Thursday, August 28, 2014

Arizona: It is Prudent That "Bullets and Burgers Shooting Range Be Closed"

According to USA Today, the White Hills, AZ shooting range known as "Bullets and Burgers Gun Range, it is prudent that at last the "The Bullets and Burgers Gun Range" fell silent. 

COMMENT: As an NRA (National Rifle Association) certified range officer and pistol instructor I have never, ever seen a purportedly certified firearms range that mixes food products with firearms nor have I ever seen a comical mix whereby children are permitted to be amused and entertained by firearms.

I am 70 years old and have always recognized that while there is a place for children in low-caliber firearms training, particularly coupled with young hunter programs, which contribute to our national heritage in conserving our natural resources.

That being said, exposing young children to high-caliber submachine guns borders on negligence.

It is indeed fortuitous that "Bullets and Burgers" has been closed indefinitely.

It was the week Lance Krig had both hoped for and feared since 2012. On Monday, a 9-year-old New Jersey girl would lose control of a 9mm Uzi submachine gun and fatally shot her firearms instructor.

The coroner in Las Vegas said Vacca suffered from a single gunshot to the head. Clark County Coroner Mike Murphy told THE ASSOCIATED PRESS that it will take several weeks for blood-toxicology test results to be completed and authorities were still investigating the shooting. The coroner said that an official cause of death was pending.

Lance Krig filed suit against the business in Mohave County Superior Court using the only known tool at his disposal: A noise violation. Yet, his motives were broader.

Krig said he hoped to convince a judge to suspend the range's operations until it could be properly inspected. His concerns, he said, were for himself, his neighbors and those allowed to "test-drive" fully automatic weaponry.

News of this week's death of firearms instructor Charles Vacca, 39, sparked a national discussion on gun safety and whether there are ever enough safety precautions in place when an automatic weapon is in the hands of a child.

The Mohave County Sheriff's Office has declined to pursue criminal charges. This is particularly noteworthy because most county sheriffs and police agencies are typically the issuers of "concealed carry" permits for private citizens, now that "concealed carry" has been instituted in virtually all 50 states.

Imagine the emotional trauma the 9-year-old girl will have to live with knowing that at her tender age, she has already taken a human life.

Vacca, described by friends as an Army veteran of Iraq and Afghanistan, is standing behind and to the left of the girl. He reaches in and appears to engage the automatic mechanism. When the girl pulls the trigger, the recoil appears to force her arms upward and to the left toward Vacca.

Sheriff's officials said the case is being viewed as an industrial accident and will be reviewed by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). Attempts to reach a representative from the OSHA office in Phoenix late Wednesday were unsuccessful.

Located on US 93, The World Famous Arizona Last Stop has all the hallmarks of a successful tourist trap. Murals depicting alien invasions or its "world famous" burger coat nearly every surface from the gas pumps to the walls of the gun-range office. Life-size cutouts of movie stars dot the parking lot.

"Ask about machine guns," says a sign leading into the diner. On the way out, a mural warns, "Last chance to shoot a machine gun."

Caswell's Shooting Range in Mesa is developing a class to teach families gun safety. Employees said the idea was sparked before the shooting death of a firearms instructor by a 9-year-old girl.

"There are three simple rules, and I'll say it again: Treat all guns as dangerous, keep the muzzle pointed in a safe direction and keep your finger off the trigger until you decide to fire," Heller said. "Every single gun accident is a result of the rules not being followed."

Lance Krig prevailed in his original noise-violation case.

Krig says the fatal incident on Monday was predictable.

"This was exactly what I said was going to happen," he said.