The Smith & Wesson Model 640 with custom wooden grip is a five shot snub-nosed pistol, traditionally chambered in either .38 Special or .357 Magnum calibers.The Model 640 was initially approved as an off-duty back-up weapon for the New York City Police Department and, in spite of its small frame and short barrel, the firearm became a favorite amongst casual enthusiasts. But what happens in the lifetime of one of these guns? Whose hands will it pass through?

“It’s Just A Gun” charts the life of one such Smith & Wesson Model 640 from the assembly line, into the hands of a protective husband, then a pawn shop owner, then a desperate transient drug addict and, finally, Gabe, a scrawny nine-year-old boy from South Central.

Gabe’s size had always made him the target for ridicule. We see him sheepish in the presence of his mom’s boyfriend and mouselike in the shadow of the schoolyard bullies. But when Gabe discovers the gun discarded in the bushes, he’s immediately enthralled and empowered. Newfound confidence courses through him and he’s inspired to stand up to people who intimidated him and on behalf of others who can’t do so for themselves. 

While “It’s Just A Gun” acts a stand-alone short story, there are many more chapters of the Smith & Wesson Model 640 that we aspire to explore.