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Loose Bullets and Loose Cannons

The Huffington Post (“Substitute Teacher Fired After Bullets Fall Out Of Pockets In Pre-K Class,” April 15, 2019) reported the story of the substitute pre-kindergarten teacher at an elementary school in Millbury, Massachusetts who had been fired because he dropped loose bullets from his pocket in class. That incident prompted a search of his home that found unsecured guns.

It seems unfathomable that a person could carry loose bullets around in a school environment (not illegal in Massachusetts) among young children without noticing, but given the benefit of the doubt, perhaps a busy schedule, or other issue, might have resulted in the oversight. It’s impossible to know. By the unnamed teacher’s own admission, he had been shooting at a facility the previous day and the loose bullets were left over from that experience.

No reporting from media outlets in the greater Boston area added anything of substance to the incident. There was no mention of the history of school shootings in the U.S., the most notable shootings at Columbine High School in Colorado, and extending out in time to places like Virginia Tech, Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut, and Marjory Stoneham High School in Florida. But this was not a school shooting incident, and the teacher brought no guns onto school premises in Millbury.

Perusing the Internet searching for more details and perhaps a commentary on the Millbury incident, I located a gun site that drew comments from some gun owners and others who write about the loose bullet incident. Northeast Shooters-NES (“Ammunition incident in Millbury,” April 11, 2019) that bills itself as “New England’s Premier Shooting Community,” hosted the comments.

Here are some of the entries located on this Internet site that relate to the ammunition incident in Millbury:

We just got a robocall about an incident in the Millbury public schools regrading a substitute who was found with “ammunition” in his or her pocket. They were fired and are under investigation and are banned from entering a Millbury public school again. Thank goodness he didn’t decide to throw the “ammunition” at anyone!

I can only imagine that we’ll have to have an emergency school committee meeting or some crap now.

I wonder what the “ammunition” was. I used to do some damage with paperclips and rubber bands…

we are f*cked as a nation and society (Just exactly how and in what manner “we” are fucked remains a mystery, but readers can easily reach some tentative conclusions based on that brief comment.)

My a**hole boss when i was 19 had one [some type of bullet] that exploded and the back part hit me in the head. I was wearing a hard hat but still knocked me off the ladder.

Career ruined over nothing.

Further reading of the gun site highlights what’s equally notable about the gun comments. Those comments are sometimes sarcastic and angry expressions about liberals and leftists. The animosity toward leftists is cause for additional concern in a society armed to the hilt, politically and socially on the right, and full of unrequited anger toward the “other.”

The debate over the Second Amendment often turns lethal in public and private places all over the U.S. for many, many reasons including male violence and mental health issues. The lust for notoriety also must be factored into some shootings, as does hate. The angry nature of the comments at the gun Internet site that reflect the vehemence that is often expressed in response to any criticism about the insanity of guns in the U.S. in the hands of people who ought never to have had access to those weapons can’t be ignored. The loose cannons murder innocent children, adolescents, and adults and nearly nothing is done! Was the loose bullet incident an oversight by a gun owner who was irresponsible enough to leave a bunch of handguns and rifles not secured in his home?

 

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Howard Lisnoff is a freelance writer. He is the author of Against the Wall: Memoir of a Vietnam-Era War Resister (2017).

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