A Boy and His Gun

Even in a town like Omaha, Nebraska, the young are packing weapons in a deadly battle against fear and boredom

DOUG WASN'T EVEN THAT NERVOUS WHEN HE FINALLY GOT HIS GUN. JUST AWFULLY SELF- conscious and kind of giddy, like when he first started making out with girls. A classmate at Father Flanagan High School gave him the beeper number of a dealer in town. An older guy, maybe in his early 30s, answered the page. "Meet me in the parking lot behind the McDonald's at 30th and Ames. Tuesday night, say around 8."

Doug* took his older brother's Ford pickup truck, which has a nice deep rumble and gives Doug's budding tough-guy image some clout. With a blue baseball cap...

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