This is the story of how a heavily regulated precision instrument created in Springfield Massachusetts ended up in a police evidence locker in Chicago Illinois. Our instrument is a Smith and Wesson model 642 Airweight. A five round .38 caliber snub nose revolver. Distinctive by its apparent lack of hammer and aided by its small size, weight and known reliability it is a carry gun for many.
Our Airweight which started it journey in Massachusetts ended up in a display case at Chucks Gun shop in Riverdale (Chucks) Located just 21 miles from downtown Chicago or one hour and one transfer on public transportation. It was here that it caught the eye of Robert James. Robert wanted a tool he could use for self protection that was affordable, safe, and reliable. So he exchanged $500 for the model 642 on February 9, 2012.
Mr. James the legal owner of the Smith and Wesson thankfully never had to use it to defend his life or property. His mother was of the opinion it is better to be at the mercy of criminals than to own any gun and forced him to dispose of the revolver. In November of 2013 Robert changed our precision instrument into an illegal firearm. He sold it on the street to Floyd Evans who was not licensed to own a gun.
Whether our new owner Floyd kept it for some time or quickly turned a profit we don’t know. We do know that new owner Donnell Flora had his own reasons for acquiring our illegal firearm. He had been paralyzed since 2010 from his own encounter with illegal guns. At about the same time our original owner Robert James realized though he did not have possession, he had responsibility for the gun. To relieve himself of liability Robert falsely reported the gun stolen from his mother’s car.
Our current owner Donnell immediately found a use for his purchase. That was in the form of his fourteen year old niece who had a dispute over a boy with a classmate. This escalated in a very public way on facebook as these things tend to do. Donnell was confident no one would get the better of his niece did what he thought was right and with the Airweight in hand raced to her aid on mass transit. He then handed off our fully loaded illegal weapon to his 14 year old niece.
With new found confidence she tucked the Smith and Wesson into her belt and headed to West Garfield Boulevard accompanied by her uncle and aunt. (Scene) When she arrived a small crowd of twenty was there to witness someone’s beat down with cell phone cameras ready. Her protagonist Endia Martin was waiting with a bicycle lock and chain. Endia takes the first swing with the chain and our girl pulls out the now illegal snub nose and pulls the trigger. Nothing happens so there is a lull in the fight. This gives her Aunt Vandetta Redwood time for a quick course in firearm safety.
Endia sensing the futility of coming to a gun fight with a chain begins to flee. Our diminutive niece now trained pumps three shots into her rivals back and for good measure one into Endia’s friend. Finished with her task she handed the illegal gun back to her uncle Donnell who could not flee as fast in his wheel chair so he entrusted it to a nearby seventeen year old.
When it was all over the police arrived to pen their reports. They did manage to recover the now illegal weapon. They followed the chain of owners back to its birth in Massachusetts. It is at this point they did something unprecedented. They charged all those complicit in the shooting with the appropriate crimes. They didn’t need new laws, just needed to apply the existing laws to the law breakers. Almost makes you wonder how many “rallies” against guns have these same people who violated these laws attended.
For now it is the end of the line for our little Smith and Wesson. It is destined to languish in an evidence locker for crimes it did not commit. Destined to become a statistic in the war against guns, which will log this one as one more child shot down.