I grew-up in an anti-gun culture: the east side of Providence, Rhode Island. I didn’t hold a handgun until I was in my twenties. Prior to that point, and for some time thereafter, I didn’t know how to load or unload a handgun or the four safety rules or how a gun behaves under recoil. Neither did anyone in my family. What if I’d gone to a friend’s house and he’d pulled out a gun for us to play with? What if a drunk co-worker in Atlanta had done the same? Who knows what would have happened? I grew up amongst a disarmed populace. I was gun ignorant. I was gun unsafe. So the “revelation” that the father of the girl who shot her Uzi instructor is from Weehawken, New Jersey is instructive, in the sense that . . .
Alexander MacLachlan probably had no prior experience with firearms before he took his family to Bullets and Burgers. Which means he had no way of knowing that the instructor gripped the gun incorrectly. Or, indeed, that an automatic Uzi is not the ideal choice for an 9-year-old’s first introduction to firearms. That a bolt-action .22 would have been a much better way to go – at least initially.
I’m not exactly sure why nydailynews.com focuses on Mr. MacLachlan’s wealth, rather than his firearms background or presumed lack thereof. This isn’t supposed to happen to rich people? Sensible, poor people are better off because rich people are so stupid they mess around with guns when they escape from New York? Or simple human interest?
In any event, can we blame Mr. MacLachlan for allowing a firearms instructor to put his daughter’s life at risk? The world is based on trust. We trust the airline pilot not to kill us. We trust the chef not poison us. We trust our parents to protect us. A huge part of that trust is based on knowledge.
We know not fly Aeroflot. We know not eat at a hideously filthy restaurant. But how can we know whether to trust a firearms instructor – whether he’s putting our child at risk – if we know nothing about firearms? In short, ignorance is not ballistic bliss. Not in a world full of guns.