To the People

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Thursday, May 14, 2009

The Latest Example Of "No Guns In School" Zero Tolerance Insanity



Meet the latest dire threat to the good people of Newton County, Georgia: 10 year-old cap pistol owner Alandis Ford. Yes, I said "cap pistol" as in what you can buy from the toy section of Wal-Mart for less than $6. Taking it to school got him arrested and fingerprinted.
Tosha [Ford, his mother] said that Wednesday afternoon, after school, "six police officers actually rushed into the door" of their home. "He [Alandis] opened the door because they're police. And then they just kind of pushed him out of the way, and asked him, 'Well where's the gun, where's the real gun?' And they called him a liar... they booked him, and they fingerprinted him."
He faces charges of making -- I shit you not -- "terroristic threats" and, if convicted, juvenile detention. He also faces possible expulsion from school. The law enforcement officers insist it was the right thing to do:
"In this day and time, we do not take anything lightly, whether it's a toy gun or a real weapon, for the safety of the kids and everyone involved, the safety of the school. That's our main concern."

***

"A toy gun is a toy gun," Lt. Mitchell said, "to be played with and for kids to have fun with. But when kids use it the wrong way, just like anything, then it can be scary."

And that's the crux of the dispute about the "terroristic threats" charge, whether Alandis purposely did anything to scare anyone, or whether other children over-reacted at the sight of his toy gun.
Nor should we take lightly traumatizing a ten year-old kid playing with a toy that people in earlier, saner decades wouldn't have given a second thought to. Ironically the kid now wants to be a police officer himself when he grows up, according to his mom. With the kind of role models he has seen now, what could possibly go wrong with that?

UPDATE: Forgot to include a link to the original story, which is here. I should also point out that the story is from December. That doesn't make the police's reaction any less stupid.

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