The New York Times reports that Judge Peter A. Velis of Hampden Superior Court in Springfield, Mass. has ruled that jurors will watch video of 8-year-old Christopher Bizilj shooting himself in the head with a machine gun, “setting up an unusually grisly courtroom scene in the manslaughter trial of a former police chief who organized the event.” The Judge seems a little . . . conflicted. According to the AP, Judge Velis said the video “would shock the conscience of any reasonable human being,” And yet, “The greatest risk in this case is invoking any sympathy.” Yes, well, there’s a lesson here for all people interested in gun ownership: “William M. Bennett, the Hampden County district attorney, said the father had chosen the gun for his son to fire because it was smaller — something that actually made it more dangerous and harder to control.”

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