OPINION — A friend asked me to name one thing almost all mass shooters have in common. I managed to come up with six off the top of my head.
Almost all mass shooters come from homes with no relevant father figure, they usually have mental issues to some extent, most lean to the left politically, they obtain their guns illegally, they are typically poor marksmen, and they target gun-free zones.
One thing all mass shooters have in common, which I somehow failed to think of at the moment, was that none of them shot anyone with their finger. They all used guns. And you’d think I would’ve thought of that one, considering the insanity of the left’s rabid and irrational fear of anything that resembles a firearm.
Several months ago a Pennsylvania man was charged with disorderly conduct after he pointed his finger at his neighbor, holding his thumb up, thereby making his hand resemble a pistol to someone who has no idea what a pistol looks like. You’d think this case would’ve been thrown out of court with a chuckle. You’d be wrong. The man was convicted, he appealed the conviction, and he lost the appeal. The court ruled that pointing a finger gun is in fact a criminal offense.
If that were the only case it would still be far beyond the pale, but it’s not. The same kind of thing has happened far too frequently all over the country. A 12-year-old girl at Westridge Middle School in Overland Park, Kansas recently made the same gesture at four classmates and then herself. A teacher notified school authorities, and the girl was detained and questioned. The school resource officer then recommended the girl be arrested. Yes, arrested. For pointing her finger at her classmates. Westridge Middle School is evidently run by idiots.
Westridge Middle School in Overland Park, Kansas
But then, so is the Overland Park Police Dept. Officers were called to the school, where they handcuffed the girl and arrested her. Not just as a shock treatment, either. The girl was charged with a felony for threatening. With. Her. Finger. I really wish I was making this up.
When word got out about the arrest, Dave Smith, a spokesman for the school district, tried to blame it all on the police. He said, “The arrest of this student was wholly unrelated to any district policy. It was a municipal police department decision.” Not that the police acted appropriately, of course, but it’s difficult to exonerate the school when their resource officer recommended the arrest.
But it doesn’t end there. The county, not to be outdone in this fiasco of blatant mistreatment of a child, has decided to treat the case as a criminal one. The girl is considered a potential domestic terrorist and possible mass shooter. Which is difficult to do, with a finger.
A police spokesman said, “Ensuring the safety of everyone in a school, or community, is a top priority and requires constant vigilance.” No doubt. But as mentioned at the beginning of this column, no mass shooter to date has inflicted casualties without some type of firearm, explosive device, or a sharp or blunt instrument. The girl had none of those.
Now, we all know we live in a different world than the one our parents grew up in, and kids are doing things now that were unheard of even when I went to school. But once it was evident the girl had no weapons of any kind, and didn’t even have access to any weapons at home, the whole incident could have been handled with counseling and maybe a time out. Now a little girl may be saddled with a felony conviction for doing the same thing we all did as kids, hundreds of times.
I ran into an old classmate recently who now works for OSHA, and part of his job is to make speeches about workplace safety. He told me he often relates the story of how, when I was a sophomore at Mason High School in 1976, I brought a gun to school. Which is a true story.
My speech class was putting on a Christmas play, and I was a tin soldier. My teacher told me I needed a rifle, so I brought my .22 to school on the bus. The bus driver asked me why I had it, I told her about the play, and she said, “Fine.” Same thing when the principle saw me walking down the hall with it. The gun stayed in my locker all day, I used it in the play, and then took it home on the bus after school. No one batted an eye.
A lot has changed in society since then, but students typically had far easier access to firearms when I was a kid than they do now, and no one shot anyone. What changed is people.
Many parents have stopped parenting, expecting the schools to parent. Schools have had to change policies to adapt to students who have little respect for authority, and no respect for themselves. Police departments have had to adjust to being seen as the enemy by those they try to protect. And all these problems start in the home, especially homes with no effective father figure.
About the only thing that hasn’t changed is the fact that, to date, no one has ever shot anyone else with a finger . . .
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