Uzis for tots; it's what's for Christmas this year

by JS O’Brien

Yesterday, an idiot father and and even more brain-dead “instructor” allowed an eight-year-old boy to fire a fully automatic Uzi submachine gun at an event billed as, “all legal and and fun! — No permits or licenses required!!!” Naturally, the gun kicked up, as it is designed to do, flipping toward the child who managed to shoot himself in the head with it.  Since kids’ heads aren’t all that heavily armored, we now have a little boy who will never see his ninth birthday.

So, little Christopher Bizilj is dead, dead, dead.  His father, Dr. Charles Bizilj, director of emergency medicine (if you can believe it) at a hospital in Stafford Springs, Connecticut, got to watch his son bleed out from a head wound on the floor.  And the people who put this little event together have to look at themselves in their mirrors and ask themselves the simple question, “What the FUCK made me think it was a good idea to put a submachine gun in a child’s hands?”

Look, I’m not anti-gun.  I own a lot of guns.  I keep them well out of the reach of any children, and it wouldn’t occur to me to let a child handle a firearm with that kind of power and kick.  I was a rural kid. I got my first Winchester .22 rifle at age 10.  It had a shortened stock to fit my arm, and was a bolt-action, single shot weapon dangerous only to someone who was too ill-trained or too careless to use it properly.  I was neither.

I went through a weeks-long gun safety course before I got that rifle, and even after I got it and took the course, my parents spent two years watching me carefully to make sure I understood that I owned a WEAPON that can kill people and has to be handled with the utmost respect before I could take it out on my own.

Adults who treat guns as though they’re toys should be locked away for a helluva long time until THEY grow the fuck up.  I’m sick to death of hearing about children getting killed because those responsible for watching out for them — didn’t.  Lock ’em up and throw away the damned key.

It won’t bring little Christopher back, but it would make me feel a helluva lot better.

29 replies »

  1. I’m going to have a hard time eating the rest of the day or sleeping tonight for fear of nightmares, and when I get home I’m going to hug my son for reasons he’ll never understand and I’ll never try to explain.

  2. I wouldn’t be surprised if there was either a lawsuit or charges filed (and also a divorce as mom leaves dad).

    Why would anyone hand a powerful weapon to a child? Ever? Sure, take them out to a field with a BB gun and start teaching gun safety. Not hand them a powerful submachine gun in a crowded area. It just boggles the mind that there were two gun enthusiasts (dad and instructor) and neither one said “you know, you’re just a little too young”.

    Lara Amber

  3. Amen to you, JS

    I do find it interesting (not bad, interesting) that the sidebar ad is for “Front Sight: Firearms Training Institute”.

  4. Sweet Jesus. What a shame.

    I’d be far less upset had the kid machine-gunned his dad and all other irresponsible bystanders instead, I guess (although what a horror that would be to live with for the rest of your life, too).

    Damn. Damn damn damn….

  5. Thank you so much for this post. I live 40 miles from where this happened, so it is literally “close to home” for me. I am beside myself that this could have happened. I don’t know if there is a crueler punishment than those negligent bearing witness to the outcome. I suppose there isn’t a worse punishment, but part of me wishes there is.

  6. it is hard to believe and almost as dificult to imajion that some instructor who should know just how much kick something like that would have alowed some dad who could not have had a clue obvousley just what this machine gun handled like alowed a child to hold one that was loded….
    kinda like holding a kid off a cliff over the grand canyon my his shue laces if this dosent gaive the people who own and properley care for there guns a black eye i dont know what else would…
    almost like dick chaneys accident only worse…
    and mostley i am sure the father feels like shit he just made a darwinistic move and that is sad

  7. According to the 2nd amendment it is the right of every parent to allow there children to kill themselves with high powered automatic weapons…My Friends.

  8. Right, Librul. When the Second Amendment guaranteeing the “right to keep and bear arms” was ratified, the Founding Fathers had no idea what kind of super-efficient weaponry it would be used to justify the possession of. Remember, with rifles in those days, you could only get off one shot at a time, and after much preparation.

  9. The Cop Firearms site is down now… but I noticed before it disappeared that “partial proceeds” from the machine gun shoot were going to Shriners Hospitals for Children.

  10. well said. nothing wrong with owning guns or gun-owners.

    it’s the lack of basic common sense that enables children to kill themselves by accident.

    what a horrendous event.

  11. children can not be expected to make adult decisions or they would be voting…
    the father was a doctor?
    i wouldent let him make life or deth decisions on me, is that father adult enoughf to have a child or own a gun?
    man as long as he only accidentley takes out his own…
    pro gun, pro comon sense? cant expect comon sense to be legistrated i guess
    no excuse this was a bad move on the pro gun instructor who should not be teaching anything to any one and ill bet he screams the loudest sigh when they tell him he cant teach any more i hope his inshurance pays out big
    guns dont kill
    stupid or people acting illegaly do

  12. This kind of thing is exactly why I agree with JS: one of the best safety measures we could take as a country is not to abolish guns, but to punish the hell out of any adult who misuses one, on purpose OR “accidentally.”

  13. the laws are on the books already, why are not the pro gun advocates screaming bloody murder over the lack of enforcement of such laws
    it would lead to a more believable group of people as far as there intentions are concerned

  14. Listen to all you gun nuts trying to be reasonable and sound responsible–including the JS O’Brien. Your outrage is meaningless. Guns are made solely for killing and you know that. You just enjoy holding the power of death in your hands! I’m sorry the kid died. Unfortunately for him he was a member of a community that thinks implements of death are cool. Maybe instead of teaching kids to fire Uizis or .22’s parents should be out flying kites and playing ball with their kids. Maybe instead of instilling the love of that raw power they should helping their kids use the imagination. Nah, that not in the constitution.

  15. NoLem(m)ingsHere, do you believe there is any situation which would justify owning or carrying a gun? No baiting, I promise – just an honest question.

  16. My thoughts exactly. It’s a f*&king shame. Well said by the author and the earlier comment of hugging my children extra hard tonight without trying to explain why. I have a tear sneaking out right now as I type. That father has his punishment, unfortunately. But f^$king dumbasses, every one of them involved. And I read he was too focused on reaching for his camera as it happened.

  17. This is a tragedy. A young life taken through no fault of his own. The story presented here is yet another lesson in parental responsibility that I feel is lacking throughout our society. I could hypothesize on why it seems to be lacking these days yet I fear I do not have the time nor tolerance to write a thesis here. May he rest in peace.

  18. I understand that as a European my views on firearms are radically at odds with those of many Americans but simply put, this would not, could not have happened in the UK where i live. Firearms are illegal here, especially handguns and automatic weapons. Law abiding citizens cannot shot themselves, leave the gun out accidently and have their kids shoot themselves or have tragic accidents when handling guns with the kids.
    The only people over here with guns are cops and criminals. Furthermore, the vast majority of criminals do not carry guns because the cops come down on such people like a ton of bricks.
    Finally, where do you yanks think YOUR criminals get their guns? They either buy them legally or they steal them off law abiding gun owners. Neither is possible in my country (save for shotguns from farmers) and the pool of firearms is massively reduced.
    I’m not going to pretend that we don’t have gun murders here, of course we do, but we have significantly less per capita than you do.
    If you are serious about reducing gun deaths, you must restrict weapon sales.
    I often hear the old arguement about Switzland and the universal gun ownership there. The Swiss actually use their guns in the manner described in the US constitution, i.e. as a well regulated militia. Swiss national service means that the people with guns are taught a healthy respect for them and the purposes behind ownership of a gun (i.e. to make Sweden near impossible to invade).
    If America were to return gun ownership to this level, i.e. for a purely military purpose to prevent government tyranny and foreign invasion, and to train all gun owners in military discipline regarding guns, your murder rate would drop. But the current system seems to be guns for everyone, no matter what kind of dumbass unhinged loon they may be.

  19. Finally, where do you Yanks think YOUR criminals get their guns? They either buy them legally or they steal them off law abiding gun owners. Neither is possible in my country (save for shotguns from farmers) and the pool of firearms is massively reduced.

    *applauds wildly*

  20. “If America were to return gun ownership to this level, i.e. for a purely military purpose to prevent government tyranny and foreign invasion, and to train all gun owners in military discipline regarding guns, your murder rate would drop. But the current system seems to be guns for everyone, no matter what kind of dumbass unhinged loon they may be.”

    I agree with a lot of what you said here. Guns are something that won’t be disappearing anytime soon within the U.S. so instead of trying in vain to remove them, we should be focusing our attention on the proper use of said firearms. That means training and safety courses should be more available to those interested(perhaps these should be mandated when someone goes to buy a gun) and working on increasing the number of licensed instructors. And while there will always be crimes committed with guns, there are steps that can be taken to reduce this and they simply are not being pursued doggedly enough for my liking.

  21. Eric,

    Agreed. The genie is out of the bag on guns in the US, and it’s not politically or feasible to take them away from people. So, like you, I’m thinking that people get trained and, if they make a mistake with a gun, they go to prison for a long time. That will encourage people either not to own a gun or to be especially cautious if they do.

    Gribblethemunchkin: Best … posting name … ever.

    Good points. You’re right in theory, but it won’t work in practice I’m afraid. Not in the US. Not at this time.

  22. I’d actually be surprised if this happened anywhere but in the US… we’re so sophisticated… 8 more years of BUSH… WOOOOOHOOOO DOGGY

  23. Ann Ivins… It is better to have a gun and not need it, then to need a gun and not have it…

    we have more to fear than scallywags and hooligans in the US.

  24. Cody – comment thread – look into it, especially #14.

    Being an effective smartass takes work, Cody.

  25. I’m 5’8″ and 175 lbs. There are a lot of 6’2″ and taller folks out there, weighing 220lbs or more, and plenty of them are “good fighters”.

    Plenty of them are also narcissistic arrogant pricks that think it’s funny to bully people and beat them up, and when they get drunk and stupid, they can even “accidentally” beat you to death.

    Now take that same person and have them intend on breaking in to your house. Sorry, but at 3am and 1/2 asleep I’m not much of a match for someone like that who’s intentionally trying to harm me. And I don’t think I should have to hope beyond hope that I can hold my own and get lucky in a fist fight with that guy. Pulling a gun out of my night stand and blowing his head off, that I’m OK with.

    Or what about “little old ladies”, 5′ nuthin, 80 lbs., living on their own? A 9mm goes a long way toward getting people out of the house, or preventing a rape/murder.

    And what about tyrants and martial law and deployed military on home soil? We see all over the world where corrupted leaders try subverting their country’s government. Can’t well have a means to protect yourself if that happens if the only person with guns is the guy stealing power.

    I agree that our Founding Fathers could never have imagined 30 round per second guns, but they also probably never could have imagined many of the trials and tribulations we have today. But the premise was sound and still holds today. People will occasionally need to defend themselves from others who are physically bigger. Guns are equalizers in that sense.

    In an ideal world, there would never be a need for any guns.. but we don’t live in that world.