Busybodies Gonna Busy: Petition to Ban Kids From Shooting Machine Guns

German MG42 machine gun top view

Our opponents are circulating a petition to ban minors from shooting machine guns. I’m going to agree that starting the kids off on machine pistols is pretty irresponsible, as we’ve seen from at least two tragic accidents. It’s far better to start the kids off on something belt fed. It would seem they believe this puts us on a weak footing:

Now, opponents of the petition will have to explain why the right of a 9-year-old to shoot an automatic weapon is so important.

“My read on pro-gun activists right now is they are facing tremendous cultural pressure, and being asked tough questions that they weren’t five years ago about … how extreme the pro-gun movement has gotten,” says Ladd Everitt, a spokesman for the Coalition to Stop Gun Violence in Washington.

Except I’m not going to accept the premise. This is not about gun rights, primarily. The issue is bigger than that. This is about the rights of parents to raise their children in the manner they see fit, provided they aren’t abusing them on putting them in grave danger. Letting a kid shoot, even shoot a machine gun, is statistically less dangerous than letting them play football. It’s none of anyone’s business where, when, or how a parent teaches their child to shoot. The state has no business poking its snout into parental choices like this. None!

“Laws say that children can’t drink, can’t drive, can’t vote. But they can shoot fully automatic assault weapons. That hasn’t changed,” Mr. Vacca’s oldest daughter, Elizabeth, says on the petition.

In many states, they can, under supervision of parents. The states that absolutely prohibit minors from drinking (like Pennsylvania) I think are wrong, and I would advocate repealing those laws. European children don’t seem any worse for wear for having more tolerant laws in this respect. Children can drive motor vehicles, if it’s not on public roads, and voting doesn’t have anything to do with the freedom of parents to raise their children how they see fit.

When you make something illegal for minors to do, you’re really limiting the parental freedoms of parents, and inserting the state into the parent child relationship. The people pushing this petition should answer why they also are not banning children from participating in other organized sports, or riding bicycles, which have astounding rates of injury. Sports contribute to 21% of all the traumatic brain injuries among American children. Every year approximately 50 children die in sports related injuries. Statistically, the shooting sports are safer than golf. The folks pushing this need to explain why they are singling out a relatively safe activity, while ignoring other sports that are far more dangerous.

13 thoughts on “Busybodies Gonna Busy: Petition to Ban Kids From Shooting Machine Guns”

  1. I’d have a tough time getting the energy to fight this. If they the $$ support, I can see it passing.

  2. The same parents who oppose children being able to drink a small amount of wine have no problem using amphetamines (Aderall) to make up for the fact that they are not willing to be a parent to their kids.

  3. A petition. But a petition to do what? I saw the CNN interview of the kids, I read the online sign up page, but nowhere does it say exactly what the petition wants! How can you oppose something, or support it for that matter, when they won’t reveal their goal?

    This petition effort strikes me a a tremendous bait and switch con. The kids keep talking about ‘9 years olds shouldn’t shoot UZIs’, but I bet the actual effort is to criminalize anyone under the age of 21 from handling a full auto weapon.

  4. Of course when they say “9 year olds should be allowed to shoot Uzis” they really mean 17 year olds shouldn’t be allowed to shoot shoulder fired or mounted auto/burst guns.

    Just like when they say “why do you need a 100 magazine clip?” they really mean you should go to prison for having a magazine that holds 11 rounds.

    1. And of course, full auto is only the first step. A movement to criminalize minors shooting any guns at all will follow closely if this is adopted as law.

      1. “A movement to criminalize minors shooting any guns at all will follow closely if this is adopted as law.”

        Where have you been? That’s practically already federal law. 18 USC 922 (x).

        Basically, outside of a few minor exceptions, it’s a criminal offense to “transfer” a handgun to a juvenile. For a juvenile to be able to legally shoot handguns, that juvenile needs permission in writing from his/her parent or legal guardian who in turn is not a prohibited person.

        1. But firing a gun with your child at a range (or on your own property, should you have that option) IS one of those exceptions, because it is not “transferring.” Ownership doesn’t change just because the gun is now in different hands while at the range (Oregon and Washington notwithstanding).

          My kids don’t need my written permission to shoot my firearms.

          If a range is renting those firearms, that’s a different matter.

          1. I apologize; I was not sufficiently clear in my previous post.

            18 USC 922(x) not only criminalizes the transfer of handguns to minors, but it also criminalizes the possession (that is, immediate physical possession without respect to ownership) of handguns by minors unless certain exceptions apply. One of those exceptions is, as I stated above, written permission from a parent or legal guardian who is not a prohibited person.

    2. And when they say, “If you need an AR-15 to kill a deer, you’re a lousy hunter,” they really mean nobody (other than police) should be allowed to own any semi-auto firearm for any reason.

      And when they say, “It’s just a simple, quick background check to buy a firearm,” they really mean a criminal history check, a mental health evaluation, two written references, a CLEO sign-off, a fingerprint scan, and a 30-day waiting period to transfer a firearm (no matter how temporary), and a full registry of all transferred guns.

      And when they use the phrase, “keep guns out of the hands of people who should not have them,” they really mean that every private citizen in the nation should fall under that umbrella.

      It’s almost like they’re lying, or something.

  5. You know perfectly well that the leftists’ pretend freakout over kids being taught to shoot has nothing to do with safety. Leftist politicians hate the idea of kids firing guns for one reason; privately owned guns are tools for the defense of liberty.

    Why are you being coy about it? When are we going to stop acting like we don’t understand?

    Ignore the idiotic rationalizations of the left and go straight to the truth. Just try it a few times. You’ll like it.

    1. Because they are being coy about it, and if you just summarily dismiss their arguments, instead of countering them with better arguments, they will end up winning over the public with their arguments.

      We’ve gotten this far by having better arguments than they do, and getting those arguments out there in the hands of people on our side who can argue them far and wide. If you just point out they are leftist that want to destroy freedom, people will tune you out. It might be true, but they will tune you out.

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