Shooting Down Grade School Paranoia Gun Paranoia
Continuing on the subject of out-of-control paranoia about gun-related toys, actions and speech in our grade schools, I’ve been asked if I made up any of the news items in my last column. Sadly, no. In fact, I didn’t have room last week for even more examples of ridiculous acts of overzealous administrators and fear mongers, like these additional recent news items:
Two 7-year-old boys were recently suspended from school in Suffolk County, Va. for pointing pencils at each other while making shooting sounds. According to news reports, one of the boys was pretending to be a U.S. Marine – like his father – and the other a “bad guy” (which is no doubt media speak for a white, Christian conservative male).
Elsewhere in the land of the not-so-free (Mount Carmel, Pa., to be exact), a 5-year-old girl was suspended after she made what school officials called a “terrorist threat” with … wait for it … a small, Hello Kitty automatic bubble blower. Well, duh. We should rise up and demand that politicians enact an immediate ban on automatic bubble blowers, for crying out loud. I mean, a single-action bubble blower should be more than enough firepower.
Moving on with this parade of paranoia: even a teacher’s permission doesn’t seem to matter to the enlightened chuckleheads running far too many of our schools today. Just this month, several grade-school students in Edmonds, Wash. were kicked out of school for shooting Nerf gun darts before class. Just imagine the carnage. To add insult to injury, their teacher had specifically requested they bring Nerf guns to class to use in a probability study. But in our elite education system, the god of zero tolerance must be worshiped at the cost of common sense.
Finally, I can’t finish this skewering of child-minded adults without mentioning one of the most idiotic and useless exercises yet.
Last month in Hayward, Calif., the Strobridge Elementary School hosted a toy gun buyback program for kids. You read that right – a toy gun buyback.
Does anyone wonder why charter and home school movements are thriving all across this once great country?
What’s next? All of this foolishness makes me wonder if school kids will soon be expelled for playing “rock, paper, scissors” with each other. Wouldn’t want the others traumatized by such dangerously lethal play now, would we? Boys with the nickname of “Boomer” will no doubt be asked to stay home until they are given a less explosive handle. And woe unto anyone who calls a rambunctious kid a “pistol,” or says a teacher has a “hair trigger” temper. Yep, those poor innocent people will surely find themselves “under the gun” to use more politically correct language sanitized for everyone’s protection.
Remember the boy named “Hunter” I wrote about last week whose parents were told by administrators of his school for the deaf that he had to change his given name because the sign for that name went against their school “no weapons” policy? What about the poor kid whose parents were evil enough to name him Gunnar? And can school districts even set a “target” for test results or fundraising without recklessly creating an atmosphere of violence?
Wait, what about all the ink “cartridges” they order for photocopiers? Should high school quarterbacks no longer be allowed to “rifle” a football downfield? I mean, if we’re gonna have zero tolerance, let’s go all the way.
As a kid, I played pretend shoot ‘em up around my neighborhood on a regular basis. One of my all-time-favorite Christmas gifts ever was a “Man from U.N.C.L.E.” gun with a pretend scope, pretend removable magazine, pretend bi-pod, pretend silencer – the whole horrible, loathsome lot. Back then, the barrels of toy guns didn’t even have neon orange safety bands on them.
And yet somehow I didn’t become a soulless mass murderer. Today, I would have been suspended before the first recess at kindergarten.
I’ll see you ‘round town.