Gun violence overreaction

Valarie Hetzler
Staff Writer

A 5-year-old girl brings a gun to school; a bright pink Hello Kitty gun that shoots bubbles when the trigger is pulled. Any individual with gray matter between both ears will discern right away that the gun is clearly a toy. Apparently, comparing that to a real gun was too much of a challenge for Mount Carmel Area Elementary School, who suspended the kindergartner for 10 days for what the school called “making terroristic threats.”
The girl was at the bus stop and told a peer that she would shoot her and herself with the bubble blowing gun. The girl’s parents hired a lawyer, as they plan to file a lawsuit against the Mount Carmel Area School District as well as the school, since officials of the school district interrogated the girl for 3 hours without her parents knowing about it. She was ordered to get a psychological evaluation in order to determine, in the school’s words, whether or not she was “an endangerment to herself or others.”
article-bubblegun-0120The psychologist who examined the girl concluded that she is not a threat to anyone. As a result, did the school remove the suspension? No. They just reduced it to 4 days. Regardless, the incident will go on her permanent record, which is the decision that her parents will fight.
The superintendent released a statement saying, “We don’t comment on issues involving staff or students” blah blah blah. So what are we to make of this atrocity? I believe it started from the terrorist threat bandwagon that people like to hop on as a result of the Sandy Hook Elementary shooting, which the media continues to use the victims of in an exploitative manner (e.g., the chorus singing America the Beautiful at the Superbowl) plus talks going on in our government of an “assault weapons” ban, which a friend of mine referred to as no different than saying “technology machine.”
It is surely a bandwagon people can stand to hop off of and build their own bandwagons called “I think for myself.” All this girl wanted to do was play, which is what children are supposed to do as a means of physical and social development, but she got undeserved heat over a damn toy, and we wonder why kids are growing up too fast. We now live in a culture that says kids are supposed to be like adults.
There is certainly no doubt that such an injustice will become a memory to this girl that cannot be erased, as it could haunt her the rest of her life, all because innocence was snatched from her at too young an age. She was forced to grow up faster than she wanted to due to the megalomaniacal abuse of power that never ceases to exist, which is why I cannot fathom why kids today actually want to be “grown-up.” Maybe we can all learn a little something from Chuck E. Cheese; let a kid be a kid.