A nine-year-old elementary school student was recently caught bringing multiple weapons–including a firearm–to his school in Orlando, Florida.
According to reports, the boy had told his friends that he had the weapons, and they in turn notified a school official. The boy’s backpack was searched and he was found with an unloaded firearm with a six-bullet magazine, a small sledgehammer, and a steak knife.
The weapons were confiscated by police and no one was injured.
The unloaded handgun belonged to the boy’s father, who attests that the weapon couldn’t be fired due to the fact that the firing pin had been removed.
“Well, the gun was stored in a drawer but the firing pin component had been removed,” the father affirmed.
To defend his son’s behavior, the boy’s father claimed that he was just “playing a character he learned from Minecraft,” which might be on of the first instances where potential school violence has been linked to the mega-hit indie.
“They use hammers to dig and knives and guns to protect themselves from zombies,” he continued.
The game itself has a following that includes gamers both young and old, and it’s not uncommon that very young kids are building houses, mining ore, and surviving against creepers at night. It’s also worth noting that gunning down the undead isn’t something you can do in the regular version of Minecraft–zombies and guns are only found in a mod for the PC version.
With games like Call of Duty, Saint’s Row, and of course the Grand Theft Auto series which are practically founded upon violence and killing, it’s difficult to associate a game like Minecraft with violence…however the game has a lower age rating thereby making it more accessible to young gamers.
The boy was charged with three counts of possession and was sentenced to home confinement by a judge. During the proceedings, the boy was said to be so minuscule that his detention uniform dwarfed him, and that he could barely see over the podium.
Interestingly enough the reports mention no charges or reprimands against the father for keeping his firearm and magazine in an accessible location.
In any case, the boy is in his father’s custody and it may be a while before his son goes back to school–yet one must wonder if he’ll let his son play Minecraft any time soon.