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Brendan Lawlor

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Brendan Lawlor is a character in Todd Strasser's book, Give a Boy a Gun and is the main villain in the book as well.

Early life

Brendan lived in Springfield with his mom and dad up until 7th grade when they moved to Middletown. (The setting of the book.) He was really upset about the move until 8th grade when he met his best friend, Gary Searle.

Give a Boy a Gun

Brendan and Gary became best friends through 8th, 9th and 10th grade. They were always together, having the same hobbies and played video games. Although throughout school, they were constantly bullied by the jocks during high school. Brendan got the worst of it. He was pushed around, given swirlies, getting teased and made fun of. And to make matters worse, the teachers turned a blind eye to the bullying.

One night after being beat up by Sam Flach, (one of the football players who regularly bullied him and Gary), Brendan snaps and comes up with a plan to get back at the students and teachers of the high school. He and Gary decide to get revenge on everybody at the school dance. While Gary is building the bombs, Brendan steals guns and bullets from his neighbor's house.

On the night of the dance, the boys booby-trapped the doors with the bombs and demanded everyone lied down on the floor in the middle of the gym. Brendan tied up the football players and the teachers. When Mr. Curry, (The Principal) tried to stop him, Brendan shot him in the chest. Mr. Curry survived. Brendan and Gary found Sam Flach and debated on his fate. After some thinking that they want to him suffer for the rest of his life, Brendan shot Sam in both his knees so he'll never play football again.

As time goes on, Allison, (Brendan's friend and Gary's girlfriend) decides to help Sam, despite he was a mean jock. Brendan and Gary start to argue about the situation; their plan was to kill/blow up everyone at the dance, but they didn't know Allison would be there and Gary didn't want to kill her. Brendan starts yelling at Gary. He couldn't take anymore pressure so Gary shoots himself in the head. As Brendan watches in stunned silence, one of the jocks, Dustin, (who was a friend to Brendan) got loose from his bindings and tackles Brendan in an effort to restrain him. While he was doing that, Paul, (another jock) got loose and got nail clippings from his pocket and freed more students. Some of those students charged towards Dustin, yanked him off Brendan, then pounded him relentlessly. One of the teachers, Ms. Bender defuses the situation.


What became of Brendan Lawlor is unknown, but at the end of the book reveals that he is in a coma and has irreversible brain damage from the beating. The courts were deciding whether or not to disconnect his life support.

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