.

    Apparently in Massachusetts, it's legal for parents to furnish guns to their children, esp. when they're both under supervision of the parent (but not machine guns). At this event, the boy's father (an ER physician) chose the small gun for his child to use.

    "William M. Bennett, the Hampden County district attorney, said the father had chosen the gun for his son to fire because it was smaller..."

    "Witnesses told police the boy, whose name was not released, lost control of a fully automatic UZI..."

    Here are a variety of news reports:

    So the father thought it was safe, gave permission for his son to use the UZI, and is being charged with neither involuntary manslaughter nor furnishing a machine gun to a minor?

    Maybe the range officers have more responsibility for the death - should have known the law, refused to let the kid use the UZI, should have been much more on-the-spot in controlling the gun & kid - but the dad is more responsible than either the ex-police chief or the club that hosted the event.

    And the dad, an ER doc, was praying instead of helping his son before the ambulance arrived.
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  2. #2
    Regular Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    As a parent, I am ultimately responsible for the safety and well being of my children. An 8 year armed with a fully automatic weapon is a recipe for disaster. Even if the 8 year old has the proper safety training, a weapon that fires continuously with the pull of a trigger is too much to handle without an adult to be hands on with the juvenile.

    Dad is ultimately responsible for choosing a weapon that was beyond an 8 year old's control. Its a tragedy, and the dad will will have to bear that grief on several different levels.

    This is just sad. A child in the grave because his parent failed him.

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