The anti-gun lobby has spent the past 40 years attempting to demonize firearms ownership in the United States with varying degrees of success.
What started as the National Coalition to Ban Firearms (NCBF) in 1975 was founded by the General Board of Church and Society of the United Methodist Church. According to the book, The Global Gun Epidemic: From Saturday Night Specials to Ak-47s, the NCBF was responsible for the unconstitutional restrictions on firearms put in place in Washington, DC, that were overturned by U.S. Supreme Court decision in District of Columbia v. Heller.
Responsible gun owners are labelled "gun nuts," "right wing extremists," and other derogatory terms. We see headlines like "Gun Lunatics Silence Sounds of Civilization" in the Miami Herald. In 1975, Senator Ted Kennedy tried to ban sales of handgun ammunition in the United States, citing the Consumer Product Safety laws, calling the ammunition a "hazardous substance." Under the new paradigm of anti-gun rhetoric, it is socially acceptable to discriminate and ridicule gun owners.
Now comes the story from South Philadelphia of a little girl who had a folded piece of paper that looked like a pistol, something her grandfather had given her the day before. As the fifth grader was throwing it away another student told a school administrator who, in front of the girl's fellow students, berated the little girl. She was then subjected to a search, again in front of all the other students.
"He yelled at me and said I shouldn't have brought the gun to school and I kept telling him it was a paper gun but he wouldn't listen," said the student.
This young girl has been taunted as a "murderer" by her classmates. Her mother says she has not been back to school and is suffering from nightmares after this witch hunt. Imagine yourself as an 11 year old in school being yelled at by an authority figure, in front of all your classmates, then searched in full view of everyone like a criminal and having no one listen to you about what happened.
This is not an isolated incidence of the over reaction created by the state of fear the anti-gun lobby wants the public to live under. Here are some examples garnered from the news:
1. 4 kindergartners at Wilson Elementary School in Sayreville, N.J., were suspended for three days for playing a make-believe game of cops and robbers during recess, using their fingers as guns. This case is now before the Third Circuit Court of Appeals.
2. At LaSalle Middle School in Greeley, Colo., three 13-year-old boys were given one-year suspensions because one of the students brought to school a key chain from which dangled a 2-1/2-inch laser pointer. The school called it a “firearm facsimile” and sent one of the boys (a good student who had never before been in trouble) to an alternative program where he is taking classes in “anger management” and “conflict resolution".
3. Seven 4th-grade boys (who had never previously been in trouble) at Dry Creek Elementary School in Colorado were discovered pointing “finger guns” at each other while playing a game of soldiers and aliens during recess, the principal found them in violation of the school’s zero tolerance policy. After quizzing them about whether their parents owned guns, she required them to serve a one-week detention during lunchtime, sitting in the hall where they were teased and taunted by other students.
4. Two eight-year-old boys who pointed paper guns at classmates in Irvington, N.J. were charged with “making terrorist threats.” A judge ultimately dismissed their case.
Then there is the story of the 5-year old girl who "threatened" classmates with her pink Hello Kitty bubble gun. Apparently, she did not even have the pink Hello Kitty bubble gun with her at the time. "I'm going to shoot you and I will shoot myself and we'll all play together," she allegedly said about playing with the bubbles.
The conversation was overheard while she and a friend were talking while waiting for the bus to school. When school officials got wind of the conversation, they questioned the little girl, suspended her for her making a "terroristic threat." The school then told her parents she needed to be evaluated by a psychiatrist.
A five-year-old girl suspended and her parents told she needs a psychiatrist. For bubbles.
The family attorney says the little girl was questioned for about three hours, without her parents. Imagine the trauma this little girl went through. Being threatened with jail at five years old, for playing a game ... no, not playing a game ... planning to play a game with her friend.
The girl was initially kicked out for 10 days based on what the school had categorized as a “terroristic threat,” according to the kindergartner’s mother and confirmed by the family attorney. That suspension was reduced to two days and labeled as a “threat to harm others.” Mount Carmel Superintendent Bernard Stellar on Thursday declined comment, saying it would be a breach of confidence and that he cannot discuss student discipline issues.
When I was this age we learned gun safety with BB guns in Cub Scouts. Even with toy guns, we were taught don't point them at people, but we played soldier and cops and robbers and cowboys and indians. We played with cap guns, water guns, and toy bows and arrows.
When I was in high school I joined the rifle team. Yes, a rifle team in public school in California. We had an arms room with 20 rifles, as one of the instructors my senior year I had a key and full access. It made a great study room for getting that last minute homework finished.
The anti-gun rhetoric is so vitriolic and has so demonized firearms, which are nothing but inanimate objects, that non-shooters are often terrified. I am a police officer, I carry a gun every day on and off duty. I have had several people, educated people with Masters and PhDs, ask me "what if it goes off?"
Guns don't "just go off," it requires a human being to pull that trigger. I have been a gun owner since 1978, when I got a target rifle at age 13. I have been an instructor trained by the NRA, trained by the Army, and being considered for a position as a firearms instructor with my police department.
There are criminals in this world, bad people who do bad things. They account for a miniscule percentage of the population, thankfully. Demonizing firearms is not going to stop evil people from murder or rape or assault. Demonizing firearms is a propaganda tool used by the anti-gun lobby to further their goals of banning firearms. It is wrong and it is the children who suffer for being children.