Everyone around the world, quite rightly, has commented on the demented insanity of taking a nine year old girl out to a shooting range for a little fun time with an Uzi. I should simply like to add a thought that has not, to my knowledge, yet received much attention. That poor child will have to live for the rest of her life with the knowledge that she killed someone, regardless of how often she is told, correctly, that it is not her fault.
I will confess, somewhat ashamedly, that I am not able to feel truly sorry for the shooting instructor whose recklessness cost him his own life. I know nothing at all about him, save that he put a loaded submachine gun in fully automatic mode in the hands of a child. It is no good blaming capitalism, or whatever. There is not another "advanced" industrial nation in the world that would allow such a thing. There is something uniquely sick about America, among all the other imperial capitalist states. It is entirely of a piece with the fact that we incarcerate a vastly larger proportion of our population -- of course disproportionally of color -- than any other capitalist country. And it cannot possibly be irrelevant that a higher proportion of Americans attend religious services regularly.