A 17-year-old star student in Sanford, North Carolina was searched, then suspended, arrested and charged with a misdemeanor, because she was mistakenly carrying her father’s lunchbox, identical to her own, and his contained a small paring knife which he used to slice his apple.
It is time for the revolution.
America has somehow wound up being run by nincompoops who respond to unique and extraordinary crimes committed by a few individuals (Columbine, 9/11) by awarding themselves unprecedented grants of authority, completely alien to our constitutional and civic traditions, to tyrannize over the entire American population.
Americans are now harassed, electronically strip-searched, and groped at airports, treated like criminals upon entering courthouses and public offices, and children are arrested and thrown out of school for drawings, carrying toys, or for being found in possession of kitchen utensils.
Not so very long ago, high school boys used to participate in target shooting in urban high schools. Rural students would bring deer rifles to school, and keep them in the lockers during class, in order to go hunting at the end of the school day.
Only someone genuinely insane would suppose that Ashley Smithwick really represented a threat to anyone, but an ideological regime pathologically hostile to private possession of arms and fanatically devoted to the principle of a statist monopoly of force has descended upon schools across the United States. Zero tolerance policies are gestural expressions of ideological absolutism. Zero tolerance policies express the viewpoint of officialdom that our pacifistic, hoplophobic values are more important than facts, rationality, or your rights. Nothing whatsoever is as valuable as physical safety and the unchallenged rule of established authority.
Totalitarianism never came to America through foreign invasion, military conquest, or our defeat by foreign enemies. But totalitarianism has arrived here, in our schools, our airports, and our public spaces, entirely domestically. Totalitarianism is already occupying ever-expanding regions of our public lives via the petty tyranny, the habitual cowardice, the overwheening self-importance, the small mindedness,and the contemptible values of our ordinary administrators and minor officials.
This country needs a new litigation center dedicated to combating zero tolerance policies, safety fascism, and TSA-style security policies.
Update from Bryan Preston via Glenn Reynolds.
The school administrators are issuing misleading press releases, obfuscating the student victim’s status and trying to depict a new-fangled lunch container as a purse. Sleazoids.