People who advocate the right to bear arms are often described as “gun nuts,” and in a few cases we know of the description is probably apt, but there’s a far more rampant nuttiness among the anti-gun contingent.
There has been a slew of news stories lately, for instance, about teachers and school administrators punishing students for possessing perfectly harmless items that vaguely resemble guns. In one case a 6-year-old was suspended for extending his index finger and cocking his thumb as if it were a trigger, and in another a student was suspended for eating his toaster pastry into the shape of a gun. Such instances have become common enough that a Maryland legislator felt the need to introduce a bill that would prohibit similar acts of zealousness by anti-gun educators.
Although we have no strong affinity for firearms, neither can we understand anti-gun nuts’ squeamishness about the things. Playing cops-and-robbers with a hand folded in the form of a gun should surely be the constitutional right of every 6-year-old, and we have seen pastries eaten into far more disturbing shapes than that of a mere pistol. There’s a certain nuttiness about attributing an inherent evil to a firearm, which can just as easily be used for harmless recreation or self-protection as for murder or mayhem, but making the same attribution to anything even resembling a gun takes it another step further.
One can readily imagine the high-minded reasons those educators would offer for their heavy-handed methods, and they no doubt envision a better world that is free of guns and violence and even friendly competition. They’re not preparing the children for the world they’ll actually live in, though, as an instinct for self-preservation will almost certainly be required there. The lessons in governmental bullying might come in handy, at least.

— Bud Norman

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