According to the New York Times (1-7-2011), a physician who was the father of an eight-year-old boy sued and received a $700,000 settlement from a sportsman’s club and another organization. These two organizations sponsored a gun fair at which the eight year-old boy (at his father’s insistance) was allowed to and did fire an Uzi submachine gun capable of firing 1200 rounds per minute. The father videotaped the event at which, sadly, the son was killed instantly when the weapon recoiled, sending the barrel upward and firing one or more bullets through the boy’s brain.
One can’t help but wonder what allocation of responsibility the father should bear in respect to this sad incident. What business in the world does an eight year-old child have firing a submachine gun and why would his father urge him to do so? The second amendment, the NRA and “gun rights” aside, where was the father’s common sense. Parenthetically, the lawsuit was filed notwithstanding the fact that the father had signed a comprehensive waiver before the shooting saying he was aware of the possible risks ( including death) and in which he released or absolved everyone involved of liability. He also apparently told reporters after the event that he thought it was a tragic accident. I guess he changed his mind. Finally, the matter is the subject of criminal proceedings in which the sponsors of the event (including the former Police Chief of Pelham, Massachusetts) are being charged with and tried for involuntary manslaughter and furnishing weapons to a minor. God help them all.