MARK KIESLING: Welcome to the wild (Mid) West

2012-11-16T00:00:00Z 2012-12-20T21:25:34Z MARK KIESLING: Welcome to the wild (Mid) West nwitimes.com
November 16, 2012 12:00 am

Back at a time when Plymouth was still building Barracudas, there was a reason to fear going to school or to the mall.

The reasons for me, anyway, were algebra and trigonometry at school and Christmas shopping at the mall.

Today, we all face different, early 21st century challenges from people who carry guns to schools and malls.

This is not an anti-gun screed. I own two, and there is a time and a place for them if you know what you are doing and you like that sort of thing.

An elementary school in Highland is not the time or place for a firearm, even an unloaded one officials said was brought in on a dare Tuesday.

Officials said the Warren Elementary School kid has 'fessed up to bringing the gun in. How was he sure it was unloaded? Some people keep a live round in the chamber, giving the illusion the pistol is unloaded.

And how are school or police authorities to know it's unloaded?

Local malls are not immune, either, it appears.

Kerrie Husarik, 27, was visiting Westfield Southlake mall with her husband, Nick, 26, on Saturday night.

The Park Forest couple had gotten someone to watch their 15-month-old child and were going to get something to eat on the busy U.S. 30 strip.

"We were looking in Payless for shoes for my son, and they started locking all the doors," Kerrie Husarik said. "I'd heard someone had tried to grab a purse, but we know how rumors get started."

It wasn't a purse problem: Hobart police say four teens from Gary got into a dispute over a basketball game.

One yanked out a pistol described as a Russian-made 7.65 mm Walther — it's the kind of weapon carried by James Bond, and in real life by police in Sweden. It was a preferred sidearm in Nazi Germany.

"That's a pretty lethal round," said Hobart Police Chief Jeff White. Fortunately the only thing that had to be euthanized Saturday night was a slab of ceiling tile, but it could have been a lot worse in this pre-Thanksgiving shopping frenzy.

"I didn't hear or see anything, but a friend who works at New York & Co. said she heard the shot," Husarik said.

"I've got to tell you, I'm not that surprised it happened," she said. "Would I bring my son back? Sure, I'd bring him with me. It could happen anywhere."

On a bus. In a school. In a mall. At a sports game. On your block or mine.

Kerrie and Nick Husarik still went to dinner at Joe's Crab Shack. "Cooper's Hawk was like a 45-minute wait," she said. "We were probably the most comfortable people in there.

"I think it would have been different if we'd heard or seen anything."

If the trend keeps up, that could well happen. 

The opinions are solely those of the writer. He can be reached at mark.kiesling@nwi.com or (219) 933-4170.

Copyright 2014 nwitimes.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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