"A child waits to
unload drums of diesel at a jetty in the Niger Delta, where illicitly
refined fuel is sold on the black market to local filling stations." Photograph: Samuel James
"A boy is supported as he fires a machine gun."
Photograph: Pete Mulle.
Two selections from a gallery of seventeen images from the Sony World photography awards at The Guardian.
Looks like kiddie porn for child exploiters.ReplyDelete
I'm fairly certain that is not a "machine gun" - highly doubtful. It is a rifle, but not a full-auto.ReplyDelete
I can tell you from having played Counterstrike that it's an FNP90 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/FNP90. IIRC, it's a fully automatic weapon which fires 900 2 gram rounds a minute from a magazine of 50. Of course that's only one version of the weapon, there do exist semi-automatic versions of it, but either way i think letting a toddler fire one is repugnant, to be frankReplyDelete
Having just googled some images, i don't think the weapon that boy is holding is the semi-automatic version =(Delete
I don't understand why it is repugnant? I did not have a fully automatic weapon to fire, but I did have a .22LR of my own when I was probably 7 or 8, and was allowed to take it hunting. I had a .410 shotgun at that age as well.Delete
Is it because the weapon is dangerous? (Because the dad is right there at a shooting range.) Or just weapons in general?
In Westfield MA, in 2007, an 8-year old boy was allowed to fire an Uzi. He lost control of the gun - it rose up and shot him in the head, killing him instantly, as his father watched from his side.Delete
My policy for my own children is that if they can't hold it up without assistance, they aren't ready to use it. For now that limits my eldest to a .22 rifle, which I chopped down to suit her diminutive LOP. She is 9. My 4 year old has used an airsoft springer on soda cans, but I'm not about to hand her a 9mm anything any time soon.Delete
I always think of that poor family that lost their boy to the Uzi (probably a mini-uzi, ashoulder fired FA uzi wouldn't have done that) in 2007. That was a tragic reminder to parents about safe operating limits.
Brad- Is it DANGEROUS!?!Delete
I've never fired a gun in my life, and have no problem with responsible gun owners (of course- how many would admit to not being "responsible") who use one to hunt, or for home protection. Point is, even I know that the continued recoil from an automatic weapon is something that a child that young would be ill prepared to control and therefore pose a life threatening situation to themselves and anyone around them. It's not just repugnant- it's goddamn insane!
If you have never fired a gun in your life, how do you know what the recoil on that particular shoulder fired weapon is? I think it is rather insane to judge someone's actions regarding this when you utterly lack the expertise to do so. How do you even know that this weapon is on automatic? Just because it has an automatic setting does not mean that it is always set to fully auto.Delete
I have fired many, many guns in my life. I can tell you that you can safely fire an M-16 with the stock on your chin and the recoil will be so small you will not feel it (Which I actually saw demonstrated when I was in the military.) The 5.7x28mm round, which is most likely what is pictured here, is comparable to the recoil of a .22 hornet. The .22 Hornet has about 1.3 foot pounds of recoil energy from a 7.5 pound rifle. This shoulder fired pistol the boy is holding weighs about half that, most likely. So we are talking perhaps double that? So the boy is absorbing a maximum of 3 foot pounds of pressure per round fired.
I think he'll be ok. Could something terrible happen? Yes, it has happened before, but such tragedies are relatively rare. Probably statistically less risky than turning him loose on his bicycle. (Though I could be mistaken.)
I completely agree with Brad. He has all of the information correct. I'm glad he said it because I was going to say the same thing but I am too lazy to put it all together. The father has both of his hands on the weapon and child to help control anything that may go wrong. I don't agree with it, I wouldn't do it, but if I had to tell someone how to do it safely, this is how I would tell them to do it.Delete
I think we could have a much more effective conversation on gun control and safety if people would bother would take a little more time to get some information (and not information from Counterstrike) before reacting emotionally.
I particularly agree with his last statement. I have no problem with teaching your young son all about gun safety, but what purpose does it serve to teach him to fire an automatic weapon at that age? Will he go hunting with it, target shooting with it?Delete
Did that father who let his son fire an Uzi make the same mathematical equations in favor of safety? Was he not supervising his child and confident in his safety? Did he not ask... What could possibly go wrong?
Yeah, I do get somewhat "emotional" about children and guns- no, I'm not familiar with firing them myself, but I am very familiar with the consequences. And are you blind to how gun proponents are so over the top emotional about their beloved weapons that even the very suggestion that children (CHILDREN!) should not be allowed to handle and fire automatic weapons is automatically translated into- We want to take all your guns away!!!
I will try to sketch a critique of the juxtaposition that shows my opinion on why Stan did it.ReplyDelete
These are two different visions on the state of childhood in the world. While the first kid, like most children on poor areas in the world - the majority really - has to work under inhumane conditions, a rich kid - it could happen in any rich area of the world, even in Africa - gets to learn early how to use the tool that keeps the world divided and the poor subdued.
I was wondering how long it would be before anyone paid any attention to the child in the first photo.Delete
I was also interested in the juxaposition of the the two pictures, and interested that everyone focused on the second picture.Delete
I will also note, the first picture depicts a child involved in the illegal sale of what is most likely stolen products ("Sale of illictedly refined fuel on the black market", while noting that theft of crude from pipelines is an ongoing issue in NIgeria) -- while the second involves a legal activity, under what is assumedly the direct participation of their parent.
Just another way to look at it..
Would I, personally, let a child that young fire an automatic weapon? No. Would I let a child that young go through firearms safety, and fire a few rounds under highly supervised conditions at a prepared range with full safety considerations? Yes. (Note the child is wearing both ear and eye protection.)
In my opinion, firearms safety should be taught to every child. (With the primary rule -- NEVER EVER play with guns.) Same as traffic safety should be taught to every child. And yes, you see a lot more cars per day than guns.. but cars kill somewhere around 10X as many children as guns per year..
Speaking of "illegalities," I would suggest people familiarize themselves with how Chevron and Big Oil have raped, plundered and poisoned the environment and people of Nigeria without any compensation whatsoever.Delete
PS- "Theft of crude" in Nigeria could more readily translate as an impoverished people's attempt to reclaim but a fractional portion of the natural and monetary wealth that is rightfully theirs and stolen under the point of a gun by a corrupt government that is propped up and empowered by the financial greed and backing of foreign corporations.Delete
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What Stan B. said.ReplyDelete
It is interesting to notice how what poor people (should we say black poor people?) who live in a land being exploited to the extreme and need to work from such an early age are always found to be commiting some violation or another, while the activities of the powerful receive such a sequence of efforts of legitimization.