My advance apologies for any perceived callousness that follows but what the hell is a nine-year-old doing with an Uzi submachine gun? It’s been a slow month on the mass-shooting front, what with most schools not in session, but never fear the United States found a way to make international news twice on Wednesday with regards to our gun culture.
Burgers and bullets
The sheer of absurdity of this story/tragedy made the front page of the BBC’s website in addition to a number of other notable international publications the same day that a Texas jury acquitted a man of shooting the drunk driver who killed his two sons in the head. If the idea of a nine-year-old, no matter their gender, firing a fully automatic submachine gun isn’t crazy enough perhaps I should share the name of the range. It’s Bullets and Burgers. The range is located in the Mojave desert between Las Vegas and the Grand Canyon and offers “the opportunity to fire a wide range of fully automatic machine guns and specialty weapons.”
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Burgers are on the menu as is the ability to film the experience. While some ranges don’t allow children that young to fire heavy weaponry, Bullets and Burgers will even allow a child to fire a grenade launcher if deemed strong enough. According to the range’s website, Bullets and Burgers allows its customers to “Shoot a wide variety of fully automatic machine and belt fed guns including the AK-47, Colt M-16, MP5/40, FN FAL, Bren, M4, M249, M60, PKM, and M203 Grenade Launcher.”
It should be mentioned that I believe that a child living in a home with guns should know how to safely handle said guns if there is any possibility of them gaining access to them, and, well, I hate Piers Morgan but he may have had a point when he tweeted, “It’s illegal to eat a Kinder Surprise chocolate egg in America, on health grounds. It’s fine for 9yr olds to use Uzi submachine guns.”
Bullets and Burgers is a darling on TripAdvisor where 932 or 946 ratings for the experience are either “excellent” or “very good.” On the site the company explains….“You choose the guns which you want to shoot from our extensive collection and we provide the eye/ear protection, ammunition, and expert guidance. Our .50 Cal selections includes the Barret Sniper Rifle, the Browning BMG .50 Cal (‘the deuce’), and the Desert Eagle. We even have the actual firearms used in several Hollywood hits including ‘The Terminator’ and ‘Rambo II.’?”
Nine-Year-Old Girl with an Uzi: How it went down (or up given the recoil)
The incident was caught on video tape as well with the now deceased Charles Vacca, 39 showing her how to position her legs and place her hands.
“There you go, just like that,” he tells her as the girl places her left leg in front of her right while gripping the Uzi.
“O.K., go on and give me one shot,” he says. She complies. “All right!” Mr. Vacca says.
Following the shot he praises the unnamed girl dressed in a gray T-shirt, pink shorts and her hair in a braid before saying, “All right full auto,” and flicking the selector switch.
It’s at this point that the video and the life of Mr. Vacca end.