Americans want protection. This is one of the true responsibilities of government. That responsibility and the right to act on the behalf of the American people stems from two things. First, the government needs to protect private property rights. Second, each American, indeed each human, has a right to protect him or herself. Because they have that right they can justly assign some or all of that right to government. Humans cannot assign rights they do not possess to government.
Thus, we have Armed Forces, police forces, and a variety of other enforcement agencies. But giving that right in part to our protective services through our duly elected representatives does not mean they should act like boneheads!
Everyone is appalled when some maniac or another decides to take their vengeance on society by shooting up a school. All parents want the school their children attend to be a safe place. But the following show what happens when school officials and police forces jump into the deep end of the pool.
Dan Mitchell, who I usually read because of his knowledge of tax law and appropriate tax policy, is also an adept observer of the margins of governmental sanity. He keeps certain lists of the craziest things done by our federal and local governments. Some are pretty funny. Others are just pitiful.
Public school policy does not allow students to bring weapons onto school property. That is sound policy. But here is where the “zero tolerance” for weapons at school goes off the rails. The following list was complied by Mr. Mitchell. [Are Government Schools a Form of Child Abuse? by Dan Mitchell]
- Bureaucrats suspended a little boy for taking bites out of a pop tart in such a way that it was shaped like a gun.
- Bureaucrats suspended a 7-year boy for pretending to throw a non-existent grenade on the playground.
- Bureaucrats suspended a 6-year old boy in Maryland for making a gun shape with his finger.
- Bureaucrats busted a 5-year old girl in Pennsylvania for having a pink plastic gun that shoots bubbles.
- A teacher in Rhode Island caught an 8-year old boy with some plastic toy army men.
- Bureaucrats evacuated a school because an 11-year old boy made a motion detector for his science experiment.
- Bureaucrats in Florida kicked an 8-year old boy out of school for a year because he had a plastic gun in his backpack.
- A dual award in Virginia, with half the prize for the bureaucrats who suspended a 10-year old boy for a toy gun and half the prize for the cops who then arrested the kid.
- A third-grader got in trouble for having toy army men on his birthday cupcakes.
- Two second-graders got suspended for holding pencils like they were guns.
- Bureaucrats suspended a kindergartener for having a lego-sized toy gun.
And the Rugged Individualist gives the top award to the next altruist.
- Bureaucrats wanted a deaf child to change his sign-language name because it required him to shape his fingers in a way that resembled a gun.
God help this nation.