Seventeen months after an 8-year-old Connecticut boy fatally shot himself with a machine gun provided at a Massachusetts gun range, the Westfield Sportsman's Club pleaded no contest today to a manslaughter charge and to furnishing a machine gun to a child.Besides Christopher's father who brought him to this sick event and was too far removed from the action to be of help, it came out later that the one responsible for supervising the boy was just a kid himself.
As part of a settlement in Springfield Superior Court, the club agreed to pay a $1,000 fine for the manslaughter charge and to pay $10,000 to two charities that work with children.
Christopher Bizilj of Ashford, Conn., died on Oct. 26, 2008, after losing control of a high-powered Uzi machine gun, which recoiled and fatally shot him in the head. The boy's father had brought him to a gun shooting event at the club.
The mother asked how it could have happened that it was an unlicensed 15-year-old boy, the son of one of the gun dealers sponsoring the event, who was in charge of supervising her son.So, just so no one can say the gun club and all the dads involved got off light, there was another legal consequence.
"How could [the gun dealer] think his 15-year-old son could possibly be mature enough and skilled enough to put a powerful automatic weapon in the hands of an 8-year-old boy? How could gun club range officers allow non-certified instructors to be in control?" she asked, adding, "It is hard to comprehend the extent of negligence that went on that afternoon."
"There will be no more automatic weapons at the Sportsman's Club. That's the condition I accept this plea," the judge said. "We cannot endure another case like this. This has shaken the conscience of the whole community."
To me this sounds almost like a cover-up, something you'd expect in Alabama or Indiana. What's the point of all those strict gun laws in the North East if they let people and gun clubs get away with stuff like this with a slap on the wrist?
What's your opinion? You know what I think. The dads involved in this case, and all the other gun-dads, should be ashamed of themselves. But, I'd like to hear what you think.
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