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Zero Tolerance, Zero Common Sense

Friday, February 13, 2009

Here we go again. In yet another case of over reactive, one-size-fits-all, "zero-tolerance," zero-common sense enforcement, Marie Morrow, an honors student and drill-team commander in the Young Marines, was recently expelled from school.  Her crime?  She left three rifle shaped drill team props in the back of her car at Cherokee Trail High School in Aurora, Colo.  Colorado law mandates expulsion for any student found with a "dangerous weapon" on school grounds, which includes "a firearm facsimile that could reasonably be mistaken for an actual firearm." 

The non-operative rifle props are used during drill routines, where the facsimiles are spun and tossed.  The props are made of wood and plastic, are heavily duct-taped and, of course, cannot function and were never intended to.  Morrow had brought them to school because she was preparing for a competition at the Air Force Academy in April and planned to attend a practice right after school. 

According to an article in today's Washington Times, Morrow hadn't told anyone about the props, but apparently some students on their way to a smoking spot next to the parking lot spotted them in the back of Morrow's vehicle and contacted school authorities.

Callers to Denver morning talk show "The Peter Boyles Show," said the students who turned Morrow in received as a reward for their actions, coupons to fast-food restaurant Chik-Fil-A. 

"That's the insanity of this--she's a student leader, a smart kid ... then they give the snitches Chik-Fil-A," Mr. Boyles said. 

In response to the situation, state Senator Kevin Lundberg (R-15) said he plans to introduce legislation that would provide an exception to the law for prop weapons used by military-sponsored youth groups. 

"There should be exemptions to this hard-and-fast rule so this type of thing doesn't happen again," Mr. Lundberg said.  "I am outraged that a student faces expulsion for participating in a drill team." 

And it's ironic to note that this is presumably a school-sponsored and school-endorsed drill team. 

Even a spokesman for one of the country's most anti-gun groups agreed that the punishment didn't fit the crime.  "We're not concerned about non-operative rifles, and the facts in this case cry out for someone to exercise common sense," said Peter Hamm, a spokesman for the vehemently anti-gun Brady Campaign.  You know things are bad when even the Brady Campaign refuses to pile on.
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