August 27, 2014

H/t to reader BobD.

All this outrage on Morning Joe, and it wasn't even the first time it happened. In deep-blue Massachusetts, even! Except this child ended up killing himself, while his father was right there, supporting him. Just another one of those tragic accidents that seem to happen so inexplicably often around responsible gun-loving adults:


WESTFIELD, Mass. — An 8-year-old boy died after accidentally shooting himself in the head while firing an Uzi submachine gun under adult supervision at a gun fair.

The boy lost control of the weapon while firing it Sunday at the Machine Gun Shoot and Firearms Expo at the Westfield Sportsman’s Club, police Lt. Lawrence Vallierpratte said.

Police said the boy, Christopher Bizilj of Ashford, Conn., was with a certified instructor and called the death a “self-inflicted accidental shooting.”

As the boy fired the Uzi, "the front end of the weapon went up with the backfire and he ended up receiving a round in his head," police Lt. Hipolito Nunez said. The boy died at a hospital.

The police chief who organized the gun show was tried for involuntary manslaughter, but it sounds like the father -- a surgeon -- should have been charged, too:

The teenager said police were at the expo and were aware that children were shooting the weapons.

During Spano's testimony today he said that he warned Christopher's father about the gun prior to giving it to Christopher. Initially Spano had offered Christopher a gun that shot only one round at a time, but Dr. Bizilj asked him to give his son a fully automatic weapon that would shoot continuously, Spano said.

The teenager said he suggested for a second time that a non-automatic weapon would be better for the boy, but the father dismissed his concern.

"You trusted Mr. Bizilj to make the best decisions for his children?" defense attorney Rosemary Curran Scapicchio asked. Spano said he did.

"And no one stopped an 8-year-old from shooting, is that fair to say?" Scapicchio asked. Spano agreed.

Spano said he put the gun in Christopher's hands. "He began to shoot. As I remember he was shooting fine. Something happened. It came back and shot him in the face," Spano said.

Scapicchio maintains that Fleury should not be held responsible for Christopher's death. "[The father] had the opportunity to ask questions and he chose not to," she told

She said the father "had the authority at all times to stop the shooting, and he chose not to."

Spano is the son of Domenico Spano who is also charged with involuntary manslaughter for his role in providing the guns at the expo. A third man, Carl Guiffre, faces identical charges. Both men have pleaded not guilty and are awaiting trial.

You'll be happy to know, though, that everyone was found not guilty.

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