Alright (Eric Posting) … Monday’s events were tragic and we extend a heart felt and sincere sympathy for the families involved. First and foremost a life was lost and with respect we want to clarify that Shyanne was NOT involved in this incident.
For those unaware a 9 year old New Jersey resident girl, under the direction of her parents and an instructor was in operation of a fully automatic Uzi. Events transpired that lead to the accidental (negligent) fatal shooting of her instructor.
We feel that situations like this are truly shameful, and through proper safety procedures are avoidable. Shyanne’s father Dan weighs in with his daughter about this controversial subject in the article below.
I personally as an instructor who has taught dozens of children to shoot and countless adults, am taken back by the situation. I would never allow the operation of a fully automatic firearm by ANYONE child or adult, without the proper training and experience.
My experience is primarily with semi automatic and standard manual action firearms. I always start with ONE round in the gun, and I can’t emphasize enough the importance of ensuring that an individual of any age demonstrates control and responsibility with each firearm, each caliber, each situation, as they progress in training. Follow the ONE round rule as you introduce new shooters. An empty firearm dropped can not harm anyone, starting with a single round ensures the safety of everyone involved. Work your way up, this is not about shock and awe, this is about safety and responsibility.
Additional – touch is OK – I stay on top of someone and position them, the firearm, and police the situation. Let me make it simple, if you are not comfortable with me touching you and/or your child to ensure their safety then I am not comfortable with any of you touching my guns. The situation is professional and shall remain entirely as such, an instructor is responsible for the entire situation and for every round that leaves the barrel. This trumps anyone’s feelings about how one should not touch someone to provide needed support and direction.
Changing subjects a bit … I have been up close to Shy when she is shooting. I am right there, getting personal to get the drama and capture the moments. I want to say we produce these photos and videos with very careful practice. We have RSO’s spotting the shooter and the camera operators. We have practiced this dry fire before we go live fire. We are all following the 180 rules, and I most certainly get scolded by the RSO assigned to spot me and ensure I don’t get optics blinders and wander into the line of fire. When you see a shot from the front of a live shooter, the camera is on a tripod or positioned away from people and operated by remote control. While we may risk our equipment, we will never risk our lives for an image.
Again, take a moment of reflection for those who were hurt this week. Let us all qualify our reactions with maturity and take every logical and responsible action to prevent this from ever happening again. We are the ones who hold dear our liberty, and the right to protect it. We must adhere to the responsibility this right bears on us to behave in a manner respectful of the power we hold in our hands when we grip a firearm.
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