Manama: A short clip of a young girl firing in the air has sparked outrage in Saudi Arabia and prompted calls for taking stringent legal action against reckless parents.
The four-second clip shows a nine-year girl holding a Kalashnikov, shouting that she is Nasser’s daughter and then firing in the air.
The clip was posted on social networks two days after a similar video of another young girl firing with her Kalashnikov to show her support for Operation Decisive Storm, the military operations in Yemen.
The clips have now triggered concerns about a dangerous wave of imitations fuelled by the lure of social networks fame.
“This is outrageous and I wonder what is happening,” a blogger, the Humble, posted. “Such young children cannot handle guns and are a real threat to themselves and to the people around them. Parents should simply be put in jail.”
Another blogger, Arab, said that the family should be thankful no harm happened.
“One slight mistake and Nasser’s family will go through a tragedy,” he said. “The father should be locked away until he comes to his senses.”
Writing under the moniker of Wisdom, a blogger slammed the girl’s family for their recklessness.
“Suppose for one minute that the firearm struck the child or the person who was filming her or a family member watching the scene,” he posted. “We will of course have a tragedy and we will also have tears from the family who will be blaming the civil defence the Red Crescent and medics for not rescuing their child and for failing to show up earlier to save her. A terrible tragedy and real drama that must be averted by not allowing the child to use a firearm,” he said.
For the Wise, another blogger, the authorities should push families to appreciate that firearms are not toys to be given to young children or to be used on auspicious occasions.
“Guns are for wars and not to be used to show off and to brag,” he said.
“These people who boast about their gun prowess will be the last to show up when there is a real armed conflict. The authorities must be more vigilant in dealing with those who use guns to show off or to celebrate weddings.”
This week, a wedding celebration in Saudi Arabia has almost turned into a tragedy after the groom’s brother lost control of his Kalashnikov in celebratory fire.
A 30-second clip posted on social media showed the brother walking alongside his brother towards the wedding hall and firing one bullet at a time in the air in jubilation and to show off his skills.
However, he suddenly lost control of the Kalashnikov and unleashed a hail of bullets that ricocheted off the wall, prompting the guests to look for cover to avoid being struck.
Online comments condemned the brother’s reckless behaviour and called for stringent action against him and other people who risked turning happy occasions into tragedies.
In its attempts to curb the use of firearms, Saudi authorities have assigned policemen to monitor palaces, wedding halls and relaxation areas to ensure full compliance with the law amid warnings that whoever breaks the law will be severely punished.