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It’s a darned shame, because you know they meant well. A small group of teachers and students from the United for Success Academy in Oakland decided a good way to communicate the tragedy of gun violence would be to make a movie about it. But the budding Spielbergs decided to film their epic in a public park. And that’s when everything went wrong…

Other park patrons saw the three guns being used in the filming and were alarmed.  Someone called the Oakland PD who arrived at the scene with guns drawn. Fortunately, the cops realized what was happening before firing on anyone. Then they inspected the “props”.

Two of the guns were, in fact, “replica weapons.” The third, however, turned out to be a real rifle, brought by one of the students.

The teacher and counselor who were, um, supervising this little extracurricular activity were arrested. They’ve since been placed on administrative leave for what school officials called “a serious lapse of judgement.” It’s not clear, though, that they even knew the gun was real. The student is in juvy hall on gun charges.

Fortunately, no one was hurt during any of this. Not by the carelessly handled rifle, nor by the police. What possessed the student to use a real rifle is a mystery. [ED: authenticity?] The student’s parents will likely receive a visit from the OPD to determine how a middle school student had access to the firearm. Looks like a good chunk of the kid’s college fund may be spent on legal fees.

[Have a special firearm you’d like professionally photographed? Contact Dan Zimmerman through his website or email him at [email protected].]

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  1. OMG I saw a Gun, Quick call the Fuzz and make it go away. Then we can all go pack to living in a dream world!! Rose colored Glass for Sale, cheap.

  2. These kids are lucky to be alive because if they had pointed one of these guns at the cops, they could have all been shot.

  3. I am always amazed at stories like this from California and other unfree states. In most places in VA the police would have arrived, discovered that there were replicas and a (hopefully unloaded) rifle and told the idiot who called the police to grow up and get a life. That is assuming that anyone bothered to call the police in the first place.

    • I’ve known cops (on several occasions) in South Carolina do it this way – kids playing with unloaded guns (supervised all three times by adults, as it happens), cops arrived, and laughed and scolded the balls off the person who called them.

      Make no mistake – there are decent places left in this country, there just aren’t a whole lot of them.

  4. IDK about this one, Oakland can be a rough town. In fact, just last month a man was shot and killed and his pregnant wife was injured by a couple of kids about the same age as the ones in the photo (mistaken identity).
    Factor in how realistic some ‘replica’ firearms can be, the popularity of gang/thug ‘culture’ and that these kids had probably never heard of trigger/muzzle discipline and I can understand some concern. Keep in mind that in this case, these kids were playing ‘playing cops and robbers’ with a real rifle (who knows if it was unloaded) in a public park. There aren’t any national/state wilderness parks in Oakland, this happened in a square of grass and trees surrounded by busy streets and buildings, which are popular hang outs for some of the most violent gangs in the country, who do recruit children this age.
    I probably would have let it go (depending on the demeanor of the children and adults involved), but then I don’t live there, and try to spend as little time as possible there.
    Just my .02

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