A new amusement park in Orlando, Florida, has sparked a debate over its interesting theme. Machine Gun America allows customers who are 13 years or older to fire actual military-grade weapons at various simulations ranging from zombies to cowboys.
Described on its website as the city’s “first automatic adrenaline attraction,” Machine Gun America’s site says it a “thrill unlike any other” with “unforgettable action and endless excitement.”
The park’s management says that their facility is not a firing range and simply an amusement attraction, stressing that outside weapons are not allowed to enter the park.
“Everybody has something they always wanted to try,” general manager Bruce Nierenberg said. “This would be on people's bucket list to try it and have a new experience.”
A range safety officer, who is trained to assist in firing the weapons, must accompany anyone who uses one of the facility’s guns. “I've had a lot of children fire with me before, and I'm always prepared because I am the one the whole time who is holding the firearm,” range safety officer Natasha Schweitzer told WTSP.
“No guest is ever left by themselves,” Nierenberg said. “No one ever shoots by themselves, and no guest is ever in control of the weapon without a range safety officer next to them and participating with them."
Despite the safety precautions, Gun Control advocates are arguing that there is no place for such a potentially dangerous park in an area that is surrounded by family-friendly attractions like Disney World. “You've got Holy Land right there in Orlando. You've got Disney World, and Epcot,” Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense member Lucia Kay McBath said. “All places for family fun where they should feel protected."
Nierenberg disagrees, maintaining that the park simply celebrates the second amendment and acknowledging American history. “It's part of American life,” Nierenberg said. “That's how we gained our freedom."
Machine Gun America opens this weekend.