DOLAN SPRINGS, ARIZONA - A 39-year-old firearms safety officer Charles Vacca was shot and killed by a 9-year-old girl while showing her how to use an Uzi style automatic pistol.
The tragic accident happened at the "World Famous Last Stop" gas station, a well known tourist destination on the edge of Arizona, just 26 miles from the Hoover Dam. Of course, what makes Last Stop world famous is there signage such as:
The 9-year-old girl was with her parents when they took part in Last Stop's rent a machine gun program. As the video clearly shows, Vacca had the child fire a single round on semi-automatic which, as we all know, is one round fired for each trigger pull. Vacca then said his last words, "alright, full auto" while putting the gun into automatic mode.
With little instruction on proper stance, little instruction on proper grip, and no instuction on what full auto recoil is like, Vacca let a 9-year-old loose. Her entire firearms experience? One round down range on semi-auto.
What plays out in that video is tragic yet somewhat predictable; The small girl pulls the trigger and immediately loses control of the Uzi due to the recoil - she had no idea what to expect given the complete lack of instruction. That's where the video ends, just before the girl loses control of the weapon, the recoil pulling the gun towards Vacca, and a round strikes him in the head.
Vacca was airlifted to University Medical Center in Las Vegas and pronounced dead.
As an instructor I am all for teaching children safety and proper firearms handling. I wouldn't have handed a 9 year old girl, whom has no previous firearms experience, let alone experience with anything full-auto, an Uzi. Of course the girl had no idea what was coming, given the complete lack of instruction.
I feel terrible for this little girl and her family because with proper instruction and patience this incident could have been avoided. If he had worked with her longer on semi auto, by giving her more rounds down range in a slow controlled environment and included an explanation of the recoil increase in the full auto setting, this little girl would have had a great day at the range with her family.
Instead she ended someones life because he was in a rush and failed to teach her correctly.
How much training can you expect from a place that uses this logo:
Lil Red Danger is a firearms enthusiast, firearms instructor, and spokeswoman for the firearms industry.
Raised in an anti-gun household, she first fired a gun 3 years ago and it was love at first shot.
Follow Little Red Danger on Facebook.