May 14, 2013 at 2:56 PM ET
When second-grader Myles Nelson came up with his unique way to make the world safer by using chocolate bullets instead of real ones, he decided he needed to share it with people in a position to do something about it.
Little did the 7-year-old know that his handwritten letter would be answered by a handwritten response from Vice President Joe Biden.
“I am sorry it took me so very long to respond to your letter,’’ Biden wrote in a letter that arrived at Nelson's school in Milwaukee on Monday. “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."
“My jaw hit the floor,’’ Garance Nelson, Myles’s father, told TODAY.com. “I think everybody was very surprised that Vice President Biden was kind enough to take time enough out of his busy schedule to write a note to my son. It showed that one little boy’s voice was heard by big government, and they gave him a little bit of their time.”
In February, Nelson told his idea to reading specialist Barbara Rankin during lunch in his classroom at Downtown Montessori Academy. She suggested they send letters to President Barack Obama, Vice President Joe Biden and Rep. Gwen Moore (D-Wis.).
“All of a sudden he said, ‘Barb, I have a really good idea – I think we should have chocolate bullets and then people wouldn't get hurt and people wouldn't be sad,’’’ Rankin told TODAY.com. “I said that was an awesome idea, but I couldn't do anything about it, so we should write to someone who could. Never in my wildest dreams did I think that Mr. Biden would answer so quickly and with a personal letter. It was unbelievable.”
While no one is sure quite where Nelson’s idea bubbled up from, his father said that he and his wife had some conversations with Myles about the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting in Newtown, Conn., after Myles noticed their strong reaction to the tragedy. After he sent the letters, Myles received a nice response from Moore, according to his father, and then initially didn’t realize how rare it is to receive a handwritten letter from the vice president.
“I think he’s just starting to understand how big that really is,’’ his father said. “At first, he was like, ‘I got this note from somebody,’ and he knew it was the vice president, but didn’t quite understand that this is not normal. He’s really been having fun with it now.”
“Of course today he's walking around here in school today on Cloud Nine,’’ Rankin said.
Nelson is now contemplating a second letter to Biden.
“He wants to ask if (Biden) can invite him to lunch at the White House,’’ Rankin said.