Boys make the right move with loaded gun in theater
Kolton McKinney, left, and Levi Crabtree found a loaded handgun in an Oregon theater.
December 20th, 2012
10:36 AM ET

Boys make the right move with loaded gun in theater

With the horrific news involving guns from Newtown, Connecticut, in the past week, here’s a story with a happy ending and one that illustrates how kids can be more responsible than adults when it comes to weapons.

On Wednesday morning in Tillamook, Oregon, a city of 5,000 near the Pacific Ocean, a group of seventh-grade students were on a field trip to the local Coliseum Theatre to watch "The Hobbit." The outing was a reward for getting good grades.

It turns out these kids were more than book-smart.

When Kolton McKinney pulled his seat down, something fell from it.

“He sat down in his chair and I heard a ‘clunk’ and I looked down and there it was,” Kolton’s classmate, Levi Crabtree, told CNN affiliate KGW in Portland.

The gun the boys found in the theater.

It was a gun, a small-caliber, semi-automatic pistol. It was fully loaded with a round in the chamber, Tillamook Police Chief Terry Wright said.

Levi and Kolton didn’t touch the weapon. They alerted a school staffer who was on the field trip, who then alerted police.

Why didn’t the boys pick up the firearm?

"I'm a Boy Scout and Kolton and me took a hunter safety class. One of the rules is that you treat all guns as if they're loaded," Levi told KPTV.

“Who would do that? Seriously, there’s a bunch of people that go to that theater and they put a gun in there,” Kolton told KGW.

Somebody who’s “careless” and “reckless,” Wright said.

Police told KPTV that a man went to the theater on Wednesday night asking if anyone had found his gun and turned it in to the lost and found. He’d lost it the night before in the theater.

The man, who has a Tillamook County concealed handgun license, never notified police he’d lost the weapon, KPTV reported.

Luckily, the two Tillamook Junior High School students were thinking more clearly.

"Our students reacted exactly like we would hope and that is they recognized that is was a gun, recognized that they needed to stay away and contact a teacher immediately," Tillamook school Superintendent Randy Schild told KPTV. "I hope this is a learning opportunity not only for our students, but any students that see it on TV or anywhere else."

Police did not identify the man who lost the gun but told CNN his concealed-carry permit has been revoked and information about the case was being forwarded to the district attorney.

We forward our compliments to two smart seventh-graders.

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Filed under: Education • Gun violence • Oregon • U.S.
soundoff (614 Responses)
  1. monique

    Good job boys!!! Very responsible of you unlike the adult who was authorized to carry the weapon who acted very irresponsible.

    January 5, 2013 at 3:37 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Flintrock

    The really good news is that the jerk with "one in the chamber" didn't take a shot at the movie screen because he felt threatened. . . . probably would have shot the wrong actor.

    January 7, 2013 at 10:00 am | Report abuse |
  3. gunlovinfool

    Same idiots here as on the gun forums espouting car crashes as if they are relevant.Get off your high horses and realize we have a problem here that needs to be addressed in a responsibe manner thats not violating your 2nd ammendment rights.Unarmed citizens trump your rights as we have them as well.The right to live freely a society where we are not endangered by the ignorance of individuals who have personality issues and manood issues that feel threatened everytime someone wants to take their toys away and hold them acountable for their actions. Grow up and quit livin the video game lifestyle.Here where I live you only need to pass a background check in order to get a permit,thats as dumb a law as I have ever seen,But hey its the south run by ignorant repubicans and the good ole boy system

    January 8, 2013 at 5:52 am | Report abuse |
  4. Dave

    This is a great example of how proper education on firearm safety can bring positive results.

    When kids are educated on the safety (and dangers) of handling firearms, they more often than not gain the proper respect for firearms, and do not do foolish things that lead to accidents and tragic events.

    January 8, 2013 at 6:55 am | Report abuse |
  5. Phil

    I keep hearing from gun enthusiasts about "good guys" and "bad guys". My problem is, how do I tell them apart? Is there a tattoo on their foreheads that I should look for?

    January 12, 2013 at 7:57 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Dave Seavy

    I have a feeling these boys come from homes that the parents have taken time to explain how to handle such situations. It seems like when something bad happens, the first thing people ask is "What kind of home does this person come from?" Why don't we ever ask that question when a situation like this takes place.

    January 15, 2013 at 9:41 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Antronman

    I love how the article writer said they reported it to a teacher. How in all the blessed things on earth do you know if there's a teacher in a movie theater??? These boys did the right thing. Things like this probably happen all the time. So? It's not like they charged a man armed with a saiga-12 who was shooting dozens of civillians. "Oh you reported a lost gun did you kids? Good for you, now go on with your life." They're not war heroes or something.

    January 17, 2013 at 4:37 pm | Report abuse |
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