I think few things better demonstrate the ridiculous nature of current gun laws and their subsequent enforcement than the recent episode involving a NC student who is facing expulsion and a felony charge for inadvertently leaving a (locked) shotgun in the trunk of his car. Of course, the only reason that anyone knows that there was a gun in his trunk was that a school administrator eavesdropping on his phone conversation heard him ask his mother to come retrieve the gun from his car. Privacy issues aside, it’s not as if he walked into the school with it slung over his shoulder.
Aside from the question of whether school officials should be listening on conversations between children and their parents, it should have been fairly obvious that the student was attempting to rectify the situation. One can’t help but notice the double standard here. If the student had been an illegal immigrant discussing his green card issues with his mother, he would have gotten a wink and a nod (and maybe some food stamps), and off to math class he would go. But he’s a white male (and Eagle Scout) with a gun, so of course there’s no room for “compassion” or “understanding”. You immediately throw the entire penal code at him and slap him with a felony charge, effectively ruining his life at 16.
This raises several issues. First, the fact that it’s a felony to have a gun locked in the trunk of your car while you attend class is absurd. The General Assembly is currently in the processing of amending this particular law (as it applies to colleges and universities), but the thinking behind such a law is bizarre. If safety is the primary concern behind such laws, they shouldn’t be banning the guns. They should be banning the cars the guns are locked in. But safety isn’t the concern here. If it were, the school wouldn’t react so violently to an incident in which no one was hurt and no one was in danger of being hurt. Indeed, the same school merely gave a slap on the wrist to a teacher who both managed to lose her gun on school property and allow it to come into the hands of her students, a situation significantly more dangerous than the current one.
The other issue of concern is the reaction of the school administrators. Aside from their blatantly hypocritical method of dealing with the situation, their response is clearly inappropriate. The student was in the process of solving the problem with as little disruption to the school as possible, but some do-gooder felt it necessary to go call the cops. Technically, these people were following “procedure,” but when does following procedure require you to give up the ability to think? There was clearly no danger and, if the school had kept its nose out of it, no one would have even known that it happened. Looked at another way, the gun was simply an illegal immigrant to the school and had been brought to the school without its knowledge or consent. Where is the compassion? Where is the love? All it wanted to do was go home. It didn’t even want amnesty. Maybe this student should have just invoked Obama’s DREAM amnesty, and maybe the school would have been a little more understanding. But this is the problem with gun laws today (and the law in general). Those laws that the enforcers like are enforced ruthlessly and without regard for mitigating circumstances. Those laws that the enforcers don’t like are ignored, circumvented, and forgotten.