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Gun Fairs: A Good Place for Kids?

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Our readers are divided on the issue.

Eight-year-old Christopher Bizilj accidentally shot himself in the head with an Uzi during a gun fair. He lost control of the 9mm micro submachine gun as it recoiled while he fired at a pumpkin.

christopher bizilj

Should kids be allowed at gun fairs? We asked our readers and our fans on Facebook ... here's what they had to say.

Jenni Williams:
I am so sorry for this family's loss, but when you allow your kid to pick up a gun and shoot it, you assume responsibility for what happens. I am NOT a fan of guns, period. I think that a gun show is NO place for a kid. We have laws that keep kids from guns in our homes, but allow them to walk around a convention full of them and play with loaded ones? This makes no sense.

Rob G:
I think it's safe to say that allowing a 9-year-old to use a full-auto Uzi is not a bright idea. That's a very difficult weapon for even many adults to shoot properly. I don't have a problem with kids at gun fairs, but I do think there should be very strict limits on what they're allowed to shoot. Weapons like that Uzi should not be on that list. Having said that, why did the parents let him shoot the thing? I can understand saying that the person who owned the gun should have said, "No, you're too young to shoot this," but so should his parents. They carry responsibility for this, too.

Jennifer Marie Miller:
OMG, what a horrible story! I can't believe they actually let kids into these things ... there are a lot of things that may be perfectly fine for adults, but why would anyone think it's OK to take a child to something like this? Would you take them to a porn fair, too? Sorry, but I think it's horribly irresponsible to let a child anywhere near a gun .. much less fire it! And an Uzi? A 9-year-old? What in the world was everybody there thinking?

Melissa Labbe Morgan:
I myself have a few guns. I go to the shooting range with my dad. My favorite gun is my hot pink shotgun, BUT, as a mother of a 7-year-old Aspie child, there is no WAY I would let him go with me to a gun show, not until he is old enough to handle one with RESPECT. In fact, he doesn't even know I have the guns, because he has never even seen them.

Sherra Lee:
What on earth could be "fun and safe" about an 8-year-old child handling a loaded Uzi? I wouldn't even touch one, never mind allowing my 8-year-old child to!!! There should definitely be an age limit, if not for attending a gun show then for handling the weapons. I'm sure some people who are pro-gun would disagree with that, but rules have to be in place since obviously common sense is not.

Julie Lange Meintel:
I am "pro-gun" in that I support the right of responsible adults to own guns, keep them in their homes and carry them, and I know a lot of people who feel the same way. Not one of us would ever say that an 8-year-old child should be handling a loaded gun of any kind. I am not anti-gun, I'm anti-stupidity.

I think children should be allowed at gun shows and "fairs" because they are family events in many places, but I don't think children under 12 should be allowed to handle any loaded weapons in public, even with adult supervision, and that anyone handling a loaded gun at a public event should have to show some proof of firearms safety training.

What do you think?

next: Which Celeb Kids Will Follow in Their Folks' Footsteps?
8 comments so far | Post a comment now
Kimberly  March 16, 2010, 5:13 AM

If you stop kids from attending this function what’s next, they won’t be able to go to Walmart after all that’s a safe place but your children might be kidnapped or step out in the parking lot and get run over, come on. The problem is yes its a tragic outcome and my heart goes out to the family but what’s not mentioned is how many thousands of kids that did not get hurt but learned safety and learned not to touch any guns with out parental supervision. I agree that a young child should not be handling a Uzi but there are safer guns for a child to shoot. I read some of these comments about not allowing any guns in America then maybe you should move to a country that takes away your rights to own a gun and as well as many more rights. U.S.A was founded on many free rights and I believe we should exercise them. We also need to quit blaming others for our own mistakes and stupidity and take on responsibilities as parents and citizens.

Lissa March 16, 2010, 8:03 AM

Well, a gun show is a far cry from wal-mart. Hey I just feel if you wont let your 9 year old drive your car. why the hell would you hand him/her a gun.

tennmom March 16, 2010, 8:54 AM

Attending a gun show is one thing. Allowing an under-aged child to shoot a gun is another thing.
Gun shows should have clear rules regarding the required age of a person allowed to even touch a gun. The child’s parents are every bit as guilty,if not more, in his death.
It’s a good thing the incident happened at a gun show and not at home. If at home, the parents would have no one to blame except themselves and wouldn’t see a dime.

Chris Taylor March 16, 2010, 9:00 AM

I see nothing wrong with children attending these type of events.
I can’t believe that a child was allowed to carry a loaded weapon, even if it had a safety lock.
Poor decision on the part of the parent.

Thomas March 16, 2010, 4:51 PM

There should be rules concerning age at something like this, but it is know ones right to say if your child can go.

And for banning guns because of the irresponsibility of some is not right either. There are the same group of people in the print and media industry, they are irresponsible, would you want all media banned because of them? The Constitution was setup the way it is for reasons and you can not defend and believe in only part of it that suits just you.

Anonymous March 16, 2010, 5:52 PM

Who was watching the kid?

anon March 17, 2010, 12:15 AM

I started handling guns with plenty of adult supervision when I was no older than the kid in this story. The difference was that my parents picked appropriate guns and we were not a public gun show but at my grandfather’s. Oh, and my parents were familiar with the guns they let me shoot. This poor boy lost his life because the adults around him were ignorant and careless.

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