24 October 2006

Overreaction....or Childrens' Safety???

This article had me doing a nice "double-take" when I started reading BETWEEN the lines:

Administrators lock down Kekionga after students reported pellet gun.
By Megan Hubartt

Students at Kekionga Middle School are being questioned by Fort Wayne Police after officers found a pellet gun on campus Monday.
Fort Wayne Community Schools spokeswoman Debbie Morgan said several students alerted administrators of the gun’s presence. At that point, they locked down the school and called police.
Morgan said administrators did not find out about the gun until the day was nearly over. Rather than keep students in class past their normal dismissal time while police conducted their search, administrators allowed them to go home but without going to their lockers first.
Morgan said both police and the district continue to investigate the incident. She was not aware of any arrest, and a Fort Wayne Police spokesman could not be reached by this morning.

Now I could go into some diatribe about how educators (and even some officers) need to know the DIFFERENCES between the "real deal" and these (basically) toy guns. Or I could point out that there was some mistakes made on the part of the FWCS by letting the kids go home WITHOUT coats, personal items, etc. One thing the article does NOT say is that children WERE allowed to go to their lockers (for keys or other important items) WITH a school office worker.

The "gun" found was an AIRSOFT pistol which shoots 6mm plastic BBs (not "pellets") at about 150FPS. No biggie...you can shoot it into your hand and not worry about poking a hole in your palm. I own a few, and I know about this. And even "if" the pistol was CO2 powered, we're only looking at a small welt at point of impact. Sure, it can "put yer eye out"...if you AIM there. Basically, what we have is a 21st century equivalent of the 1950s era capguns. Granted, these airsoft pistols LOOK real (except for the BLAZE ORANGE barrel), but believe me, I can make them look a LOT more "real", as could anyone with some modeling experience.
((OK, all you SESAME STREET grads....time to play "One of these things...is NOT like the other"...See if YOU can "spot the REAL pistol" from the fake ones, OK?))

Conversely, if you took a REAL gun, and either painted the barrel BLAZE ORANGE or place day glo red tape at the front of the weapon, without close inspection, this would "appear" to be an "airsoft" pistol. But we know what it REALLY is, right? SO that train of thought might never work, as kids are creative...that's what they excel at, as you all might recall from YOUR days in school.

What I really wonder about is what the hell this kid was thinking about by bringing ANY "look-alike" weapon(?) to school in the FIRST place. I would get his folks in there PRONTO and have a nice LONG sit-down with all of them. I don't think that ANY teacher doing ANY "show-and-tell" would approve of this...not in today's world! Seems more like "show-and-DON'T-tell" anymore.

What I feel needs to be done (in light of recent school shootings) is to get the school administrators to know what is a potential threat to the children and what is NOT. Clearly, ANY item can be "made" or utilized as a "weapon of opportunity" when the need arises such as, but not limited to things like pens, pencils, rulers, plastic lunchroom utensils, combs, brushes, house keys...ANYTHING that can be held and wielded can be used defensively OR offensively. Ever swing a backpack into someone's head? Makes a nice sound, doesn't it?

Naturally, we cannot ban EVERYTHING I mentioned above...that would defeat the purpose OF school in the first place. I'm just saying that if the "need" arises, ANY kid can inflict harm on another without the use of his/her fists or feet. Look at the assaults in prisons...where they're not allowed to have things kids do, and are randomly searched on a regular basis! And they STILL find creative ways to kill or wound one another.

I recall my 6th grade teacher...former marine...and NO ONE screwed with him. Hell, he loved to do ONE-HANDED pushups!! Nobody got out of line in those days, and if they did, there was hell to pay from the school AND THEN from your parents! Not to mention the ridicule from classmates. Talk about a "lose-lose" proposition.

I know that in today's society, we can't just dismiss things we think are harmless, but shouldn't a little education and knowledge in this regard go a much longer way to head things such as this incident "off at the pass", rather than allowing it to even have a chance to occur at all?

Our kids...our FUTURE is at stake and at risk.

((BTW...the REAL gun is the one on the LEFT...the one on the BOTTOM is a CO2 steel BB pistol, and the one on the TOP RIGHT is an "airsoft" pistol...thanks for playing))

1 comment:

Jana said...

Speaking of guns: