Let’s Play a Gameby 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?