No matter how cynical I get about the sheer idiocy of the anti-gunners, I simply cannot keep up.
Every so often, we pro-Second Amendment citizens are treated to a glimpse of the raw hysteria that seethes just beneath the surface of the average anti-gunner, and today we’ve got a doozy: It seems that for one school district in Pennsylvania, Zoom video teleconferences with parents and students are a chance to sic the police on a family for the dastardly crime of allowing their seven-year-old to own a toy gun. This is the first time we’re aware of that a school has attempted to enforce one of their famous “zero-tolerance” policies in someone’s private home…and it would be enraging if it weren’t so hilarious.
According to this article courtesy of NRA’s ILA, here’s what happened:
A segment on the included an interview with Sheila Perez Smith, the mother of a 7–year—old first grader. Perez Smith recounted how the child had received a plastic toy gun as a gift, which quickly became the boy’s “favorite new thing.”
During a school-related Zoom call with his classmates and teacher at the Cumberland Valley School District, she said, the boy was seated with the toy next to him. He was not, however, interacting with it in any way.
After the call concluded, the family received an email from the child’s teacher “basically saying that another parent of another classmate had been very uncomfortable by the fact that the gun had been in view of the Zoom call.”
But that was not the end of the incident.
Within a couple of hours, Perez Smith said, an officer from the Hampden Township Police Department came to their home and asked the family to step outside so he could question them about a complaint involving a child and a gun.
This news story has so many layers of idiocy that it’s like a lasagna made entirely of WTF. Let’s take a moment to slice through them, shall we?
First, the slightly burnt cheesy layer that everyone fights over: The “zero tolerance” policies that schools everywhere have enacted in a knee-jerk response to violence committed by minors don’t really mean “zero tolerance.” They mean “zero thought.” If you have a zero-tolerance policy, that means that nobody ever has to be an adult and examine each individual “offense” on its own merits. Therefore, as far as they’re concerned, a plastic toy gun is the same thing as a Ma Deuce.
Second, we’ve got a nice layer of privacy-infringement pasta. Zero-tolerance policies are beyond stupid, but that’s how things are right now and everyone has more or less accepted it; after all, “zero tolerance” doesn’t apply to what happens when the school isn’t currently in loco parentis-ing. But this toy gun was not discovered in the child’s backpack at school. This toy gun was with the child, in his home. It was merely visible on the Zoom call.
Now our questing forks have found soft, stupid manicotti cheese. This whole thing started because a parent was “made uncomfortable” by the sight of the toy gun. Let’s all take a moment to acknowledge that the parent wasn’t “uncomfortable.” That parent was thrilled at the opportunity to try to impose their own beliefs on another family…and to do it at the point of a real gun.
Oh boy, here’s the greasy, spicy sausage! Yes, the “real gun” in question was in possession of the law-enforcement officer who actually took time out of their day to respond to a complaint of a toy gun visible on a Zoom call. In Pennsylvania. The last I heard, it was perfectly legal for Pennsylvanians to own real guns, as many as they want, even if they have children. Let’s go back to that article, shall we?
The boy’s parents explained that it was only a toy gun and showed it to the officer. They went on to reassure the officer that they have no actual firearms in their home and that everyone in the residence was safe and well.
Perez Smith indicated she thought that would have ended any concern over the matter. Nevertheless, she said, “I did not feel that it was something where they said, ‘We understand. We just had to follow through.’ They took if very seriously, as if there was some sort of chance that we had weapons in the home.”
She also said the police officer made a point of continuing to lecture the family about the necessity of keeping children away from any sort of guns, even once he understood there was no danger to the kids.
Yes, yes, I’ve just double-checked, and as it turns out Pennsylvania law says that parents do not give up their Second Amendment rights when they take a baby home from the hospital. In fact, Pennsylvania has special youth seasons for rifle and shotgun hunting. Golly, it sure would be tough for a 12-year-old to take advantage of youth turkey season if his family isn’t allowed to have a gun while he lives there.
Ah, we have reached the bottom of our WTF lasagna and are just chasing those last crumbs around our plates. Don’t worry, though; there’s sure to be more. As the COVID-19 crisis has closed schools all around the country, teachers and administrators are being asked to observe their students during these video teleconferences for signs of domestic abuse. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with that, of course. The problem is that so many of these people seem to think that a family that permits their child to play with a toy gun is an abusive family…and that means we’re going to see more stories like this soon.
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