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MARY MEAUX — With guns, things ain’t like they used to be

To speak the obvious — things ain’t like they used to be.

Yes, generation after generation has said this in some form or fashion about everything from music and movies to religion and politics to parenting and so on.

But sometimes the change must be spoken about incidents that used to be considered innocent be reconsidered. Recently not one but two different children in two different local schools had unloaded BB guns with them, and this caused for alarm.

The first incident happened, when, according to officials with the Port Arthur Independent School District, a sixth grader at Lincoln Middle School brought an unloaded BB gun to his bus stop.

He showed it, or displayed it, then left and brought it home before getting on the bus. Witnesses alerted adults, all of the students on that bus were checked at the school and the BB gun had indeed been returned to the child’s home.

But, because the act violated district code of conduct, the student was removed from campus.

That was on Feb. 18.

Then, on Tuesday — less than a week later, a fifth grade student at Staff Sergeant Lucian Adams Elementary School brought an unloaded BB gun to school.

The student reportedly gave the BB gun to a classmate, who placed it in his backpack. Other students reported the sighting of the gun to a teacher, who immediately removed the students in question and notified the principal.

After questioning the kids, the unloaded BB gun was confiscated from the backpack of one of the students, given to district police and both students were removed from the campus, a district official said.

While the intents behind these two incidents aren’t known and more than likely were innocent, we, as a society have to be cautious.

I’ve heard tales of years ago when teen boys would drive their pickup trucks to high school, deer rifle still stowed away on the rack at the back window from the previous weekend of hunting. Today, this would likely lead to an arrest because things ain’t like they used to be. You don’t carry a gun to school, real or not.

And rightly so.

School shootings are a real issue and even though BB guns are toys to many and were unloaded things could have turned out differently.

Last year in California, a 9-year-old boy brought a BB gun to school and shot three fellow students. None of the students required medical attention, according to the Los Angeles Times. In Wisconsin, a 13-year-old boy reportedly fired a BB gun outside a bus window and struck a female student. Authorities do not believe he intended to harm the girl.

Still, things ain’t like they used to be.

Mary Meaux is a reporter with The Port Arthur News. She can be reached at mary.meaux@panews.com