A student at Springfield’s Blessed Sacrament School reportedly found a loaded gun on the playground Monday (the SJ-R has no online link to the story that I can find other than the .pdf of the front page here). I attended BSS for nine years, K-8 so this story had some interest to me personally. But I only had one thought when I first heard the news yesterday on the radio: A kid brought the gun to school. I still think that.
Now, I have no inside knowledge and this is just speculation but I think someone brought the gun to school, chickened out (either out of conscience or peer pressure) and ditched the gun or had a brave classmate turn it in and play dumb. Someone thought it would be cool to show off a gun he (it’s almost certainly a he) found in his dad’s closet. However, once he got to school, he realized he was way over his head in potential trouble.
Here’s my story from BSS. It was maybe 7th grade, give or take a year, and my friend “Pete” thought it would be fun to bring to school a condom he found in his parents dresser drawer. This was the early 1970s and condoms were only whispered about not advertised on TV. So this was really a risqué thing, especially at a Catholic grade school crawling with ruler armed nuns.
“Pete” did bring the prophylactic to school opened it at some point and showed it to a few of the guys. But as the day went on, ‘Pete” grew increasingly paranoid about having it and decided he needed to get rid of it. “Pete” was a pretty fearless guy so for him to get worried about a stunt was saying something.
Anyway, “Pete” decides he will drop the condom down through a grate covering a basement window well, the bottom of with was, if memory serves, about four or five feet down. Down it goes. “Pete” is relieved. But not for long. Soon he realizes you can still see the condom through the grate. Panic sets in again. However “Pete” has an idea: we will cover the condom by dropping thing through the grate that will cover it.
At some point, when no one is looking, “Pete” and I are tearing sheets out of a notebook and slipping them through the bars of the grate. Sheet after sheet floats down –and misses the condom. W learned a lot about aerodynamics and paper that day. Finally, one sheet landed atop the offending object and life resumed again, lesson learned.
I know a condom isn’t a gun but I think the same psychology might have been at work. In fact, I would bet that if “Pete” had found a gun in his parent’s dresser instead of a condom, he would have brought it to school. And at some point, one of out buds might have suggested that it wasn’t cool to bring a gun to school and “Pete” might have freaked out and ditched the gun at he edge of the playground (say, by the ball diamond where this week’s gun was found).
I may be totally wrong; the gun may have been dropped by some bad guy/criminal but I’m still betting a kid was involved.