McKenzie, the 11-year-old who can field strip and reassemble a rifle in 53 secs

This video may prove shocking if you're not accustomed to seeing children handling guns. On the American blogosphere however, 11-year-old McKenzie has attracted great admiration.

The video of an eleven-year-old girl assembling a rifle in record time is causing a stir on the web. Largely admired in the US, the video has attracted such comments as "beware terrorists", "don't break her heart or she'll murder your whole family" and "this girl is awesome". However, in places where learning to use a gun at a tender age is not exactly commonplace the video has raised concern over children's access to guns - particularly since it involves a country infamous for its school shootings. Despite 1989 Child Access Prevention laws in place in many states, nearly 12 times more under-14-year-olds die from firearms incidents in the US compared with 25 other developed countries combined [according to the anti-gun violence Brady Campaign]. Nonetheless, owning a gun is a fundamental right in the US, and protected by the Second Amendment. Our Observers explain why.


Eleven-year-old McKenzie's record. Posted 12 January 08 by "gixxerguy811".

"Would your child do the same?"

Blogger Robb Allen, from Tampa Florida, is currently in the process of teaching his daughters, 3 and 6, about guns.

I got it in my head that I should paint [a rifle] in some sort of girlie colours and give it to my daughters. The Hello Kitty thing has been done to death, so I'm thinking Care Bears or My Little Pony. Of course, I have a plethora of themes to choose from off [the website] Noggin. Wow Wow Wubbzy could be kind of cool.

Anyway, I was working on pulling it apart when I heard my oldest daughter yell "Daddy! I found a gun!!! I'm leaving the room!" (...) Luckily for me, it was just the gun case for the .22, but she knew enough not to get near it. (...) Though only 5, my daughter knew not to touch what she thought was a gun. The very first thing she did was tell an adult. The next thing she did was leave the room. Would your child do the same?"

"A mentality of fear and distrust, not understanding"

Ladd Everitt works for the Coalition to Stop Gun Violence.

Do we feel that 11 year-olds in this country need to be doing Tactical Response training with handguns? No. Do we feel that 11 year-olds need to know how to field strip AR-15 rifles? No. Do we feel that there are potential safety risks to having children around firearms with this type of frequency? Absolutely. Particularly when you might be building a false confidence in them that they can safely handle firearms in all situations even when an adult is not present.

I think what you are seeing here is a product of a paranoid gun culture that has begun teaching even children that they must be armed and ready at all times to defend against not only their fellow citizens, but their democratic government as well. That breeds a mentality of fear and distrust, not understanding."

"Guns were not made mysterious or glamorous [to me]"

Kent McManigal is a blogger who "loves guns, swords and knives, hiking, and primitive wilderness survival". He runs the blog Kent's "Hooligan Libertarian" Blog.

The first time I shot I was around 6 years old. My family always had guns in the house, not handguns, (...) only rifles and shotguns. I knew where they were and I knew where the ammunition was kept. (...) Guns were not made mysterious or glamorous, but were just a tool. It is my belief that the current push to "keep guns out of the hands of kids" is actually making kids more curious about guns, and less able to handle them safely.

I [take my children] out shooting with me. We go out into the back-country with several guns and "targets" (usually aluminium cans). My oldest daughter would hold and shoot a .22 revolver (with a LOT of help from me) when she was about three or four years old. Using .22 shot shells she could hit the can (just a few feet in front of her) and make it bounce. You could see the satisfaction in her eyes."

McKenzie at the shooting range

Posted 1 April 08 by "gixxerguy811".


It is somewhat shocking to

It is somewhat shocking to see a young child handle a gun (is it due to the age or the gender?) Neither,its due to your narrow mindedness and judgemental nature

I have nothing against a

I have nothing against a young girl who enjoy praticing a sport (Even if I would definitly prefered mine to orient herself to some more girly stuff)

only thing guns liberty of circulation will definitly never never make your streets safer....never, but will definitly raised the occassion of accident and/or shooting like it happen many times in US School.

I am use to go to the US and I am kind of scare to know that some freaks that lost his mind can shoot me cause he doesn't like my face or the way i looked at him.

I am use to go to the US and

I am use to go to the US and I am kind of scare to know that some freaks that lost his mind can shoot me cause he doesn't like my face or the way i looked at him. this recently happend in France......AGAIN

How often does this happen

How often does this happen in France? Once per year?

Then stay out of the U.S we

Then stay out of the U.S we dont need or want ANYONE antiamerican

I do not see how my comment

I do not see how my comment above can be seen as anti-american....
Actually my wife is american...

more guns make us unsafe?

Regarding the commenter that stated more guns will make us less safe and endager kids....

The fact is that just a generation ago, kids even in elementary schools were allowed to have guns - and there were never school shootings and accidents were far more rare than they are now (now that kids aren't taught gun safety).

My father and his classmates were allowed to buy guns out of catalogues with no ID, it was legal. They also were allowed to go shooting unsupervised. Their parents had loaded guns around the house without trigger locks. The kids were allowed to take their guns to school and leave them in their lockers until school let out, when they would head to the woods to go shoot.

With all of this, accidents were rare and school shootings were unheard of. So what is different today?

girly stuff?

You'd rather she do "girly" stuff?

First off, I doubt she was forced to do what she was doing. I'm quite confident that if she'd preferred to be making mock-pastries in a lil' girls light bulb oven, she would have been doing that.

What else could "girly" stuff mean to say? Cheer leading perhaps? If there's any sport truly "girly", it must be cheer leading, it also happens one of the most dangerous sport out there.

The girl would be safer off at the range, which is right where she will be.


It rears its head even in the most "progressive" people.

More guns = less crime

Sorry, but yes, more guns in the hands of the good people WILL make the streets safer. Bad people will never obey the law OR basic moral or ethical codes. that is why we call them "bad people".
And we all KNOW freaks who lose their minds NEVER kill people with their hands, or knives, or boxcutters & airplanes, or Sarin, or sticks, or electricity, or ropes, or.......
A gun is the most effective tool for helping the small and/or weak defeat a bigger, stronger aggressor. Period.
Don't live in fear. Take control of your self defense. It is your responsibility no matter what the police may tell you. You can't delegate that responsibility any more than you can delegate any of your other bodily functions or responsibilities.