It happened again just the other day, but this time it had a nastier spin.
"Mister Caven, how come you don't have a car?"
"I do have a car. With gas at almost four dollars a gallon, and insurance, and everything else, it adds up. I'd rather spend my money on something like the big screen TV I have in my living room."
There was a thoughtful pause. The two boys, ages eleven and twelve, walked alongside me for a moment in silence. Then one of them said, "Yeah, that's pretty cool, but if I had that kind of money, I'd probably buy a nine."
His buddy spoke right up, "Not me, I'd get me a Glock."
I listened in mild disbelief, and then it occurred to me that it really didn't matter if they were only trying to impress one another or if they were actually serious. These were pre-teens bragging about how they would spend their extra cash. They were going to buy guns.
Halfway across the country, police searched a high school room by room Thursday after a cook reported seeing two suspicious men in the building around dawn, both wearing camouflage and one in a ski mask. The high school was in suburban Colorado. To be precise, it was my alma mater, Boulder High. The same school that both my parents graduated from, as well as my brothers, my wife, and soon, my niece. "This could be a spring, end-of-school-year prank. It could be a burglary. It could be kids goofing around, or it could be more serious," Police Chief Mark Beckner said. "Given the times that we live in and recent events, we have to take all precautions."
These are the times we live in.