Free to Be Stupid


You think it’s insane that Arizona allows a 9-year-old to shoot at a firing range? ABC News reports that one in Texas allows them to do so at age 6.

Leonard Pitts, Jr.

So we make the leap from dumbass puts fully automatic pistol in hands of little girl, winds up dead to it is insane to allow children to shoot at shooting ranges

A well-run shooting range is one of the safest places in America. The rules, which when followed provide no opportunity for firearms accidents, are strictly enforced. If the question is, “should my child learn to shoot at the range, or somewhere else?”, “the range” is the right answer.

So then the question becomes, “should my child learn to shoot?” In a society in which children might come in contact with guns without parental supervision (for example, at a friend’s house where the parents have an unsecured gun), “yes” is the right answer. Guns are fascinating to children—especially to little boys—and firearms education demystifies them and teaches the proper respect. The alternative is to teach children to “just say no” to guns; we have seen how well that works with drugs and sex.

So then the question becomes, “should we have a society in which children might come in contact with guns without parental supervision.” Pitts and the choir to which he preaches think the answer is no: only the government can be trusted with guns. Pitts asks:

What kind of shooting range allows a prepubescent girl ((Why “girl” instead of “child”? -MB)) to fire an Uzi? What kind of instructor does not guard against recoil when a child is handling such a powerful weapon? What kind of parents think it’s a good idea to put a submachine gun in their 9-year-old’s hands? And what kind of idiot country does not prohibit such things by law?

These are all good questions, and not at all difficult. Here are the answers:

  • Careless;
  • Incompetent;
  • Ignorant; and
  • Free.

3 responses to “Free to Be Stupid”

  1. Why “girl” instead of “child”?

    Well, first of all, it more closely fits the fact pattern. It was a girl who managed to do in the firing range operator.

    Second, it is often (though not always) the case that girls are less heavily built than boys. As a result, they are more vulnerable to recoil. I cannot say that a 9yo boy would be able to handle this weapon, but if you let me pick the boy then I can predict the outcome of the experiment.

    Third, from an aesthetic perspective, it is better writing to say what he did rather than what you think he might have said instead. It thus is more appealing to readers.

  2. Stupidity cannot be cured with money, or through education, or by legislation. Stupidity is not a sin, the victim can’t help being stupid. But stupidity is the only universal capital crime: the sentence is death, there is no appeal, and execution is carried out automatically and without pity.

    Robert A. Heinlein

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