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Seven Year Old Suspended for Drawing of Water Pistol

ARTICLE SYNOPSIS:

Paranoia runs deep on the East Coast. A drawing of a water-pistol spreads panic among parents, violates a "zero-tolerance" policy, and draws a school suspension for a seven year old boy. What a sad, strange world.

Follow this link to the original source: "Sketch Gets Student, 7, School Suspension"

COMMENTARY:

What a distorted world. Can anyone recall what it was like before the world was turned seemingly upside down? I can.

I recall that from the 5th grade to the 8th grade, (ages 10 to almost 14) I used to take a shotgun to school with me so that I could hunt the ditch banks for quail, pheasant, squirrels, rabbits, ducks, and doves on the way home. Yes, I also killed furry woodland creatures and birds — we ate a lot of them. Don’t get me wrong, I love little furry woodland critters and birds — especially with mashed potatoes, and good gravy. Sorry PETA.

That old 20 gauge single-shot shotgun sat in the corner of the coat closet near the front door at my school all day, unloaded, with the shells on a high shelf to keep them out of the hands of the "little kids" (Kindergartners and 1st through 4th graders). Everyone knew it wasn’t dangerous if unloaded, and everyone knew enough to unload it if it wasn’t being used for the purposes for which it was designed. This last is a simple bit of elementay firearms safety that every generation of Americans for 230 years has known.

The principal, who was about 65 then and had taught there for four decades, was also the only teacher of the 4th through 8th grades at this two-room schoolhouse. He did once comment about my shotgun being at school. He picked it up, looked it over, sighted down the barrel out the window, and said: "Nice 20-guage Alan." Then he put it back where I had leaned it in the corner of what was called the "cloak room" and returned to his class. Other students knew better than to touch it, either because they knew it wasn’t theirs and respected the private property of others, or because their parents had taught them not to play with guns or touch other peoples property. They knew then that they would risk punishment of various kinds at the hands of the owners or their own parents or the teacher, who carried and used a thick oak ruler to administer corporal punishment.

Today, as an adult of 55, if I returned to that school with the same shotgun in a locked case, unloaded, locked and untouched in the trunk of my car, I could and, likely would, be arrested for simply owning it and having in within some arbitrary distance of a public school.

What was right with the world in my youth, that is wrong with the one we live in today? A lack of consequences, responsibility, discipline, education, and common sense, not guns. Its about ime to restore those values and practices, I think.
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Alan Scholl

Alan is the Director of Mission and Campaigns for the John Birch Society.


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