Letters to SAR: February 2000
By Larry Pratt
So, What’s Next— Hand-Control Laws? Registration of Fingers?
I’ve got to admit that even though I know there’s a lot of anti-gun hysteria in our country, this one I found hard to believe when I first heard about it. But, alas, it happened. And we can, no doubt, expect more such craziness in the future.
As reported in Time magazine (12/6/99), MeShelle Locke, 16, of Lacey, Washington— a National Honor Society student— was kidding around with a boy in her English class at North Thurston High School in early November. When he made some wisecrack to the teacher, Locke looked at him, made a gun with her thumb and index finger, and said, “Bang.” The boy, with whom she often joked, wondered if what she said was a threat? “No,” said MeShelle lightly, “it’s a promise.”
Following this incident— which was, obviously, a joke— two girls in MeShelle’s gym class confronted her about her “threatening to kill” (!) the boy, according to a story in “The News Tribune” newspaper (11/13/99). Exasperated by this absurd accusation, MeShelle made the same thumb/finger “gun” gesture to them.
Well, the next school day MeShelle was confronted by a police officer who read Miranda rights to her (but didn’t arrest her). Then she was expelled from school for four days.
The News Tribune quotes North Thurston High Principal Karen Eitreim as saying, presumably with a straight face: “I think schools are taking every precaution. And that includes looking at students’ threats and really taking them seriously and analyzing whether there is a threat to safety or not.”
But, this is idiotic beyond belief!
What possible “threat” is there from one student pointing his or her finger at other students and saying, “Bang”? Even the most cursory “analysis” of this incident would reveal that this is nothing more than-well, one student pointing her finger at other students and saying, “Bang.” Period. That’s it. By no stretch of the imagination, and by no definition, is this a “threat.” No way.
Incredibly, Bob Locke, MeShelle’s father, says that school district officials told him that his daughter fit the profile of a student who might hurt the school. And what, exactly, made them think this? Well, for one thing, she often ate lunch alone or in a small group!
Wow. A real profile of a potential terrorist, yes? No.
In an interview with Gun Owners of America (GOA), when it was facetiously suggested that maybe what we need now is a hand-control law, and for all the fingers and thumbs of students to be registered, Bob Locke replied, with a laugh: “Right. Lethal fingers. We gotta have ‘em banned from the schools.”
Locke— who says he’s against gun control because it’s unconstitutional— tells GOA that to get back into school his daughter had to sign a “behavioral contract” in which she promised “not to threaten any other students or to hold grudges against any other students.” But, of course, he adds that MeShelle never really “threatened” any students in the first place. This is why he says that if his daughter had the whole thing to do over again, she would do nothing different.
Locke says their friends and acquaintances have been “shocked” by this entire affair. He says they originally found the school’s actions to be “annoying, painful and embarrassing” to MeShelle. But, as it was resolved, it was “more of a joke.”
Well, maybe, maybe not— a sick joke at best, to be sure.
All the sicker when we consider that the school would have never noticed MeShelle if she had chosen to extend her middle finger rather than her index finger.
But, this kind of thing is not funny, not at all. And— sad to say—this sort of so-called “zero tolerance” lunacy appears to be happening more often across the country in our government-run schools. This same issue of “Time” magazine reports that a seven-year-old boy in Cahokia, Illinois, was suspended for having a nail-clipper in class.
And a high school in Nevis, Minnesota, turned thumbs down on a yearbook photo which showed an Army enlistee in the senior class posing atop a 155-mm howitzer at a Veterans Of Foreign Wars post. The photo was approved when a U.S. flag was draped over this cannon.
Obviously, in many cases, this “zero tolerance” policy is being implemented by people with zero brains.
SAR received this “Short” from Larry Pratt, and I thought it should be passed on to the readers. GOA is at the front of the battle for the Second Amendment in the US. GOA doesn’t cut “Them” any slack, and Larry calls it like he sees it.
Larry Pratt is Executive Director of Gun Owners of America. Their website is http://www.gunowners.org. Gun Owners of America is a national grassroots lobbying organization of over 200,000 members located at 8001 Forbes Place in Springfield, Virginia 22151. Its web address is http://www.gunowners.org. GOA’s phone number is 703-321-8585; John Velleco is the contact person.
We should all be in contact with GOA.
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