A British student in Vermont created an international incident by going to a gun shop and attempting to purchase a weapon using a fake ID. The gun shop owner noticed the ID was fake and immediately notified police. The student, Stephen Jackley, fled the scene, backed his car into another vehicle and zoomed off only to be apprehended a mile down the road by Vermont police. The boy said he had been bet $200 that he could not purchase a gun with a fake ID and took up the dare only to wind up arousing concern in two nations.
Jackley attended the University of Worcester which immediately became the scene of a police effort to seal off the campus and conduct a search for weapons. In searching Jackley’s room, police discovered a “suspicious package” which eventually turned out not to be a “suspicious package.” There is talk of extradting Jackley back to Great Britain where other searches undoubtedly will discover “suspicious packages” that are just packages.
The incident is a trivial one, there was no danger, but it reflects a current attitude that any example of stupidity on the part of a student must be construed as a potential threat to society. Students have been taking bets and dares for hundreds of years and will continue doing so. The ironic aspect of the incident is that Mr. Jackley could readily have obtained his weapon through anyone of a hundred sources without ever stepping foot in a gun shop. That is the tragedy, not the silly behavior of a student.