Sometimes you read a sentence and you think to yourself: only here, only us.
Here’s one such sentence.
"A 9-year-old girl from New Jersey accidentally shot and killed her instructor with an Uzi submachine gun while he stood to her left side, trying to guide her."That’s from a New York Times account of the death of 39-year-old Charles Vacca, who worked for the Last Stop shooting range in White Hills, Ariz. He died Monday when his preteen student lost control of the Uzi. Apparently, the gun was in “repeat fire” mode, the recoil lifted the muzzle, the little girl couldn’t master it and Vacca was struck in the head.
The child and her family, who have not been identified, were vacationing last week in nearby Las Vegas and had signed up for a package deal offered by the gun range. It included a tour of Hoover Dam, a hamburger lunch, an optional helicopter flight over the Grand Canyon and the chance to fire a range of powerful weapons, including sniper rifles, grenade launchers and machine guns. Everything was going fine until, as the Times put it, the "adventure went horribly wrong."
For the record, some of us would argue that "horribly wrong" began, not when the child lost control of the gun, but when “adults” first placed this powerful piece of military hardware into her small hands…"
For the record I’m still wondering why the gender of this now-traumatized nine year old matters at all in any part of the story…
Leonard Pitts Jr. An Uzi, a 9-year-old and American exceptionalism