A woman I know very well works with troubled children, in a tough school, in a rough neighbourhood, and she told me this story:
One day, one of the boys who went to that school did something naughty: he lived with his grandmother and uncle, and he went into his uncle's desk drawer and took some of the bullets that were in there. Luckily, all the guns that the bullets were for had been locked up.
The naughty boy took the bullets to school and showed them off to his friends. Some of the bullets were very small, and didn't look like they could really hurt anyone, even though they could. They were called .22s One bullet though, was bigger and scarier looking than the others, and it was called a .303. The smaller bullets were used for target shooting or for killing smaller animals like gophers. The larger bullet was used for hunting larger animals, like deer, and had even been used by soldiers in wars.
The naughty boy got a very bad idea, and asked for the bullets back. He went into the bathroom, and some of the other boys followed him. They watched as he wrapped them in a big clump of paper towel and set it on the floor. Then he asked if anyone had any matches or a lighter, because his had been taken away the week before. (The teachers knew he liked to start fires, because he had done it before.)
"What are you going to do with it?" one of the boys asked.
"I'm going to set the paper towel on fire, and it is going to make the bullets go off," the naughty boy replied.
Some of the other boys thought this sounded like a very exciting idea, so they left the bathroom and started asking their friends for a lighter or matches. No one they talked to had anything to start a fire with though, so the naughty boy took the bullets out of the paper, and gave some of them to the other boys.
Later that day, one of the boys was spinning a bullet on his desk, and his teacher saw it. "What is that?" she asked the boy. The boy got very nervous and scared, but finally told her what it was, and who had given it to him. She took the bullet away, and got other teachers to help find out which other boys had been given bullets, so those could be taken away too. Then they took the naughty boy to the Principal's office.
Because what he had tried to do had been so dangerous, the police had to be called. While they were waiting for the police officers to come, a teacher asked the boy, "What do you think would have happened if you had managed to light the paper towel on fire?"
"The bullets would have gone off and shot around the room," he said. He did not sound scared, or even sad or angry that he had been caught, he was just stating a fact.
"And what would you have done then?" the teacher asked.
"I would have gotten out of there right away," he replied.
"What about the other boys?" the teacher asked.
The naughty boy looked at the teacher. "I don't care, I wouldn't have been there. I would have gotten out right away."
The police came, and so did his grandmother who he lived with. When all the talking was done, it was decided that the naughty boy could still come to school, but that he would have to talk to a special type of doctor, who would help the teachers to know if the boy was in danger of hurting anyone or himself.
The naughty boy would also have to be searched at the start of every school day, to make sure he wasn't bringing anything else dangerous to the school.
There wasn't very much the policemen could do, because the naughty boy was only eleven years old.