The hysteria over imaginary "guns"
When I was in fourth grade, a group of us played "war" every day during recess for a week or two. One group would hold the slide as a "fort" while the other group would charge and try to take the slide. We used our hands and fingers to form imaginary machine guns, rifles and pistols to "shoot" each other. We sold it when we were "shot" and that rule was enforced. If a group of fourth graders did that today, they would be expelled from school. But before that, a SWAT team would be called out to pepper spray them, arrest them and take them to jail.
Unless you have been living under a rock, you are probably familiar with the seven year old boy who shaped his pastry to look like a gun, pointed it and said "bang." For doing something harmless that little boys have been doing for generations, he was suspended by a hysterical administration. It has gone viral as an example of political correctness and anti-gun paranoia run wild.
There are legitimate issues to consider. In the aftermath of the Columbine massacre fourteen years ago next month, there were many questions about what could have been done to identify that the shooters were disturbed in advance of the mass shooting and whether early intervention could have prevented it. We have seen similar questions asked after many other mass shootings, especially when the mass murderer has a history of instability that has been documented.
There are probably things we can do to more quickly identify potentially dangerous persons and intervene - but it is a dangerous path that raises concerns about due process, civil liberties and overreaction. Striking a balance between public safety and individual liberty is never easy, and we must be wary of government as it is run by men and women who are every bit as sinful as anyone else.
The problem is that we have gone too far in the other direction, and it has become so absurd that people cannot take these "safety" policies seriously. Does anyone really believe that the seven year old "pastry bandit" was actually threatening his fellow students or his teacher? Does anyone believe he was going to bring a gun to school and kill someone? Come on people, this is just laughable. It is a huge waste of taxpayer dollars and a waste of time. There is no justification for this hysteria, and the teachers and administrators responsible for it should be fired.