Kids & Guns: A Dangerous Combination?

- ROCKFORD -- Kids and guns can certainly be a dangerous combination.  With the recent killing of a range instructor by a nine-year-old girl, some are questioning whether it's a good idea to give someone that young a gun.

NRA Certified instructor, Sandra Farnham, of Loves Park, has been teaching people how to use firearms for five years.  Her students range in ages from seven years old to older adults.

Farnham says of her training technique, that she trains her students to "[shoot] one round at a time, until they are confident, and then adding a second round - so that there's only two rounds in the firearm -- that helps prevent accidents."

Like many, she was surprised by the accident in Lake Havasu, Arizona that happened on Monday, when a 9-year-old student killed instructor Charles Vacca, 39, with an UZI.  Vacca was standing beside the girl when she pulled the trigger on the weapon, and the recoil sent the gun over her head and fired a round into her instructor.

"Shooting a full automatic, because of the amount of recoil, and not having any time in between the rounds, the firearm goes up," Farnham says.  "It doesn't matter how big you are, [the weapon can be hard to control.]"

Richard Pearson, spokesman for the Illinois State Rifle Association, says, "You have to make sure that the student - the young person in this case - is trained according to their skill level and their body strength."

Currently, there is no age limit in Illinois regarding the age of a firearm student, as long as they have parental consent. 

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