Some naughty little middle school kid (a lot like me) in Joliet, in the conspicuously hoplophophic state of Illinois, brought a pellet-gun (a species of non-terribly-hazardous airgun) to school. Young Ryan Morgan (and an associate) learned of the presence of the contraband, and went and retrieved it from its cached location and turned it in to the authorities.
The same pettyfogging and nincompoop authorities gave Ryan the local Pavel Morozhov Award for Political Correctness, expelling him from school for a year on the basis of the school’s “zero tolerance” policy on the theory that he was technically “in possession” of the pellet gun.
Warner Todd Huston is shocked and appalled by the injustice, but I think there is a good lesson in all of this for young Ryan.
A few years back, when I still lived in Newtown, Connecticut, that Northern Fairfield County community was subjected to a wave of terror in which hormonally-incited teenage males were shooting little holes in some windows with the same dreadful and awe-inspiring pellet guns.
The local forces of social uplift demanded condign action against the wielders of allegedly lethal instruments of destruction, and a new wave of legislation was in the works when I lodged a demurral in the local paper, pointing out that CO2-powered pellet guns were considerably less than lethal to life forms larger than squirrels. Someone prominent in the League of Women Vipers attempted to argue that airguns were dangerous to life. So, I issued a challenge, offering to provide a typical .22 caliber, CO2-cannister-powered airgun, and to stand at 25 feet (7.62 meters) facing my adversary, and allow her to shoot me anywhere she liked, provided I could wear eye protection.
If I died from my injuries, I would leave $500 to the charity of her choice. If I survived, she would be obliged to donate an equivalent sum to the National Rifle Association.
Curiously enough, the lady declined the wager.