Photo by Vienna Arsenal

Whenever there is a new rule or some group makes a statement about a rule, it means that something probably happened recently that encouraged leadership to make the statement or new rule. For example, warning labels exist because someone was dumb enough to stick their hand inside the wood chipper. Since that incident, we have had to look at yellow stickers on heavy machinery. Think back to a few years ago when kids started eating Tide Pods, and the company had to come out and make a statement about how consumers should not be doing that. Make sense? Good!

Palm Beach County Schools has made an interesting series of statements that have led some to believe something happened.

Palm Beach County Schools recently said that children should not be bringing tasers to school, that and other weapons, of course… The school district decided to make this announcement very clear to parents ahead of the new school year, and I am sure that parents, as well as those outside the community, are wondering, “What the heck happened involving a student and a taser?”

Sadly, I don’t think they will ever answer this question outside of stating that students bringing tasers to school resulted in several expulsions last year. Indeed, something more interesting than: “Oh, Timmy just had one in his backpack, and the teacher found out,” happened at the school. Look, all I am saying is that some kid probably tased his friend, and we need to get to the bottom of that!

Chicanery and personal curiosity aside, there is something more to this story that gun owners should be concerned about. One board member suggested that the schools open up a “no questions asked” drop box for any weapons a student brought to school.

Palm Beach County School Board Member Dr. Debra Robinson suggested that schools create a “Safe Harbor” policy that would allow students to turn in their weapons without consequences.

This is by far the most exciting part of the story. This plan from Dr. Robinson seems a tad bit familiar. This “safe harbor” plan is much like the buyback events set up across the country by local police departments.

Now, of course, there are some key differences. For example, it would appear that the schools would not have actual drop boxes (then again, nothing has been outlined or even put forward officially), but students might still face some consequences for bringing something into the school. Still, just like buyback events, I have some fundamental criticisms of something like this.

A significant issue with buyback events is that criminals use them as a chance to do away with murder weapons and illegal firearms. A process like this for students would allow students who have broken the rules to get away scot-free. It’s fair play to say that a student who brought in a pocket knife on accident should be allowed to turn it in free of consequence, but should the student who “accidentally” brought in the stun gun be let off? There is a lot of nuance here that would need to be laid out before something like this went forward.

Another fundamental flaw in something like this is sending a nasty message to children as they need to start thinking about the real world. If I “accidentally” bring my carry gun into a federal building and get caught, I am going to jail—no way around it. Rules are rules and will face the music, especially if you are a gun owner. Students should learn this; authority does not mess around regarding weapons.

It sucks to say, but it’s the truth. I am curious though… who tased who?

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