In a bizarre twist of fate, an Arizona gun instructor was killed by a 9-year-old girl wielding, of all things, a 9-mm submachine gun, popularly known as an Uzi.
The gun range, Bullets and Burgers, catered to tourists who made the one-hour trip from Las Vegas to try out high-powered weapons. There are no age restrictions for discharging a weapon in Arizona when it is done under proper supervision in a gun range. This is supposed to prevent injury to the shooter and bystanders, but in this case the supervisor, Charles Vacca, was killed.
Gun experts criticized the fact that the young girl was allowed to hold the powerful weapon in the first place; the recoil is just too much for even some adults to handle, let alone an inexperienced child. Based on a video tape of the events leading up to the incident, short of the actual shooting, gun instructors speculate that Vacca may have made the fatal mistake of standing to the left of the weapon which effectively put him in the line of fire when the child inevitably loses control. Furthermore, they questioned why the Uzi had a full clip, when it is standard to only load three bullets to restrict the burst of gunfire from the semi-automatic weapon.
No charges are expected to be filed against the girl or her parents, who were present at the time of the shooting. It is so far being considered a workplace accident being investigated by the appropriate state agencies. However, there may be a personal injury case in the offing against the gun range for psychological and emotional damages to the child resulting from the traumatic event.