MILWAUKEE (AP) — A Wisconsin boy wrote Vice President Joe Biden with an unusual suggestion for making the nation safer: Create guns that shoot chocolate bullets.
On Monday, he got an unusual response: A handwritten note from Biden on vice presidential stationery.
The response thrilled the child, a 7-year-old second-grader, along with his classmates and staff at Downtown Montessori Academy in Milwaukee. Hours later, teachers and others at the school were still abuzz.
“Everybody was impressed. You should have seen everybody. Their faces were just wide-eyed,” said Virginia Flynn, the head of school. “The fact that it was handwritten made it really special,” she added.
The student, Myles, wrote to Biden, President Barack Obama and U.S. Rep. Gwen Moore several months ago. It was after the shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., and gun violence was in the news. Myles had been having lunch with the school’s reading specialist, Barbara Rankin, when he told her he had an idea.
“He said if we have chocolate bullets, nobody would get hurt and nobody would be sad,” Rankin said. “I’m going to start crying again because he was so insightful.”
Rankin told Myles it was a good idea and that they should share it with people who could do something about the problem. They received a response a few weeks ago from Moore, but it was a form letter with a quick, personal note jotted at the bottom.
Then an envelope from Biden’s office arrived Monday at the school office. It went to Flynn since Myles had signed his letter with his first name but no last name and the school’s address. The school did not release Myles’ last name Monday, and his mother did not immediately respond to an email from The Associated Press.
Flynn rushed the letter up to Myles’ class where she shared it with him and his classmates.
“Dear Myles,” the letter said. “I’m sorry it took me so very long to respond to your letter. I really like your idea. If we had guns that shot chocolate, not only would our country be safer, it would be happier. People love chocolate. You are a good boy, Joe Biden.”
Rankin said she didn’t know who was more excited — her, Myles or his teacher, Jenny Aicher.
“I fully expected a form letter … and we get this handwritten note from Vice President Biden,” she said. “It was phenomenal.”
The vice president’s office confirmed Biden sent the letter.
A “beaming” Myles made photocopies of the letter to share with his classmates, friends and relatives, Aicher said. While he was doing that, Flynn said, “He told another child that was down here, ‘Did you know I was going to be famous?'”
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