The thought passing through my mind was.......how did this kid ever get the idea that pointing a loaded hand gun at another student, for whatever reason, but most importantly to resolve conflict, was acceptable? Is it a failure in the home, a failure of our media / entertainment that promotes this idea as somehow powerful and successful, or.......something else?
Kids should be taught to use thought, language is thought, to express their emotions, to use ideas, for all purposes, including where appropriate as a weapon. A gun (or a knife, etc.) used as a weapon, used to give them a sense of power, is disastrous.
While there is no guarantee that some violence might have resulted, like a couple of 13 year olds failing to use ideas and language, and instead resorting to say.....a fist fight, it is the access to weapons which ramp up the danger that exacerbates any problem to one that is potentially deadly (rather than ludicrous).
This specific school was the site of deaths from a student with a gun not all that long ago, the fall of 2003. There is no way that a local student would not be aware of this event, and what a tragedy it was for the individuals and for this community.
What adult let this gun get out of their control? Our standard for responsibility tends too often to be the minimal legal one; not a higher standard of the practical or ethical criteria for it. If we have no legal requirements that define what is required, and impose penalties, then no adult will be held accountable for this action with a dangerous, potentially lethal weapon by a child - an older child, but still a child. There are signigicant differences in the brains of children, and more dramatically in the brains of teens in this age range, in comparison to adults, as well as in experience, which affects their judgement. It is for these reasons access to weapons should be more, not less, restricted to children and teens. (I love any post which gives me a chance to involve neuroscience; it gratifies my latent geek.)
Making schools gun-free zones will never prevent every single instance of a kid bringing a gun to school; but it can reduce the frequency, and it gives the teachers, principals, and other staff the greater power to do something about it when an incident like this occurs.
7th Grader accused of bringing gun to school
(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)
KARE11.com KARE11.com updated 4/13/2011 10:16:50 PM ET 2011-04-14T02:16:50 COLD SPRING, Minn. -- A seventh-grader at Rocori Middle School in Cold Spring has been charged with second-degree assault after prosecutors alleged he pointed a loaded handgun at another student. The St. Cloud Times reports the 13-year-old boy was charged Wednesday in Stearns County. Because he is a minor, few details of the case are public.The incident happened before 9 a.m. Tuesday. Students told the principal about seeing a gun. She opened the student's locker and found the pistol. She found ammunition in a backpack.Rocori Superintendent Scott Staska says the boy is expected to be expelled.In 2003, two students were shot and killed by another student at Rocori High School. The shooter remains in prison.