Thursday, October 19, 2006


A Day I Took My Gun to School

Always in the Vice Principal's office. Now an eighth-grade, punk kid with a shotgun -- a double-auto, Browning Twentyweight 12 gauge about to enter Mr. Cappas' mid-morning English class.

The classroom and occupants survived that '70's day in spite of the steam radiators and because the shotgun and its holder were together for a class demonstration unlike those that today scatter young flesh in slippery yet sticky pools. What a difference decades make.

On that day -- a cold one as Cleveland winter days were back then before Al Gore's global warming initiative took hold -- the gun was carried out of the house, down to the bus stop, onto the bus, off, then into the school and my locker to safe-keep the big show later on. All the while, the principal gave a pass to the armed adolescent activity since it would help a troubled youth express himself in better ways than always acting up and class clown-ish -- especially with Cappas.

So, after the prescribed demonstration -- where classmates were awed by the presenter's knowledge of trapshooting and preparation entailing it, never mind a large firearm -- the gun went back in the case, then locker, out, again a principal's pass, through school doors and onto a bus home. Could this happen today?

How can the other happen?

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