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Northwest Voices

Seattle Times letters to the editor

August 28, 2014 at 4:02 PM

What we can learn from the Uzi tragedy

Firing-range instructor Charles Vacca shows a 9-year old girl how to use an Uzi. Vacca was standing next to the girl at the Last Stop range in Arizona when the girl squeezed the trigger, causing the Uzi to recoil upward and shoot Vacca. Photo: Mohave County Sheriff Department.

Firing-range instructor Charles Vacca shows a 9-year old girl how to use an Uzi. Photo: Mohave County Sheriff Department.

Teach children that weapons are not the answer

The U.S. and world face multitudinous complex problems of our own making. Among these is our increasing reliance on weaponry to solve both domestic and international conflicts.

Teaching young children who lack cognitive capability, coordination and strength how to use weapons is one of the problems [“9-year-old girl with an Uzi leads to tragedy,” News, Aug. 28]. We should be teaching children (and their parents) effective strategies of conflict resolution from an early age, as part of the school curriculum.


 

Imagine a world without weapons. Think about the process of achieving that goal.

Virginia M. Paulsen, Shoreline

Firing weapons are not a fun family activity

So once again we have news of a terrible tragedy involving a child with a gun.

Most are preventable horrors, but the latest is especially egregious. Culpability abounds, starting with the Arizona Legislature that deems it appropriate for children as young as 6 to legally handle firearms. Next would be the owner and operator of a gun range allowing children to shoot automatic weapons, as well as the instructor who lost his life at the hands of this young girl.

But perhaps the greatest error in judgment lies at the feet of parents who thought that firing Uzi handguns in the Arizona desert would be a fun family activity. What on Earth were they thinking? The only innocent party in this completely preventable tragedy is the little girl, who now must live for the rest of her life with the knowledge that she has killed another human being.

Christine L. Johnson, Edmonds

Comments | More in Gun control | Topics: gun control, guns, Uzi

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