A six year old boy was suspended from school for threatening to shoot a classmate. The weapon? His index finger.
How many of you grew up playing Soldier, Cops and Robbers, Cowboys and Indians? Running around in the outdoor (sometimes fresh, sometimes not so fresh) air yelling, Bang, Bang..? I did! I played with my brother and the kids on my block, we hid around trees, pretending to have shoot outs with toy guns, sticks and finger guns. As best I can tell, me generation did not produce more than the average number of mass murders or serial killers. We also played with building sets, beating pegs into boards with play hammers. Maxwell’s Silver Hammer was a popular Beatles song, and contained the refrain “Bang! Bang! Maxwell's silver hammer came down upon her head. Clang! Clang! Maxwell's silver hammer made sure that she was dead.” We have yet to try to outlaw hammer’s but I’m heading to the hardware store to stock up before there is a run on them.
I understand not putting a firearm into a child’s hands without supervision. I understand that schools are hyper-sensitive in view of the atrocities over the past few years. However, this isn’t a teenager promising to come back the next day with a gun, this isn’t a credible threat, this is an innocent child playing a game with classmates.
How about the 3 year old deaf child in Nebraska named Hunter? The sign for his name made it look like he was shooting finger pistols and the pre-school claimed it violated the “weapons in school” policy and wanted his parents to change his name. Really? At three you are learning to communicate with the world around you, and Hunter’s communication relies on American Sign Language (ASL). That is his name. Can you imagine if your child was named Hunter, and your school wanted you to change his or her name because of the possible reference to shooting sports?
Where does our governing bodies; i.e., school boards, county supervisors, state level governments and yes…all the way up, inject some common sense? Ok, maybe these incidents should be handled no higher than the local school board, but where is the sense in a zero tolerance policy? Actually, isn’t that an Oxy-Moron? Sense in Zero Tolerance? There is no room for an exception, for innocence, for children to play. Can we honestly expect kids to grow up with a healthy respect for the 2nd Amendment and for the shooting sports if guns are demonized and blocked even from innocent play?