Not zero tolerance, but just as stupid

I’ve maintained here at United Liberty that school administrators throughout the nation have been engaged in a competition to see who can use zero tolerance rules in the most idiotic manner.  The truth is, we’ve seen some great entries if that’s the case.  Of course, what happened to a Georgia woman last week doesn’t fall under “zero tolerance,” but I think it at least deserves an honorable mention at the awards ceremony.

Tanya Mount was issued a criminal trespass warning last week from her daughter’s school in the Richmond County School System.  Her crime?  Was she being disorderly?  Nope.  Did you threaten a teacher or staff member?  Apparently not.

So what the heck did she do that would keep her from being able to show up at her daughter’s school where she happens to be a volunteer?:

She asked what she did wrong. “The principal is scared of you and she doesn’t want you on the grounds. I ask for what? And he asks were you in the Army and I said yes. He’s like do you have a concealed weapons permit? I said yes,” says Mount.

No.  No, no, no, no, no, no, no, no.


You see, Mount posted a photograph of her permit on Facebook.  The administrator got wind of it and apparently freaked out.  After all, if someone had a permit, they just might have a *gasp* gun!!!!!

Interpol official: Armed citizens may be the best way to deter terrorism

INTERPOL Secretary Ronald Noble

In the aftermath of the terrible terrorist attack at the Westgate shopping mall in Kenya, during which 67 people were killed, INTERPOL Secretary Ronald Noble is openly pondering the question of whether armed citizens are the best way to deter terrorism:

In an exclusive interview with ABC News, Noble said there are really only two choices for protecting open societies from attacks like the one on Westgate mall where so-called “soft targets” are hit: either create secure perimeters around the locations or allow civilians to carry their own guns to protect themselves.

“Societies have to think about how they’re going to approach the problem,” Noble said. “One is to say we want an armed citizenry; you can see the reason for that. Another is to say the enclaves are so secure that in order to get into the soft target you’re going to have to pass through extraordinary security.”
In the interview with ABC News, Noble was more blunt and directed his comments to his home country.

“Ask yourself: If that was Denver, Col., if that was Texas, would those guys have been able to spend hours, days, shooting people randomly?” Noble said, referring to states with pro-gun traditions. “What I’m saying is it makes police around the world question their views on gun control. It makes citizens question their views on gun control. You have to ask yourself, ‘Is an armed citizenry more necessary now than it was in the past with an evolving threat of terrorism?’ This is something that has to be discussed.”

Colorado gun rights activists ready a second recall campaign

Evie Hudak

Nearly a month after successfully recalling two anti-gun state senators, Colorado gun rights activists are planning a recall campaign against State Sen. Evie Hudak, a Democrat who voted for new onerous gun control measures passed earlier this year by the state legislature:

A renewed and spirited effort is now underway to  Sen. Evie Hudak, a Democrat from Westminster, less than six months after an initial effort faltered.

Organizers from within Senate District 19 were certified by the Secretary of State late Friday to begin gathering signatures to have a recall placed on the ballot. The group, “Recall Hudak, too,” must gather about 18,900 valid signatures within a 60-day time frame, and on its website the group even has a running ticker that counts down to the deadline.

“She has infringed upon our constitutional right to keep and bear arms. She has voted to make all citizens less safe and to drive hundreds of jobs from Colorado,” reads an excerpt of the petition language e-mailed by Mike McAlpine, a spokesman for the group.

Maryland gun stores saw surge in sales before gun control laws took effect

New gun control laws in Maryland led to surge in gun sales in the days before the onerous measures, which includes a ban on so-called “assault weapons” and high-capacity magazines, took effect at the beginning this month:

Gun owners in the state aren’t happy, and in recent weeks, they’ve been flocking to snap up firearms. On Monday, outside Fred’s Sporting Goods in Waldorf, there was a huge crowd and a countdown sign advertising: “1 day left.”
Joe Herbert, the store owner, says he was ready for the onslaught of customers ahead of the deadline. “I got full staff for the last week and a half … working overtime,” he says.

And, he says, he can’t keep his shelves stocked. In recent weeks he’s done about five times his usual sales.

It’s been like this all over the state. Sgt. Marc Black, a spokesman with the Maryland State Police, the organization responsible for processing background checks, says the office has been “working 21 hours a day, seven days a week.”

As of Sept. 20, he says, “we’re looking at 106,000 applications.”

That’s more than double the number for all of 2011 and represents an unprecedented surge in gun purchases, he says.

The laws may have good intentions, but they’re unlikely to prevent tragedies similar to Sandy Hook. For example, a memo from National Institute of Justice — the research arm of the Department of Justice — noted that the ban on assault weapons is “unlikely to have an impact on gun violence” because they “are not a major contributor to US gun homicide.”

Zero tolerance? School suspends child for being a child

Guys, remember being a kid and playing “Cops and Robbers”?  Maybe your game was more “Cowboys and Indians.”  Whatever.  If you’re a male, you probably played a game like this at least once in your childhood.  It was almost a rite of passage.  Well, a school in Osceola County, Florida has apparently outlawed these timeless games in the name of “zero tolerance”:

An mother is outraged after she said her 8-year-old son was kicked out of class for playing cops with his friends at Harmony Community School and using his finger to simulate a handgun.

Jordan Bennett was suspended from school for the day, but his mother, Bonnie, said she’s now worried her son be labeled as violent with a suspension on his record.

“He had nothing in his hand. It was a finger gun, a pretend gun,” Bennett said.

But as it turns out, the school considered the gesture to be an act of violence.

Ah, for the good old days when an act of violence required…oh, I don’t know…actual violence to take place? The boys were playing cops.  No robbers, apparently, but cops.  You know, the supposed good guys?

Of course, Bennett isn’t some mother who thinks her child can do no wrong.  From the same report:

“A written apology,” she said. “If he would have written an essay about why it was inappropriate, what he did, that would have made more of an impact.”

Frankly, I don’t see what her son did as inappropriate.  It’s a game.  No human being has ever been killed by a bullet fired from a finger.  Ever.  In the whole of human history, it has never happened once.

Just when you think ‘zero tolerance’ can’t get any dumber

zero tolerance

So-called “zero tolerance” rules have been in schools for quite a while.  In theory, they are supposed to reduce school violence.  Instead, what they often do is create a nightmare for administrators who often are forced to inflict serious punishments on good kids who make a fairly minor mistake.

However, here lately it seems that some administrators are competing to see who can be the dumbest about the rule.  In Virginia Beach, Virginia, it looks as if an administrator is going for first place:

Two seventh-grade students in Virginia Beach, Va., were handed long-term suspensions Tuesday that will last until the end of the school year for playing with an airsoft gun in one of their front yards while waiting for the school bus.

WAVY-TV reports that 13-year-old Khalid Caraballo and Aidan Clark will face an additional hearing in January to determine if they will be expelled for “possession, handling and use of a firearm” because the guns were fired at two others playing in Caraballo’s yard.

For the record, airsoft guns fire small, plastic projectiles designed to be fired at people with property safety equipment.  In fact, airsoft is a pretty big hobby with millions of people spending money on guns and equipment to go out into the woods and “play war”.  Now, clearly, Caraballo and Clark weren’t in the woods at an organized function, but they were clearly on private property.

A parent of one of the kids playing with the two boys called the police because she had safety concerns.  Local law is a bit contradictory, but part of it does say that airsoft guns can be fired on private property.

Gun rights group sues Colorado government over new anti-gun laws

Rocky Mountain Gun Owners

The fight over Colorado’s new gun control laws didn’t end with the recent recall of two anti-gun state senators. Rocky Mountain Gun Owners (RMGO), a Colorado-based organization associated with the National Association for Gun Rights, has filed a lawsuit against the new gun control laws.

The new laws, which were passed by the Colorado legislature in March and signed by Gov. John Hickenlooper (D-CO), took effect on July 1. They include a ban on high-capacity magazine and universal background checks.

The suit filed by RMGO in Colorado State District Court says the new gun control laws infringe upon the rights of law-abiding citizens.

“Rocky Mountain Gun Owners will fight to keep the constitutional rights of Coloradans intact by challenging these laws on every front,” said Dudley Brown, executive director of the gun rights organization, in a press release last week. “Two anti-gun Colorado senators were rejected by their constituents [on September 10], and we are now looking to overturn these laws in court.”

Starbucks: No more guns in stores


There has been a big push from gun control advocates against Starbucks, the coffee giant that has allow customers to carry guns if local and state laws permit.

Just last month, Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America organized a boycott, “Skip Starbucks Saturday,” in hopes that the coffee chain would change its policy. Gun rights supporters countered this by dropping by their local Starbucks to show support.

Unfortunately, Starbucks has relented to public pressure.

In an open letter posted at the coffee chain’s official blog, Howard Schultz, CEO of Starbucks, said that the company has been “thrust unwillingly” into a debate over guns and requested that customers no longer bring guns into their stores.

“Pro-gun activists have used our stores as a political stage for media events misleadingly called ‘Starbucks Appreciation Days’ that disingenuously portray Starbucks as a champion of ‘open carry.’ To be clear: we do not want these events in our stores.” wrote Schutlz. “Some anti-gun activists have also played a role in ratcheting up the rhetoric and friction, including soliciting and confronting our customers and partners.”

“For these reasons, today we are respectfully requesting that customers no longer bring firearms into our stores or outdoor seating areas—even in states where ‘open carry” is permitted—unless they are authorized law enforcement personnel,” he added.

Schultz explained this is a request, not an outright ban, as Starbucks wants to “give responsible gun owners the chance to respect [its] request.” He also noted that enforcement would likely make employees uncomfortable.

More laws won’t prevent the next shooting

I get a little sick of having to write this post every time some maniac shoots up a place.  Every single time it happens, the left begins hand wringing and plotting how to take away our Second Amendment rights, and folks like me are left to talk about how new laws wouldn’t have prevented anything.

First, let’s note that it’s still very early so the policy wonks who are screaming at the top of their lungs like teenage girls at a Justin Beiber concert really can’t possibly know what the hell would prevent another tragedy like this even in their Utopian world of all knowing government and unicorns that poop cotton candy.

Now, let’s take a look at some facts.  A shooting happened on Monday that claimed 12 innocent lives.  It took place in a pretty secured building on a military base.  It was, probably, the safest place to be in D.C. short of the White House and the Pentagon, right?

Military bases are great big “gun-free zones.”  It was that way when I served in the mid 90’s, and nothing has changed in that regard.  Neither military personnel, nor the civilians employed there, were permitted to carry a firearm.  People have this view of military bases as bristling with firearms, but that’s false.  There are tons of weapons there, but the rank and file troops have little to no access to them and they can’t carry personal weapons either.

The Washington Navy Yard is no exception.  The laws already forbid weapons on the base, but the shooter (I am not going to use his name as a choice to not encourage the next maniac seeking to make sure he gets a Wikipedia entry) didn’t care.  He made it through security, entered a secured building, and killed a dozen people and wounded more.  Gun free zones clearly do not intimidate the criminal.  It’s time that the left comes to terms with this fact.

John McCain may finally retire

John McCain

After 27 long years on Capitol Hill and two failed presidential bids, Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) may finally be ready to retire. The Hill picked up on comments that the Arizona senator made during a recent interview:

The 77-year-old’s current term is up in 2016. When asked if this would really be his last term, McCain backtracked a bit.

“Nah, I don’t know,” McCain said. “I was trying to make a point. I have to decide in about two years so I don’t have to make a decision. I don’t want to be one of these old guys that should’ve shoved off.”

McCain made the initial remark about retirement off-the-cuff to a group of Obama supporters who interrupted the interview as he was arguing that television providers should unbundle their channels.

Yes, please?

McCain has long been a thorn in the side of conservatives and libertarians, voting for bloated budgets and pushing unpopular positions on a number of policies. Just this year alone, he opposed Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) on drones, backed more onerous gun control measures, and tried to help Senate Democrats push their big spending budget into a conference with the House without a guarantee against a stealth debt limit increase.

The views and opinions expressed by individual authors are not necessarily those of other authors, advertisers, developers or editors at United Liberty.