He was 6, in his first-grade class in Newport News, Virginia. He pointed a handgun at his teacher, police say, and then he pulled the trigger. And across the nation, people … didn’t quite know how to react.
Even in a country where gun violence is sadly commonplace, the story of a small boy with a gun is reverberating in a big way. There has been finger-pointing. Confusion. Floundering for answers. Mass grappling with deeply uncomfortable feelings. And questions: How could something like this possibly happen? Where in the national consciousness do we put it?
“It is almost impossible to wrap our minds around the fact that a 6-year-old first-grader brought a loaded handgun to school and shot a teacher,” Mayor Phillip Jones said that day, Jan. 6. “However, this is exactly what our community is grappling with today.”