Back in November 2009, in my archives, I wrote an article titled; ‘Zero Gun Sense= Uzi sub-machine gun tragedy in Westfield Ma.‘, it was written on 11-12-09. Fast forward, now in the Boston Herald on 8-21-10 I read that the former police chief of Pelham, Edward Fleury, the organizer of that fateful event where an 8 year old boy died, has filed a motion that the charges be dropped because he says that he could not have ‘forseen’ the accident. I find it fascinating that any judge would even consider the motion.
It is true that when we rise in the morning we really do not know what will happen to us, we have certain expectations of how our day will unfold, or hope it will unfold. We cannot control/foresee everything, of course not. A drunk, or some nit wit texting, crosses over the center line and there is absolutely no time on your part to react…….you could not foresee this, this may kill you, this is one example, the list can go on and on…..
I do not believe for a second, (unless he is a complete imbecile) that Edward Fleury, who professes himself to be a ‘firearm instructor’ would not have foreseen that something bad would/could happen by putting a fully automatic micro Uzi into the hands of an 8 year old boy. If Fleury is actually telling the truth about not being able to ‘foresee’ this accident, why then was a complete imbecile allowed to run a firearms event of this nature? As the Range Master/organizer, Fleury had final say in the events of that day.
To highlight the point in another way,….. why not have Fleury give a child a hand grenade. Could Fleury claim he could not ‘forsee an accident? The child may or may not pull the pin, you cant really ‘foresee’ what he will do, but you can prevent something bad from happening by not giving the child a grenade in the first place! You can control certain circumstances like this by applying a smidgen of sense. The boy would have enjoyed being introduced to the proper use of a .22 cal. bolt action rifle also.
If Fleury really did not understand the characteristics of a Uzi micro sub-machine gun, and that an 8 year old would not have the understanding, strength or physical coordination to control such a weapon, that would, at the very least, boil down to gross incompetence on his part, and for that he and others involved should pay. He allowed perceived ‘fun’ to trump safety and good sense. I hope the judge dismisses the motion and goes on with the trial.
UPDATE: On January 1, 2011, Fleury was acquitted of involuntary manslaughter, and the three counts of furnishing a machine-gun to minors. He had organized the event and allowed a 15 year old with no instructor credentials to oversee the victim use a Micro Uzi. While I find it incredible that he was cleared of all charges, the Ma. jury has spoken. Two others, Domenico Spano, and Carl Giuffre are accused of supplying the Micro Uzi, they have pleaded ‘not guilty’ and await trial.
Mark Shean, 8-22-2010
NEW UPDATE: Nine year old girl accidentally kills instructor in Arizona with the exact same type weapon as in above story, a Mini Uzi, another case of ‘Fun’ before Safety gone very bad. See link;