Tea Party gun nuts are ecstatic that a Texas lawmaker has introduced a bill intended to protect students who draw guns, hold their fingers in the shape of a gun, chew their food into the shape of gun, and so forth. The legislation comes after the case of Josh Welch, a Maryland student, who ate his Pop-Tart into the shape of a gun and was suspended for it.
According to the Houston Chronicle, the bill, which Representative Ryan Guillen introduced, prohibits schools from punishing children for using harmless playthings, such as their fingers, or their food, as guns. Right-wing gun nuts absolutely love this; they saw Welch’s case as further reason to spice up their all-guns-all-the-time agenda. In fact, young Welch is a member of the NRA now, thanks to that incident.
To be sure, Welch’s suspension was an overreaction. There are times when it’s so obvious that the “gun” is fake that there’s really no need to do anything more than quietly speak to the student for a moment about whether it’s appropriate. A Pop-Tart in the shape of a gun certainly falls into that category.
With that in mind, The Tea Party blog, Tea Party News Network, said:
The left’s anti-gun zealotry has reached an absolute absurd level. Under the flimsy pretense of trying to create a ‘safer’ environment, liberals have relentlessly pushed upon children a stigmatization of firearms.
The article goes on to quote the Chronicle extensively, and then complains that a Democratic opponent of Guillen’s bill never even read it. What TPNN, and the Tea Party gun nuts, get wrong, is that liberals aren’t trying to stigmatize anything. What we want is for children to have a healthy respect for the danger that guns represent. We want children to understand that they aren’t toys. What Tea Party crazies want is guns everywhere, all of the time. They treat guns like toys, not like weapons, and set a very bad example for children.
It’s important for children to understand that guns are dangerous, and they are not something to play with. While school districts do go overboard in suspending children with “guns” that are very obviously not guns, it’s not left-wing hysteria, but rather, right-wing hysteria, that prevails in these cases by making it more difficult for children to learn and understand that guns are not toys.
Sen. John Whitmire, the opponent to Guillen’s bill, has filed his own legislation to soften Texas’ zero tolerance policies. Current zero tolerance policies in many states do lead to disproportionately harsh punishments for very minor infractions, and softening them, allowing for flexibility, is a good thing.
Perhaps if the idea that teaching common sense about guns didn’t frighten Tea Party gun nuts into their frothing, “ZOMG THEY’RE COMING FOR OUR GUNZ!!” frenzy, we wouldn’t have increasing problems with gun violence and accidental shootings.