It appears as if anybody can get their hands on a gun these days.  And anybody most certainly is doing just that, including children.  Monday, a 13 year-old boy waltzed into his school (Joplin Memorial Middle School) in Joplin, Missouri, wielding a Mac-90 (a replica of an AK-47 assault rifle).  He also wore a dark green trench coat (sound familiar?) and a mask that was nothing more than a T-shirt over his head with two eye holes cut out.  The boy entered the building ten minutes before school began and was immediately confronted by two students and an administrator.  He pointed the gun at the students, whilst the administrator attempted to talk the boy into putting the gun down.  The boy responded, “Please don’t make me do this,” and fired a warning shot above their heads.  He tried to continue firing, but the weapon jammed.  Upon this failure, the 7th grade student fled the building and hid behind a nearby building.  Police found him there, and restrained him without encountering any resistance. 

Officer Curt Farmer reported finding a note in the young boy’s bookbag indicating a bomb had been planted in the school.  After a thourough search of the building, nothing was found.  The other contents of his backpack were military manuals, instructions on assembling an improvised explosive device, and detailed drawings of the school.  Officer Farmer explained, “This was quite well thought-out.  He had been planning this a long time.”  The boys motives were unclear; however, Farmer stated,”We don’t believe he was trying to fire at administrators or students.”

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