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8-Year-Old Boy Accidentally Killed by Submachine Gun

Posted by Chrissie Cole
Tuesday, October 28, 2008 4:12 PM EST
Category: Protecting Your Family
Tags: Firearms, Handguns, Handgun Injury, Head Injuries, Second Amendment, Gun Safety, Accidental Death


IMAGE SOURCE: © KidsHealth.org Web site

An 8-year-old boy accidentally shot himself in the head with a submachine gun, at a firearms expo with his father and firearms instructor only feet away. A tragic accident many say should never have happened.

Christopher Bizilj was testing a 9 mm Micro Uzi at the Westfield Sportsman’s Club in Westfield, Massachusetts, as part of the Machine Gun Shoot and Firearms Expo when he shot himself Sunday.

“The firearm instructor prepared the gun and then handed it to the child,” Westfield Police Lt. Nunez told ABCNews. He then pulled the trigger and the gun’s powerful recoil forced it upwards and then back, causing the round to strike him on the right side of the head, according to Nunez.

He was pronounced dead shortly thereafter at Baystate Medical Center.

With parental consent, a child can fire a gun under Massachusetts law, if a firearm instructor is present and the gun has an active permit. At this time officials are uncertain whether the gun had a permit or if the instructor was licensed, but according to Nunez, Christopher’s father was nearby.

“Licensing and Permits Not Required”

The flier advertising the event stated, “all legal and fun – no permits or licenses required.”

The Boston Field Division of the Federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives is investigating the accident along with various other agencies.

Susan Gates, general counsel for the Washington, D.C.-based Children’s Defense Fund, said the shooting is a tragic reminder that there is not enough being done in the U.S. to keep guns out of the hands of children.

“This tragedy is another illustration as to why children should not have access to any type of firearm,” Gates said.

While it is permissible for a child to shoot a weapon in a controlled environment in Massachusetts and other states, The Children’s Defense Fund’s policy is that those laws are too lax and need to be stronger.

*Editors Note:

As the mother of an eight-year-old little boy this story was particularly hard for me to write. While I won’t get into the political issue of guns as a whole, I do hope some new laws are enacted after this needless tragedy.

An age limit and supervision at the very least should be put in effect. An 8-year-old boy should not have been able to handle a weapon, much less an Uzi, in my opinion. What is YOUR opinion? Please feel free to share your thoughts with us below in the comments section. #


Anonymous User
Posted by Steve
Tuesday, October 28, 2008 7:26 PM EST

When I was about that age my father and I used to go to a target range and I'd "plink" away with a bolt-action .22 calibre rifle. I learned an early respect for weapons.

Anonymous User
Posted by Steve
Tuesday, October 28, 2008 7:27 PM EST

(continued -- I didn't mean to post that quite yet)

Anonymous User
Posted by Josh
Tuesday, October 28, 2008 11:51 PM EST

This story tells of the unfortunate. I too went shooting with my dad and was niave having now looked back. Fortunately, nothing bad happended. It reminds me though of a story that did happen though. A friend of my family, when he was young, had accidently shot his brother when they were walking in single file on a shooting trip. (Another tragedy, fortunately the injury wasn't that bad) Parents and instructors employing guns should know level of attention needed.

Anonymous User
Posted by Larry Hall
Monday, November 03, 2008 2:46 AM EST

This is indeed a tragic accident. I am very familiar with firearms and have shot them all my life, but I would not let my eight year old son shoot a high-powered weapon. This was a bad decision on the father and instructor. However, laws passed cannot save us from bad decision. Eight year old boys have also been tragically killed on bicycles, skis, motorcycles, even swimming when bad judgement was used; but laws are not passed preventing them from doing these dangerous things. People must take on the responsibility of properly supervising our children. Government should not be expected to pass laws every time someone dies because of a bad decision. But of course gun control is a hot political issue so I'm sure politicians will jump all over this.

Comments for this article are closed.

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