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“When the politicians complain that TV turns the proceedings into a circus, it should be made clear that the circus was already there, and that TV has merely demonstrated that not all the performers are well trained.”     Edward R. Murrow

August 30, 2007

Let’s Play a Game

by Stephen Littau

A quiz for the readers: what is the drawing below supposed to be? Does this picture in any way seem threatening to you?

The answer is below the fold.

The above drawing is supposed to be a drawing of a gun. Was that your first guess? Does this drawing seem threatening to you? Apparently, the administrators of Payne Junior High School in Queen Creek, Arizona found the drawing threatening enough they decided to suspend the 13 year-old boy who drew if for five days (after the boy’s father talked to the principle, the suspension was cut to three days). Though there was no rule in place in the student handbook which prohibited drawing weapons, the principle cited a rule which states that students should not engage in activities which they deem: “Threatening an educational institution by interference with or disruption of the school.”

A doodle of a gun on a piece of homework is threatening to an educational institution? I should have been suspended many times over for this offense! When I was a senior in high school, not only did I draw a realistic drawing of a rifle (complete with a bayonet!), I entered it in the art show at the school and won second place!

Maybe there were other factors that made my art non-threatening:

1. It was a political statement. The drawing was one of a bolt action rifle tied to the Bill of Rights with barbed wire. I titled the drawing “Freedom in Bondage.” The statement I was trying to make was about how all of our rights are in danger when our Second Amendment rights are in danger. Apparently the school administrators understood my message and perhaps were afraid of a civil rights lawsuit if they took action against me.

2. It was 11 years ago; have things really changed that much since then? Maybe I should also consider this was pre-Columbine.

3. I was going to school in Texas where the Second Amendment is revered. Texas has the “castle doctrine” in place meaning that if an intruder enters your home, you have every moral and legal right to shoot the intruder (as it should be).

Beyond the utter stupidity of this policy I have to ask the question: What is it about a gun that is so threatening? Yes it’s true that bad and careless people do bad and careless things with guns. But it’s also true that guns save lives probably every single day in this country (regardless if such incidents are reported in the news or not). Beyond that, our very freedom depends on the ability for average citizen to own a gun to defend against threats to our rights of life, liberty, and property.

If the school’s position is that “things that kill people” should be prohibited from being drawn, then perhaps students should be suspended for drawing automobiles. After all, far more people die in car accidents than from firearms. Next on the list should be swimming pools and bathtubs.

Of course having such a policy would be completely absurd; so is suspending a student for drawing something that kind of, sort of looks like a gun. Guns are nothing more than a tool, one which can be used for good or evil. Guns do not have a conscience. The conscience belongs to the person wielding it. I wonder what kind of evil intentions this young boy had when he drew this “threatening” doodle?

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22 Comments

  1. Man, when I was in 6th grade I drew a picture–cartoon, really–of a tornado busting up the school with kids flying everywhere during a tornado warning while we were all sitting in the hall.

    My teacher gave me a “that’s kind of tasteless, you know” talk and that was the end of it. Today, would I be suspended? Or worse, forced into psychotherapy?

    Comment by rho — August 30, 2007 @ 2:32 pm
  2. That’s a gun? It looks like a shitty drawing of an airplane. What about the stick figures of people all over the “gun”? You don’t normally see people attached to a Beretta. And smiley faces? This is the kind of crap kindergartners draw. The teacher who thought this was any kind of threat is obviously a moron. I wouldn’t be surprised to find out that she was his art teacher. Considering the utter lack of talent in his work, whoever taught him how to draw is obviously incompetent.

    Comment by UCrawford — August 30, 2007 @ 2:35 pm
  3. Rho,

    When I was in sixth-grade I used to draw pictures in class all the time of people getting shot and blown up and set on fire (I was a big war buff). The only thing my teachers ever did was tell me to stop screwing around and pay attention (usually it was in math class). Only time I ever got in trouble was when I drew naked women or added swear words to the text.

    Comment by UCrawford — August 30, 2007 @ 2:41 pm
  4. It’s all the smiley faces that I find most threatening.

    Actually, I think it’s an indictment of public education if that’s the best gun a 13 year old can draw. Good thing they didn’t ask him to color it.

    Comment by sadcox — August 30, 2007 @ 3:12 pm
  5. Publik Ejukashun!

    The student should have argued that this wasn’t a gun. It was abstract art showing the collapse of the financial system.

    Comment by Chris Kachouroff — August 30, 2007 @ 7:57 pm
  6. Are you kidding me? THAT is what all this is about?

    The lame-brained chowderhead administrator who thinks that drawing looks ANYTHING like a gun needs to be fired. Now.

    With this shining example of who we place in positions of authority in our public education system, it’s no wonder we now have a generation that can’t think for themselves. (I know, I cuff ‘em and stuff ‘em all the time).

    Comment by MountainCop — August 30, 2007 @ 9:51 pm
  7. MountainCop,

    Did you read the Sen. Craig story and transcripts of the police interview? If so, I’d like to know your thoughts.

    Comment by Chris Kachouroff — August 30, 2007 @ 10:29 pm
  8. My 2 boys (ages 8 and 10) could not figure out what the drawing was supposed to be. Neither thought it looked much like a gun even after I told them what it was supposed to be.

    Comment by Stephen Littau — August 31, 2007 @ 12:46 am
  9. My first thought was actually “house with a man on the roof”.

    Comment by UCrawford — August 31, 2007 @ 12:56 am
  10. Wow… All he could come up with is a bad drawing of a laser-gun that doesn’t exist?

    I used to spend my time in freshman English class drawing to-scale F-16′s… Complete with AIM-09 Sidewinder missiles on the wingtips…

    Comment by Brad Warbiany — August 31, 2007 @ 12:58 am
  11. I’d like to take the welcome opportunity to agree with the general thrust of this article (as well as the previous article on the “terrorist flour”). These are both excellent examples of people losing all perspective.

    I’ll go on to point out that in both cases the motivation was an exaggerated sense of concern for security. Yes, the world can be a dangerous place, but little boys drawing pictures of guns and bicyclists using colored flour are not dangerous. People have gone nuts over these issues — we all need to calm down, take a deep breath, and get some perspective. There never were any commies hiding under the bed and there aren’t any terrorists there now.

    Comment by Chepe Noyon — August 31, 2007 @ 2:23 am
  12. When I was 13 I used to draw WWII battle scenes. I can’t imagine what this school would do with me. Before this I thought Arizona was one of the sane states.

    Comment by Bob — August 31, 2007 @ 7:19 am
  13. AZ is no longer as sane as it was due to all the liberial californicators moving here. we are doomed to soon being Known as the people’s republic of arizona. I would sooner make it illegal for calfornicators to move to AZ instead of the Mexicans from Mexico.

    Comment by michael — August 31, 2007 @ 10:18 am
  14. I’m glad to know it wasn’t just me screwing around doodling in class :)

    Comment by UCrawford — August 31, 2007 @ 10:37 am
  15. Just goes to prove that an education does not beget intelligence.

    The only thing an education (school) gets you is knowledge. The school administraton may have some knowledge but obviously they lack the intelligence to but it to use.

    More educated morons in charge!

    Comment by M Spivey — August 31, 2007 @ 11:45 am
  16. I used to design firearms as a kid in both Jr High and High School. I am now 55 and have been a Gunsmith for almost 30 years. Whoed of thunk??

    Oh I am also a Mil Vet, an A&P Mech, an ex aerospace eng, a machinist, a blacksmith, a Mountain Man re-inactor, and a martial artist. Something must be wrong with me!!

    Comment by M Spivey — August 31, 2007 @ 11:55 am
  17. Michael your right, Californians are changing the demographics of Arizona. I lived in Phoenix for almost 10 years (recently moved) and I can tell you things are changing. The choices for governor were horrendous the last time around; Janet Napolitano on the far Left and this Len Munsil character on the far right (Napolitano won in a landslide). I couldn’t have supported either of them.

    There is still a lot of conservatism in AZ but the influx of Californians and people coming from other blue states seem to force this dynamic of extremes on both sides. These left leaning transplants take their politics with them (as one would expect) and bitch the whole time that Arizona isn’t California, Washington, or wherever they are from.

    Comment by Stephen Littau — August 31, 2007 @ 3:58 pm
  18. I recently purchased land in Tonopah. I thought it would be a nice place to retire to (in about 20 years). Sounds like I might have made a mistake.

    Comment by Bob — August 31, 2007 @ 6:54 pm
  19. If the school administrators saw a gun in that drawing, they need to be evaluated. The evaluation should include ink blots, perhaps ones that would get pedophiles excited.

    Comment by sigmund freud — September 2, 2007 @ 4:27 am
  20. That is absurd.

    Yet another reason to homeschool.

    Comment by Judy Aron — September 2, 2007 @ 9:38 am
  21. Well, it’s clear to me it’s a spaceship, picking up people to take into space. (analyze that!)
    Seriously, anyone who thinks school administrators’ agenda is education, needs to wake up and smell the coffee. Their agenda is preparing a generation, or 2, of Americans for socialism!

    Comment by k mclane — September 2, 2007 @ 4:40 pm
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