August 28, 2014

By Mike Caccioppoli

What kind of country are we living in? No, seriously, I want to know. A nine year old girl just accidentally killed her shooting range instructor! I remember when kids had piano teachers instead of Uzi teachers. I think I’m going to start my own GoFundMe page where I ask for donations so I can move to Canada. I’m tired of living in a country where too many people love guns more than children. I’m living in a country where twenty little kids can be blown to bits and nothing, I mean nothing is done about it. Nothing to destroy the organization that time and time again allows this shit to happen. So we have shooting after shooting (mass and just ‘minor’) and for a week or two we talk about it and then we move on to the next story. Which of course this being the USA no doubt has something to do with guns, police brutality, or a place we want to bomb. I’m fucking tired of it.

I’m tired of hearing stories about nine year old girls at shooting ranges putting a bullet in their instructors head. It happened at a place in Arizona named Bullets and Burgers. I shit you not. I have to say that even a true cynic like myself who hates most American tradition and culture, was still shocked by that name. I wasn’t shocked that it happened in Arizona, no that did not shock me. I can only imagine what those in civilized nations think about that kind of name or concept. Hey, bring your kiddies to Bullets and Burgers where they can grab a cheeseburger, fries with your choice of sides…a pistol, a rifle, or an Uzi. This is real folks, not satire. I’m sure the founding fathers were imagining a place called Bullets and Burgers when they wrote the Second Amendment. 

It’s real American life. ‘Murica baby! In places where gun violence is rare (ie every other civilized nation) when something like this happens (even though something like THIS never does) the entire country is paralyzed from it. Here in the USA we just shrug and go back to texting about our latest meal or blow job.  I’m tired of it. I’m tired of seeing young lives taken or in the case of the girl, traumatized for life. This little girl killed someone. She will have to live with that forever. Her innocence is gone and who is to blame? So many people.

The NRA is to blame. They tweeted right after the incident about “7 ways children can have fun at the shooting range.” Actually it was “NRA Women” that tweeted it. Now I understand the reason so many men love big guns. It makes up for what they are lacking in the manhood department. Why women? Someone needs to explain this to me. Please. Yes this was an actual tweet right after this girl killed her instructor. The guy who runs the range is also to blame. He was on “All in with Chris Hayes” on MSNBC and as I was watching I was looking for a hint of humanity in this man, trying my hardest to understand why he allows kids to shoot guns at his range.

The humanity wasn’t there. Sure he said something about the guy that was killed being a close friend or like a brother or something but that was about it. The rest of the interview was about how much money he makes from letting kids eat burgers and shoot Uzi’s. It a big business in Nevada and Arizona, part of the gaming industry. As always it’s about money. Money and guns going together like a bullet in the brain. It just seems to fit together well in the USA.

When Hayes, who looked totally shocked and almost paralyzed by what this man was saying, asked him what changes might be made, the guy actually said this, “maybe we will have to do what they do at Disney Land, you know, when you can’t go on a ride if you aren’t ‘this tall’ (he used his hand to show height). Yeah that’s it! That’s the change that might be made. I mean shooting a high powered weapon is just like going on the “gravitron”. Ain’t this America for you and me baby!

Hayes had the look on his face that you have right now as you read this. If you hadn’t seen the interview. If an 18 year old has sex with a 16 year old we go ape shit in the country, we want the 18 year old to do life in prison. But it’s OK for a nine year old to shoot a gun. It’s not OK for a 17 year old to vote but it’s OK for a nine year old to shoot a gun. It’s not OK for a 20 year old to have a beer but it’s OK for a nine year old to shoot a fucking gun!!

This is the story in the news now, but I bet most of you don’t remember or probably haven’t heard of this one from 2011. I mean that was 457 news cycles ago. An eight year old boy killed himself when almost the exact same thing happened as his father was showing him how to shoot. A bullet in his own brain. But we didn’t talk about that story, or we did and just moved on as usual.

Which brings up the people who are the most responsible. The parents. This is child abuse or at least it would be in most other countries. You see, these people (mostly men but not always) want their kids to ‘grow up tough’ and be able to ‘defend themselves’. The father doesn’t want his son to be a ‘pussy.’ The ones with girls always wanted a boy so they have to transfer their psychological bullshit over to their poor kids. This is what it means to grow up in America these days. Some of these same people will deride their kids if they want those piano lessons or voice lessons or ballet lessons.

We have become a sick nation. Cancer ridden. We are obsessed with guns and money and violence and killing. It stinks from the head down. From a government that creates (literally and figuratively) boogeymen that need to be bombed to the cops who see an immediate threat when a black kid is walking down the street to the parents who instill this sick idea into their kids heads that if you don’t shoot a gun you aren’t ‘tough’ or a ‘real American’. The range owner that Hayes’ interviewed said “some of these nine year olds are pretty big.” It sounded as disgusting as those guys who say “Hey, she might have been 12 but she looked 18 buddy!” We detest the latter but we excuse the former.  He also said the little girl “wanted to shoot a gun.” Nah, we know the truth. Her parents made her want to shoot the gun, it was their idea. No nine year old girl wakes up one day and says ‘I’d really love to shoot an Uzi today daddy!’ They caused the death of that instructor and the grief and guilt this little girl will feel for the rest of her life. 

The NRA loves this shit. They eat it up. More kids growing up to love guns, to buy guns, to pass that along to their kids and so on and so forth. The politicians do nothing because the gun lobby contributes big money to their campaigns. The few who might want to stand up to Wayne LaPierre, know they will probably lose the next election when the NRA and supporters give millions to a pro gun challenger.

Yes this is the USA.

Bullets and burgers and guns and money and power and deaths. 

Who wants to help me with that GoFundMe campaign?











  1. Forrest Bivens

    Mike, just discovered your blog yesterday. Read the piece on cops, was hooked. As an ex-pat living in Ontario, Canada for the past 14 years, I must warn you; things aren’t perfect. We have Rob Ford as mayor of our largest city. I mean a lying, crack smoking buffoon! You complain about 9 year old Uzi toters, Burgers n Bullets and police gone wild…but ROB FORD! Or Stephen Harper! Don’t get me started on him!

    In my city we have a seriously dysfunctional city council we’re trying to fix in the upcoming elections. How can you complain about the NRA and some little nagging issue like out of control gun-mania? We have serious issues like who’s gonna pay for out new Performing Arts Centre! Let me tell you, there’s no comparison…

    Brother, Canada is no destination of perfection! Not to mention the winters! And our military…well we have no smart bombs, our helicopters are barely air worthy and there is no distinction between branches of the service. it’s simply called “The Forces”. What a joke, as we couldn’t force a 9 year old to drop that Uzi. All we do is try and keep the peace in war torn countries. Such as it is.

    Lastly, as a black man who lived in Seattle (a bastion of northern progressive thinking) for 20 years before moving here, I successfully defused about 10 traffic stops without as much as a shot fired or ticket issued. As an aside, I always wondered why I got pulled over so frequently in the first place, especially when no citations were issued. I mean really, could I have been profiled??? Well those days seem to be behind me, as I’ve yet to be stopped by the cops here. I mean seriously…I’m still black so what’s up with that? Can’t a brotha get a roadside frisking up here? Disappointing.

    Gas is more expensive, as is the general cost of living. So along with all the other issues I’ve raised (and a host of others I haven’t, but are equally shocking), you may want to reconsider those thoughts of moving here. The grass may be greener in some regards, but brother we got weeds too!


    1. mikecaccioppoli Post author

      Forrest…thanks for the comments. Canada has problems just like any other country but it’s heaven compared to the USA! I lived in Montreal for two years and it is the best city I have ever lived in or visited. It is also 100 times more Progressive than the rest of Canada which is 1000 more Progressive than most of the USA.

      Rob Ford is as bad as you can get? Really? People still LOVE him and down here he seems quaint compared to most of our corrupt politicians.

      Plus Canada realizes that the best sport is hockey not football!!

      1. Forrest Bivens

        Agreed on all points Mike. Obviously I was dripping in sarcasm. Personally I don’t ever see myself living in the US again. My list is long and varied as to why, and I suspect similar to yours. So yeah, appreciate your writing!

    1. Forrest Bivens

      Yes, that’s the part to focus on Jim. SMH.
      Ad hominem attacks do nothing to address the issues at hand, a child scarred for life and a life lost, in pursuit of an antiquated right.

      1. Jim Savage

        A man is dead and a child is possibly scarred for life because of terrible judgement by her parents and the dead instructor, not the NRA and the 2nd amendment. She is too young and too small to handle an Uzi. Everyday children begin to learn to do things that can result in death and injury. Riding bicycles, motorcycles and horses, shooting guns, driving cars, sailing boats are all potentially lethal. Under the supervision of their parents and instructors selected by their parents the children usually do okay, but sometimes they don’t. It’s tragic, but there is no need to give up rights or leave the country. Life is dangerous and most people in this country don’t want the government deciding how we spend the time we have.

      2. mikecaccioppoli Post author

        They are called LAWS! They are there to protect kids from red neck asshole parents and greedy gun shop and range owners from allowing kids to shoot Uzi’s. You see WE need the government because moron Americans can’t be trusted to “do the right thing” on their own.. GET IT?!

      3. Jay North

        “You see WE need the government because moron Americans can’t be trusted to “do the right thing” on their own.”
        And you think you know better than parents. The egotistical bullshit liberals and conservatives will pull trying to control the nation.
        Quit trying to control the populace.

      4. Forrest Bivens

        Yes, “don’t try to control me”; the default position of the moronic half of the American populace. The dumbing down trend rolls on.

      5. Forrest Bivens

        Are you an anarchist, private militia, or just getting exercise jumping to conclusions.

        Asking for a friend.

  2. Jay North

    The next time a 14-year-old drives a car and kills himself, remember to blame the damn car and car company. Do not blame the 14-year-old nor the parents. Blame AAA and their propaganda. Blame the government for putting pavement on the roads. Hell, remember to blame Shell Oil for producing gasoline that fueled the car.

    But never, never blame the person who did the actual driving.

    Statist bull shit in this article. Mike Caccioppoli is someone who can’t see past the end of their own nose.

    1. mikecaccioppoli Post author

      14 year olds can’t drive so cut the shit. You just don’t get it..because you don’t want to get it. We have LAWS for a reason…if you don’t think there should be LAWS to stop 9 year olds from shooting Uzi’s you belong in the fucking nuthouse for American shitballs

      1. Jim Savage

        Quite a few states allow 14 year olds to drive. Sometimes teenage drivers kill themselves, their instructor and others. We still allow driving by teenagers to continue.

      2. Forrest Bivens

        Jim, for an argument to be taken seriously it has to be germain to the topic. Guns and driving just do not make any sense when comparing. See, one is a weapon designed to kill. Call it defensive, sport or what have you, it is purposed to inflict damage and take lives.

        So, not trying to be offensive here…just hoping to raise the level of the debate or discussion.

      3. mikecaccioppoli Post author

        Because people you actually equate a teenager driving a car to an 8 or 9 year old firing an Uzi…that is why we have laws as well as psychiatric hospitals.

      4. Jay North

        Liberty allows for people to make mistakes and be stupid. Just like Mike here who is free to dribble shit from the brain.

      5. Jay North

        Liberty isn’t for sale.
        Statism is and it can be purchased in Canada, where you would like to go. Just need to move there.
        It can also be purchased in many other countries. I refuse to give it up in this country, no matter how strongly people like you try to steal it away from me.

      6. Forrest Bivens

        Statism. That pretty much sums up your knowledge of Canadian democracy. Which is zero. Best to keep silent unless you know about a country.

      7. Jay North

        Statism: “a political system in which the state has substantial centralized control over social and economic affairs.”
        Not Canada huh? The US even qualifies in respects. So, yeah, I do know Statism and it seems YOU need to learn your definition of words.

      8. Jay North

        Yes, calling me dumb because you can’t understand definitions…. congratulations, you found the problem.

  3. Jim Savage

    Oh, I see how it is. Mike can curse, call names and make wild false claims, but I need to raise my level of debate. Driving and shooting are both activities that can end in sudden violent death. They are also activities that are safely engaged in by young people everyday. Nine year olds and younger safely shoot guns everyday. There aren’t enough hours in the day for legislators to pass enough laws to protect everyone and their children from dangerous behavior. Check out youtube sometime. Life is dangerous. Living as a free citizen is worth the risk.

    1. Forrest Bivens

      I appreciate where you’re coming from, however for the purposes of our back ‘n forth, let’s continue with this level if you don’t mind?

      Everything you just said is valid regarding operational safety and risk. So to address those points from a common sense perspective, at what age do we restrict the use of guns and/or cars? What I’m asking is can you agree that a five year old behind the wheel would constitute negligent decision making by the adults that allowed it? Can we reasonably expect a kid that age to have the wherewithal to safely control that vehicle?

      Now switch this line or reasoning to a high powered gun with a demonstrable recoil. Assuming this instructor knew his weapons, would it be reasonable to extend that experience to considering the control capabilities of a little girl? See I’m hoping our debate isn’t about the freedoms to shoot, rather the reasonable expectations for safety. In that context would it be unreasonable for the range owner to adjust policies based on recent history?

      1. Jim Savage

        The girl was obviously too small to handle an Uzi, I hope the range owner will make changes to his policies. However, I still prefer to trust parents over legislators.

      2. mikecaccioppoli Post author

        Jay doesnt seem to realize that we are a nation of laws…that we were founded on the principle that the government makes laws and regulates.

        And yes the parents cant be trusted to make their own choices in such matters..not when a father lets an 8 yo boy kill himself or a 9 yo kill someone else. The govt is here to protect people from lunatics and to protect children as well.

      3. Forrest Bivens

        Jay would have us running amok, killing or being killed. Survival of the fittest…or for him the best armed. He doesn’t believe in a centralized form of gov’t. Anarchy.

      4. Jay North

        These parents that you rage about, are they not the same people who are voted into office and make these same laws you rant about?
        I’m confused. Are you the only sane person in the nation? Because the group of people you are so hell bent on saying are idiots are the EXACT same group of people being voted into office and making laws.
        Tell me, how is that having people take care of themselves is worse than having lunatics be voted into office to enforce their idea of law on me? I really don’t understand why you think it is OK for these nutty parents to be in political office to make up laws and have hired thugs (police) to enforce these laws. Wouldn’t be be much better for these same nutty people to end their gene pool by getting them or their off spring killed off? Seems that your world would be much better with the reduction of crazies, right? So, let them do as they wish and let them all die. Or, maybe, just maybe you enjoy seeing others be controlled and you enjoy being the one who can control. Yes, that is it, because YOU, Mike, are running for office. Yeah, you want to be the one in control. You want to be the nutty asshole who wants to control your constituents.
        Good luck with that, and if you win, I’m glad I don’t live anywhere near you. It would drive me nuts to have such a control freak gaining control of the police. Yeah, the very same police you wrote a rant about earlier. You don’t really want them gone, instead you want to control them.

        Good luck with gaining control over the populace.

        Like I said earlier, you are very egotistical.

      5. Jay North

        “us running amok, killing or being killed. Survival of the fittest”
        Yeah, that is my goal {sarcasm}.

        I believe that people are good and most people will do good. Laws do not make people good, instead they make good people criminals.

  4. Jason B

    Please please please move to Canada. It obvious that you no longer want to be an American. And hey little buddy….that’s okay. We really don’t want someone that isn’t willing to do anything beneficial. I mean really, you’re whining about a 9 yr old firing a sub-machine gun. Her parents, that instructor, hell the range owner should have had the mind to say “not a good idea”. I get that and…I agree. But to say this one incident is indicative of the whole country. Well Mike, even you can see that’s a shortcut for thinking. Even the strictest gun laws don’t necessarily work. Read news from Chicago lately? What about England? No guns…MASSIVE amounts of muggings, rape, stabbings. Do they ban knives next? Arabic countries stone people. Do they need to ban rocks?

    What you don’t or fail to understand is, groups like the NRA, actually want safe gun practices. They lobby and push for gun education and responsibility. Most of the major “outdoor” chains are on the front lines of conservation. Protecting wildlife and wilderness areas. So you try to paint this bleak picture that guns are bad. No gun has ever killed a person by itself. Ever! People kill with guns….and knives and rocks and rockets and metal poles. So you ban one…what’s next?

    I hear Canada is nice this time of year. Do send a postcard.

      1. Jason B

        I think maybe you’d fit in better in Syria or Turkey…maybe the Ukraine. Oh…I got it! China or North Korea! You see there, only the Government has guns there. And they freely support individualism and human rights! They would NEVER act as tyrannical demigods forcing servitude while sucking the marrow out of the general population.

        For centuries, Chinese overlords and the invading Japanese banned ALL weapon being produced or forged. This prevented the people from rising up while he sucked the life out of them. Taxing them to starvation…but the farmers did revolt. Using the art of Kenpo and Karate, and weapons made from farm tools, they defended themselves from the tyranny.

        So just go. Because my “ignorance”, as you call it, runs pretty deep. As deep as the volumes and volumes of historical literature that show time and time again the repetition of these types of atrocities. I would dare say…Tis not I as ignorant as the blind eye of tolerance.

        Go find your Utopia and raise unicorns in golden fields. Just make sure your ticket is one-way.

      2. Forrest Bivens

        Not too extreme there, ey Jason? You forgot CANADA, where the per capita gun ownership is higher than the US, yet the per capita death rate by gun is a sliver compared to the US. So, it is possible to have a society where guns and people can coexist without the bloodshed. And where freedom of speech, and EVERY other human right is readily available. America is so wrapped in its violent history, it can’t perceive an existence without it. And yet, right next door is a population that underwent an evolution vs a revolution.

  5. G

    Another Great article, Mike, couldn’t agree more. Our country is in a sad state indeed and yes I’ve lived most of my last 10 years out of it so I get how you feel.

  6. Theron Mosley

    All of you commenters are extremely intelligent and articulate people. I’m wondering if people spent more time on solutions than dissing each other for slight differences in thought, what REAL CHANGE could be affected…


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