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Monday, April 3, 2017

Children Have the “Right” to Weapons of Mass Imagination

Given the apprehension and suspension of the “notorious” playground “menace” Caitlin Miller for committing random acts of make-believe at her Hoke County, North Carolina school, I recently felt compelled to do a soft-target search of our home. Suspecting that our house was riddled with the same type of “weapons” that got five-year-old Caitlin in such trouble, I wanted to make sure that the minor residents with whom I share this home would not find themselves in the same situation as little Miss Miller.

Alas, the search of our home—that was cleverly dubbed “Operation Slow and Curious”—had shocking results. The ghastly evidence (“TRIGGER WARNING!”) is shown below.

Note that several of the weapons in the foreground of the above photo, like young Caitlin’s “stick gun,” are of a wooden variety. However, the wooden guns possessed by the four Thomas children shoot real projectiles (rubber bands). In addition, the plastic guns and bows shown above fire “air-soft” pellets, along with foam darts, arrows, and discs. Also note that with the use of colors such as pink and purple, some of the guns seem to be—GASP!—gender specific! And the two swords at the very front of the table appear to be of the “lightsaber” variety—the preferred weapon of the legendary Jedi.

What’s more, I also found (shown below) what appear to be elaborate battle plans (staged by toy soldiers) and detailed model designs for large ground and aerial assault vehicles. I believe our home needs a “safe space.”

But seriously, to paraphrase the immortal words of Slim Pickens, what in the wide-wide world of sports is going on in North Carolina?! It’s as if invaders from Bizarro World have taken over many of the government and academic officials in the Tar Heel State. After liberals in the city of Charlotte—predicating their moral outrage upon a cause that runs contrary to biology that a three year-old can understand, and that is championed by an unrepentant registered sex offender—launched the nation into an absurd debate about bathroom use and “transgenderism,” those deceived by liberalism in Hoke County seem to think that a five-year-old with a six-inch stick is some kind of a threat.

Upon suspending Caitlin Miller, a spokesman for the Hoke County School System declared, “Hoke County Schools will not tolerate assaults, threats or harassment from any student. Any student engaging in such behavior will be removed from the classroom or school environment for as long as is necessary to provide a safe and orderly environment for learning.” I suppose that we shouldn’t be surprised that those who seem unable to tell the difference between male and female anatomy would have trouble distinguishing between play and assault, or between a stick and a gun.

And again we see, liberalism corrupts. The suspension of cute little Caitlin adds to a growing list of young children across the U.S. punished by their schools for nothing more than the possession of a harmless toy. In some cases, that toy barely even resembles a gun. Last year, a seven-year-old Virginia boy was suspended 10 days for possession of a water gun and a Nerf gun (which are plentiful in the first photo of this piece). Both were brightly colored and could’ve never been confused for real guns—even by a liberal.

A little over a week ago we learned that bringing a spent .22 caliber shell casing to his preschool was just the latest in a long line of pro-gun behaviors for four-year-old Hunter Crowe. The empty casing—described by a gun-ignorant teacher at the Troy, Illinois preschool as a “shotgun bullet”—earned little Hunter a seven-day suspension.

After being found with the “bullet,” Hunter’s preschool sent his parents a letter that ominously declared that, in addition to secretly hoarding harmless shell casings, the little guy had frequently attempted “to make guns out of other toys.” The letter further warned that “guns, hunting, etc., are not subjects that are to be discussed at school,” and despite “multiple attempts to redirect” his “behaviors” toward “other activities,” Hunter continued with his gun-playing ways.

As I’ve noted before, from the time I was Hunter’s age until my mid-teens, if I was not playing with some sort of ball, I was most likely engaged in some sort of battle. Using scraps from my uncle’s woodshop—and yes, sticks from the ground—along with duct tape, electricians tape, and a few well-placed nails, very often my playmates and I would fashion excellent gun replicas. We would then spend hours in the woods and pastures around my home hiding, stalking, building forts, and blasting away at one another. Sometimes we even employed dirt-clods (grenades), and smoke bombs (tear gas). If we had possessed the likes of air-soft or paintball guns that are widely available today, my brother and I, along with our like-minded cousins and friends, would have spent much of the late 1970s and nearly all of the 1980s nursing welts.

Additionally, on the school bus during our elementary school years, my cousin Bart and I nearly drove our driver crazy making fighter-plane and machine-gun noises pretending that we were Pappy Boyington and T.J. of the Black Sheep Squadron. As our big yellow bus wound its way home, we would hold a school book on our laps and pretend we were piloting our F4U Corsair through the skies battling Japanese Zeros. Such behavior would probably get a little fella banned from the bus these days.

This anti-toy-gun foolishness—as we’ve seen in the debates over marriage, gender, life in the womb, the climate, and so on—is simply another example of liberals “struggling against reality.” Children, especially young boys, are going to engage in “battles,” and they’re going to use “guns” when they do so. And there’s absolutely nothing wrong with that.

(See this column at American Thinker.)

Copyright 2017, Trevor Grant Thomas
At the Intersection of Politics, Science, Faith, and Reason.
Trevor is the author of The Miracle and Magnificence of America

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