Friday, August 29, 2014

Pink Herring

I don't even want to think about how old Michaela and Morrigan are now. Photo by Oleg Volk.

I really wish that the person who had shot the putative "instructor" was a twenty-something dude. First of all, it wouldn't have been as sensational. Second of all, it would have removed the big red herring in the discussion.

I know plenty of people, myself included, who could have taught that girl to fire a Mini Uzi (or determined if she wasn't physically up to the task) by a proper, graduated introduction to full-auto fire. One round in the mag; two rounds in the mag, selector on SEMI; two rounds in the mag, selector on AUTO; three rounds in the magazine... Incrementally loading the magazine is a nearly universal TTP in subgun instructor programs and aped by any conscientious place that rents full-auto weapons.

Others have hit the nail on the head with the inherent problem in the Buzzgun Disneyland business model; "Buy a book of tickets and shoot as many machineguns as you want in an hour before getting on the plane back to Hoboken!" Handing somebody a full stick and letting them fire one shot on SEMI before flipping the switch to the Group Therapy setting and telling 'em to hold the trigger back while you stand immediately to the left of the muzzle? Shooting yourself would be quicker, but not really any more efficient.

That girl wouldn't have been able to shoot the Uzi at my former place of employment... because she hadn't already been a range customer for three visits. And then she (and the adult accompanying her) both would have gotten the whole "Here, hold the gun. Like this. Okay, now I'm going to load one round in the magazine... Stand like this, you're going to want to lean into it... Okay, good. Now we're going to put two rounds in the mag..." orientation.


dustydog said...

Her parents are monsters.
They took a video of her at the range, fine.

Letting the video go public - they did intentionally to show her face, to make her famous. Like a sex tape, but worse.

If the parents wanted, they could be slapping copyright infringement notices left and right - meaning they want that video to be seen.


Living in Babylon said...

The hell of it is, if the training industry doesn't self regulate soon (a seal of approval or some form of doctrine that covers safety standards) then Diane fucking Feinstein is going to step in and regulate for us, with predictable results.

I pray for that little girl. She has to live with misplaced guilt for what is someone else's fuckup her whole life.

Anonymous said...

Is there any standard or governing body for firearms instructors?


Motor-T said...

I don't normally speculate as to the motives of people I don't know. But since you started it…

Perhaps they put the video out so others might learn from it.

Tam said...

I don't know why the word "instructor" is even being used for this guy.

Is the person who comes along the roller coaster and tells you to raise your hands while they check that the lap bar is secure a "roller-coaster instructor"?

I did not see any instruction being given other than "Hold gun. Now pull trigger."

Anonymous said...

Tam, FWIW, I just wanted to let you know that I fully support your position and comments in both this post and your earlier one on the subject. I didn't know you were so heavily into the NFA world in the past. You know of what you speak and I've got your back on the matter. I shot my first MG (Ruger 10/22 with Norrell trigger pack) when I was in third grade (about 8 years old) and it was a wonderful experience. I had good parents and other good responsible adults involved throughout my growth in the gun world. I just wish I was in more of a position to give back regularly the way you do through your writing. I do my best to help everyone at the occassional gunshow that I set up at though :-)

Best Regards,
Aaron - the gunshow ammo guy

Sport Pilot said...

Concur completely

billf said...

I think that the first rule of teaching anybody anything,is the teacher needs to be smarter than the student.That not only means familiar with the material,but also aware of what could go wrong,and responsible for not letting that happen.
It's a sad situation for all concerned,but (in my opinion )it was preventable/avoidable,and that is the worst part.
A lot of kids shoot a lot of guns every day,WITHOUT disasterous results.

Matt G said...

Tam, I completely agree. "Instructor" keeps getting used, but the video is 1 minute long, during which the girl is handed the mini-Uzi (not a Thompson. Not a Madsen. A Mini-Uzi.) without a sling, has her fire one shot, and then go full-auto-- all after the 39-second mark!. Seriously.

0:00:39 mark: "Here, take this."
0:01:00 mark: Stop frame with muzzle flying up and left at the guy.

The only good news about this was that the party who screwed up was the only one hurt... physically.

How many times will that girl now be told "It wasn't your fault"? And will we be hearing from her in 10 or 15 years, as she seeks some kind of catharsis for the nightmare that haunts her, going to the leering press that remembers her viral video?

Scott_S said...

So I'm just a lowly NRA pistol instructor (basic) but two things stick out to me:

1 He's on her left. YOU ARE ALWAYS ON THE "strong" SIDE!
If someone does something with the gun other than what's expected you need to be able to grab an arm and make the firearm point in a safe direction.

2 He just handed a child a full auto weapon with a full stick.
He is lucky he took the round instead of Snowflakette, Ms. Snowflake or Mr. Snowflake.

As an instructor your primary job is safety not fun. Shooting safely is fun but only because everyone goes home with no extra holes or in any bag that starts with "body".

The level of negligence shown in this video could only lead to this outcome. I'm saddened that a fellow gun person died and that this girl will probably grow up to hate firearms. However if we want a better result we need to put better ingreedients in.

I think if anyone wants to put "instructor" in front of their name they need 8hrs of BIT (basic instructor training) and they need to complete at least 2 hrs of con. ed per year. This is such a minimal ammout of effort that it should be common practice anyway.

8hrs of class time should run you about $100 and your con ed could be done online for 15-20 bucks. Thats less than a full day at the range.

azmountaintroll said...

"I don't know why the word "instructor" is even being used for this guy."

How about 'Gun carny'?

PhilaBOR said...

There are millions of gun owners in the US. Many thousands (millions?) of gun tourists. Thinking of it in a statistical sense, there is a distribution of competence of gun owners, a distribution of competence of gun carneys, a distribution of safety of machine gun shoots, etc. Unfortunately, as always, it's the extreme tails of the distribution that make the news. It's the extreme tails that influence low information voters' opinions. We have maybe 5 million law abiding, generally safe AR owners. 3 madmen a year shoot up a school or whatever, and that's why we need to ban assault weapons [sic]. Many thousands of people handle full autos without incident but two kids have fatal accidents in what, 5 years? Not to say we shouldn't be safer, and maybe policies fine tuned to prevent these tragedies but it would be nice if we made laws based on the inner +/- 3 sigmas instead of beyond the 6th sigma.

Steve C said...

I can remember when there were 22 rifle shooting ranges on the Midway at the State Fair. They would tether the muzzles to the bench to keep the gun pointed down range. Might be a good first stage for training yahoos of unknown experience by instructors, of unknown experience.

Anonymous said...

Pfffft, the lot you know. Perhaps you haven't been keeping up with the times but all that "teaching and learning" is not going to prepare people, especially 9 year olds, for the d34dly str33ts!

Tar and feathers for every other "instructor" who behaves like this former jackleg.

Shootin' Buddy

Chris said...

Bullshit. Guns are EAST for ANYONE to use correctly. I see it ALL THE TIME in the movies. That girl was clearly TURNED EVIL by the production-for-use value of the gun and behaved MALICIOUSLY. Guns MUST not only be banned for private citizens EVERYWHERE, the death penalty MUST be the result of ANYONE handling a weapon for ANY reason. Starting with HER.

Mike said...

When he told her to blade to the target, I groaned because I knew he was a true and complete moron.

Dude killed himself, plain and simple. He was too stupid to keep consuming oxygen and died in a way that proved it.

Home on the Range said...

I was 12. I got one shot under my Mom's supervision (she was the Sheriff) to demonstrate what recoil was. Then, over time we worked up to actually firing more rounds in smaller firearms. I saw the video. I'm sorry for his family, and for that little girl, but there was just so much stupid in that event

Tam said...

(I should point out that the employee who did most of the subgun orientations for more than a year where I used to work wasn't much over five foot nothin' and couldn't have weighed more than a hunnert pounds. And spelled her name with a happy little circle over the "i" at the end.)

DaddyBear said...

The thing that keeps going through my head is "why didn't her father/mother/whatever know this guy wasn't safe?" Nobody teaches my kids about guns without me knowing them, preferably having been taught by them myself.