Bullets and Burgers: 9-Year-Old Girl Accidentally Kills Instructor After Being Given Uzi At Target Range

Screen Shot 2014-08-28 at 3.24.58 PMWe previously discussed the tragic case of an eight-year-old boy who shot himself accidentally with a fully automatic Uzi. A similar tragedy has now occurred but it is the instructor who was killed by a 9-year-old girl learning to fire a submachine gun in Arizona at the Bullets and Burgers shooting range. The instructor, 39-year-old Charles Vacca, died at a hospital after he was shot in the head.

300px-uzi_1Bullets and Burgers allows children between 8 and 17 to shoot such weapons. An Uzi is an Israeli-made submachine gun. In this case, the recoil moved the weapon off the shoulder of the little girl and turned toward the instructor. The video showing the event up to the second before the shooting is shown below. The video shows Vacca positioning the little and her firing off a single round. Vacca then adjusted the Uzi, put his right hand on her back and his left under her right arm. She fired several rounds in rapid succession before the gun kicked to the left as she lost control. She was with her parents.

Bullets and Burgers advertises that “We separate ourselves from all other Las Vegas ranges with our unique ‘Desert Storm’ atmosphere and military style bunkers.”

These types of accidents are generally covered under issues of assumption of the risk and contractual waivers by all of the parties, including the instructors. The death would be covered under worker’s compensation unless the Vacca family will seek negligence liability for how the facility is run or structured as well as standards of training and safety. There is the separate question of whether the state should limit such use of weapons, a highly controversial question with gun rights advocates who are likely to point out that all of the parties consent to such risks (with the parents consenting for the minor). Finally, there is the emotional distress for this little girl who will have to live with this incredibly horrific memory.

Notably, some coverage suggests that Vacca may have been negligent in where he was standing. Greg Block, who runs California-based Self-Defense Firearms Training, said that a child should not be using this type of gun and that Vacca “was literally in the line of fire. He did pretty much everything wrong, and I don’t like saying that because it cost the man his life.” That would raise the question of possible liability of the range if the family were to sue over the trauma to their daughter, though such a lawsuit would present difficult issues since they would effectively have to sue the man killed by the minor under a respondeat superior theory.

In the Massachusetts case, former Pelham Police Chief Edward Fleury was found not guilty two years ago in a prosecution for involuntary manslaughter and furnishing a machine gun to a minor in the death of 8-year-old Christopher Bizilj.

205 thoughts on “Bullets and Burgers: 9-Year-Old Girl Accidentally Kills Instructor After Being Given Uzi At Target Range”

  1. Elaine – the mere quoting of the Second Amendment is ‘parroting someone else’s thoughts’. You should know that.

  2. And Jack, when I say “cracker”, I mean the salty crunchy kind. Was that an attempt at humor? Or an attempt to twist my meaning?

  3. Jack,

    Most people who quote the Second Amendment do so verbally. No one can know if they are capitalizing certain words in their heads or not. How does one determine if said people are quoting the Second Amendment correctly–or just “parroting someone else’s thoughts?”

  4. Elaine, what I think we are seeing here is an attempt to rewrite Professor Turley’s civilty rules. Just my hunch.

  5. Jack, as a newcomer here perhaps you don’t understand the civility rule, it does not state that snarky or edgy comments are a violation. However what can be construed by JT as a personal insult is a violation. Debate often gets heated.

  6. Elaine,

    “I guess that makes all the people who quote the Second Amendment “parroters.” Wouldn’t you agree?

    Only those who quote it incorrectly, Elaine.

  7. Annie, At some point you need to recognize that your snark is the primary cause of your posts being deleted.

    And No. Polly wants a white guy. I would have thought you to be more politically correct.

  8. Jack,

    Right…relying on a copy of the Constitution that is the same as the one posted on a government website is parroting somebody else. I guess that makes all the people who quote the Second Amendment “parroters.” Wouldn’t you agree?

    1. Annie – have you ever been on a ranch in the real West, not the faux West on the West Coast?

  9. Elaine,

    If you didn’t know whether or not “state” was capitalized in the original, you were definitely parroting somebody. Had you not been parroting, you would have recognized that the word “state” was indeed capitalized, but the word “Militia” was not. Hence the demonstrated problem of relying on what somebody else tells you, and then repeating it.

  10. Literacy requirements are banned for five years by the 1970 renewal of the Voting Rights Act. At the time, eighteen states still have a literacy requirement in place. In Oregon v. Mitchell, the Court upholds the ban on literacy tests, which is made permanent in 1975. Judge Hugo Black, writing the court’s opinion, cited the “long history of the discriminatory use of literacy tests to disenfranchise voters on account of their race” as the reason for their decision.

    Read more: U.S. Voting Rights | Infoplease.com http://www.infoplease.com/timelines/voting.html#ixzz3Bu1QGTiK

  11. Jack,

    I wasn’t parroting anything. Check out the comment that I made up thread when I spelled “State” with a capital letter

  12. No JohnO, you seem to be twisting my words. I indicated that IMMIGRANTS pass a test to become a citizen and that test is sufficient for an IMMIGRANT to be able to vote and I stated that no further tests are required to vote, FOR ANYONE. Your comments to me are increasingly disingenuous and not worth a reply. The shame lies in attempts to disenfranchise legal voters.

  13. Elaine,

    It has nothing to do with “someone being testy”. It has to so with a desire to have people educate themselves instead of just parroting someone else’s thoughts. To understand the fundamentals, you have to be willing to access the origins of those fundamental principles.

    I didn’t say you were wrong to capitalize the word “State”. I just asked if that was the way it was presented for ratification.

    Is there a difference between being in a “free state” and a “free State”, teacher?

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