On the civil rights front as seen by gun owners, collectors of weapons, and assorted other practical folks, it always seems to be a matter of “win a few, lose a few.” The past few days seem to indicate a “lose a few” sequence.

The Draconian ammunition law in California which we discussed here a few weeks back has, despite a blizzard of mail from honest people all over the country to the Governor’s Office in Sacramento, has been signed into law. Read The Governator’s justification for it HERE.

Elsewhere in the nation, a little six-year-old boy took a camping tool to school with him to eat his lunch. The innocuous device included a fork, a spoon, and – gasp! – a tiny knife blade. Deemed to have violated the Zero Tolerance policy of no “weapons” on school grounds, the tyke was banished to some sort of local “reform school,” though common sense may finally be prevailing. Read about it HERE.

And, finally, a seventeen-year-old Eagle Scout with dreams of West Point was practical enough to have some emergency gear in his car including water, an MRE, blankets, and a two-inch blade folding pocketknife given him by his grandfather, a police chief. All were locked in the vehicle and inaccessible to him while he was in school. He has been suspended for a record period of time over this, with a blot on his record that may profoundly impact his hopes for West Point. Details are HERE.

For God’s sake…

Back in the blissful 1950s, I and most other elementary school boys I knew carried scout knives or pen-knives to school in our pockets daily. I don’t recall any knife fights by the swings or the sandboxes at recess. I remember bringing an unloaded Smith & Wesson K-22 revolver to junior high school as a science class “show and tell” thing, with both the teacher’s and the principle’s permission, in the early 1960s. In high school, many of us boys had rifles and shotguns locked in our cars during hunting season, with ammunition of course, so we could get in a couple of hours of hunting after school. There were no shootings in the parking lots. And that wasn’t in Mayberry, RFD; it was in the state’s capitol city.

Things are going in sad directions…


  1. If California gun owners want rid of that new ammo purchase registration law, they will do what California homeowners fed up with soaring property taxes there did 30 years ago – and fight it by one of that state’s REFERENDUMS, rather than in a lobbyist-infested state-capitol town where the lefty special interests have big clout.
    REFERENDUM leaves the lefty special interests with the much-more-expensive uphill climb of persuading a majority of voters – with the knowledge that almost ever gun owner in the state will oppose them when it comes to a vote.

  2. Heck, at the little school I attended in the 40’s, we just leaned our guns in the corner. Cars, cars? We didn’t have no damn cars. I think there may have been one car and one pickup in the whole community.

  3. In an excellent book : On Combat: The Psychology and Physiology of Deadly Conflict in War and in Peace, Dave Grossman, Loren W. Christensen stated that today children are much more prone to deadly violence then children 10-30 ears ago because of “special training” in violence provided by sick movies and especially by violent computer games. The results had been reflected in news. Now, the simplistic way to deal with this is to arrest all children (which is not realistic approach yet) or to arrest all weapons. So some “activists in panic” are trying to arrest guns and knifes, and that is their pattern of reactive behavior. The alternative is difficult- to figure out how to neutralize violent “special training” mentioned above, how to introduce weapons to young people safely, to make them familiar with weapons without being agitated, to make them ( the whole generation) familiar with real fight as the way to fight the violence. This is a difficult task (nation building!), which needs smart proactive strategy and intense collaboration of many, including policemen, psychologists and politicians.

  4. Living to see these days in this country is making me wonder how we let it get this far when inside I already know. Here’s my summary, and there is no disrespect meant to anyone, only an honest evaluation of our society.

    Guns are bad and so is saving,
    you must keep on working, slaving.
    Keeps you busy so distracted,
    you can’t stop the laws enacted.
    Don’t ask why just go along,
    “THEY” are right YOU must be wrong.
    One Right, Two Rights, Three Rights, Four,
    lose them all and have no more.

    “THEY” know how to control the masses,
    Good little sheep just pay your taxes.
    But you can barely make a dime.
    and this recession gives you time.
    You’re worried and it’s got you thinking,
    Something is wrong, something is stinking.
    You’re starting now to realize
    the wool is coming off your eyes.

    Keep it simple face your problems,
    Uncle Sam can never solve them
    Big government is not the way,
    it can only kill the U. S. A.
    “THEY screwed up, forgot the lessons
    taught long ago, the Great Depression.
    Spending, Printing while you holler,
    “Must you really kill the dollar??”

    It is morals that we really need
    to put a stop to all the greed.
    All is not lost, it’s not too late,
    but YOU must act don’t hesitate!
    The task is hard and yet worthwhile,
    success can only make you smile.
    So now YOU ask “What’s the solution?”

  5. Mas, there’s good news on at least the Zachary case. The school board held a meeting to discuss the issue, to which 150 parents showed up. Seeing which way the wind was blowing, the board held a vote on the issue in advance of opening up the floor for public comment, and voted to shelve “zero tolerance” in this case.

    That said, “zero tolerance” is a plague and a pox on us all. It’s intellectual and moral cowardice. Zero tolerance policies absolve administrators from the responsibility of thinking and making actual intelligent, reasoned decisions, and instead allows them to reflexively throw the baby out with the bathwater, act like little tin Nazis, then point at the zero tolerance policy and say “It wasn’t my fault! The rule book made me do it!” Zero tolerance means zero thought and zero accountability. I remember a case of a child who was suspended from school for bringing lemon drops to school, because her teacher had apparently been raised in a cave and had never seen a lemon drop, and thought it was medicine. Even though the rest of the school staff said “Nonsense, these are lemon drops,” the suspension was upheld ANYWAY.

    It is my considered and honest opinion that any person in any position of public responsibility who implements, puts in place, or executes any “zero tolerance” policy, should be fired on the spot. They’re hired to use their knowledge and judgment for the public good. If all they’re going to do is slavishly follow the letter of regulations, however stupid they may be, well, hell, any eight-year-old can do that … in fact, the eight-year-old may display more common sense. So fire the $120,000-a-year “public servant” and hire an eight-year-old for a hot dog, a soda and a bag of gummi bears a day.

  6. In 1988, when I was in highschool, I brought a rifle to school for a demonstration speech on gun cleaning. I had the teachers and principals permission of course. During deer season, maybe a handful of vehicles didnt have a gun in the gun rack or trunk for hunting. This was teachers and students alike. Times have sure changed.

  7. As perhaps the one guy who writes on here from the far left, that all sounds as ridiculous to me as it does to you. I managed to carry a pocketknife to school without ever stabbing anyone; perhaps those overeager administrators should work on fixing the problems instead of poorly bandaging them later.

  8. It was not that long ago that I myself did the same thing. We carried guns in our cars and everyone carried a knife just like putting on clothes and that was as recent as the late 80’s early 90’s. Instead of restircting everyones rights as a precaution, how about if we LOCK UP or DO AWAY WITH those criminals that would misuse the impliments and tools of everyday usage and then we can get back toward some symbalance of NORMAL in OUR country.

  9. If Gov. Arnold thinks that is justification, then I’m really confused. No undue burden? What about those of us that are required to maintain that data, that’s one heck of a burden.

    I do remember that we were not allowed to keep guns in our cars at school during hunting season. No sir, we were required to bring them in the school and place them in our locker so no one would play with them in the parking lot! No one gave a second thought to the sheath knife on my hip either.

  10. The zero tolerance bull crap rears its ugly head again. Leftist control, evil guns evil knives evil children evil adults evil selfsufficancy. They just have to control it. I gotta go puke.

  11. I attended high school in the 70s, and while I don’t have verified statistics to back it up I would say that the number of boys in our school (of about 1000 students) that carried knives far outnumbered those who didn’t. Some guys carried sheath knives strapped to their legs under their jeans. Most of us just carried a pocket knife. One day in physics class the teacher was setting up an experiment and needed to cut a piece of string. He pointed to a student and told her bring me a pair of scissors from his desk, before she could return 7 of the 8 guys standing around watching had pulled out pocket knives to cut the string.

    One day a friend of mine walked into the main door of the school and straight down the hall to the principals office carrying his 30-06 deer rifle and a box of ammo. He stopped in the prinicpals office and asked if he could leave the gun there. He was going hunting after school, and the rear window had been broken out of his truckand he didn’t want to leave the gun in the unlocked truck. He was worried if he got caught with it in his locker he might get in trouble. It never occured to any of us to worry about a kid walking bold as brass into a school carrying a rifle.

    During a locker sweep over Christmas break one year, looking for drugs, the school confiscated 55 firearms. Most of them rifles. The parents of the offending students were called and told to come to he school after the break and pick up their kids guns. Punishment of the offenders was left up to the parents.

    In the four years I attended that school there was not one single incedence of knife or gun violence commited. Lots of fights, just none of them with guns or knives.

  12. Taught at inner city high schools from 87 to 01. Fair estimate, 1 in 50 was strapped at any given time. I’ve seen brains splattered all over the back of an RTD and gun battles between G-13, L-13’s, TCG’s, Bloods, Crips etc. Great entertainment to have watched Hawthorne PD exchange rounds with Tongan idiots not 100′ from the classroom. Men, I have no problem with everyone carrying. Try and teach a class while observing a kid carrying an AK47 peak into your room.. I said- “hey, guy..you kinda making me nervous, what’s up?” He replied..”looking for a dude was messin with my sister”… All Glory to Christ!

  13. Just to give the ZTers a little heart burn, I’ve carried a pocket knife since I was six, everybody I know did. Never cut any one but me and that sure as hell wasn’t on purpose. Now I’ve almost as many knives as guns- heh heh heh. And arnold is an Idiot closet leftest.

  14. “One day in physics class the teacher was setting up an experiment and needed to cut a piece of string. He pointed to a student and told her bring me a pair of scissors from his desk, before she could return 7 of the 8 guys standing around watching had pulled out pocket knives to cut the string.”

    One day in chem class in my high school, chem teacher TOLD us all to bring a pocketknife to lab next day to cut samples of sodium, potassium, and lithium. It was 1975-76.
    We all brought pocketknives as he told us – and none of us misused them.

  15. I don’t know how many days I had my Springfield Model 15 with me cutting across the woods to school. It got kept in the priciples office just leaning in the corner. Seems I always had a pocket knife with me as well . . . even in school.

    It’s just plain craziness what’s happening with these ‘zero’ tolerance laws.

    btw- 40+ years later I still have and shoot that Springfield

  16. Back in 1957 I used to carry my .22 or my 12 gauge to school on the bus, then lock it into my locker while in class. Our rifle team met in the school firing range right after class on Tuesdays, and the 12 gauge was for the Hunter Safety Training class. I still have the card from that class — actually used it a few years ago as proof of training in order to get my license!

  17. In the late 50s, a friend of my father’s used to bring his .22 rifle to (middle) school with him. He would put it into his locker, just as his friends did. There was a target range in the basement he would use, and he would also hunt squirrels after school.

    This was in Westport, CT.

    That Westport is dead and buried.

  18. Remember the wise words of Sam Clemens; “Common sense ain’t.” As mentioned by several others, zero tolerance takes the decision out of the “decision loop.” But why should this be a surprise, considering that so many teachers and administrators having gotten away from teaching our students how to think, let alone use common sense or be responsible? And I’m saying this as a former educator (the only conservative in a sea of liberals) in the UC system! In overheard conversations of my fellow instructors, I’ve seen from the inside that so many of our educators consciously or unconsciously teach their students that they can’t trust themselves, let alone others, to responsibly handle anything even vaguely resembling a weapon, be it a knife or a firearm. To their way of thinking, all such devices are inherently evil.

    BTY I, too, carried a knife all through grade school, junior high and high school, from 1972 to 1984, and never ONCE took any kind of heat for it. Matter of fact, like a lot of people posting here, I was somewhat popular with some of my teachers BECAUSE I had a pocket knife; I was their “fix it guy” when something small needed fixing and it would have taken too long to call the front office for a fix.

  19. As a history buff, it’s not hard to figure out. Governments are oppressive. Throughout history oppressive governments have disarmed the population. Disarmament is now more critical to the government than at any time in American history. You do what they say, when they say and how they say, or suffer the consequences …….death or imprisionment. They will take you freeeeeeedom, your private posessions, and your life if you resist. Would you rather be free, or a slave to a master. I can tell you what Martin Luther King would say, or Ghandi. Are we sheep, or men. God Bless America, &%$* the government.

  20. Folks, all this insanity is just another sign that we’re living in the last stages of the neo-Roman Empire. Just like the Romans who were stuck in that time and place longed for the “good old days,” we’re left to do the same thing. There’s not a lot of hope of turning the tide, mostly because we’re in terminal decline now because what has propped us up as a functioning entity (massive technological lead, massive economic growth brought on by an abnormally free society (compared to the rest of the world), lots of untapped resources, etc) is going away, not to be replaced or renewed.

    Things will just keep getting worse as Team Obama keeps laboring on under the illusion that government can fix something, when the real fact is that it hinders any kind of initiative from the people to adapt to changing conditions. In addition to wrecking the economy, health care, and everything else that made life nice here, they’ll flail about trying to patch all the social problems (including crime going out of control) that will result from our collapse. Even the illegals have started to go back home to Mexico as they realize this place isn’t going to be worth two cents in a decade or so.

  21. Howdy, as for that knife issue I recall reading about an old lady that was killed , hanged that´s it, when her scarf got caught in an conveyor.There was nobody around her with a knife to cut it out.
    If I remember correctly this incident happened in Boston, Mass. that forcibly restrict the carrying of blades.
    Sad story.
    Regards to all, Raimundo.

  22. Apparently the direction this country is moving is like an iceberg that simply can not be pushed back. It doesn’t matter what we want or how we feel, this kind of legislation will be passed again and again. Our parents weren’t like this. There was no “zero tolerance idiocy”. There were no kids being suspended for giving a friend a midol. There were no police called because some kid drew a picture of a gun. No six year olds were forced to take sexual harassment training because he kissed a girl on the cheek. This is us – the babyboomers – who have given us all of this idiocy. But it’s worse than mere idiocy. It is a corruption of American life.

  23. As a child of the 50’s and the 60’s I’ve been really disappointed at how far we’ve sunk. Last year my son’s Christian (conservative) school senior class had a week’s “retreat” in the woods. Guess what? they were allowed to bring nothing whatever with a sharp edge, even a multitool, which they considered a weapon. And, this is Arizona!
    Anyone that’s interested ought to read G. Gordon Liddy’s book, “When I Was a Kid, This Was a Free Country”. Whether you like Liddy or not, it’s very poignant.

  24. In reference to the People’s Communist Republic of California and their insane and perpetual victim-disarmament crusades…

    If you live in California you deserve what you get!

    In Liberty,
    John and Dagny Galt
    Atlas Shrugged, Owners Manual For The Universe!(tm)


  25. Bob Says:
    …we were not allowed to keep guns in our cars at school during hunting season. No sir, we were required to bring them in the school and place them in our locker so no one would play with them in the parking lot!

    THAT was the beginning of the end.

    Who the he11 do they think they are to ASSume anyone would play with a firearm and therefore ignore the property rights of the owners of the firearms?

    When that rule was implemented the citizenry should have risen up and grabbed the idiots responsible for making the rule to bring the guns into the lockers and issued them a stern thrashing right on the spot then banished them from the community.

    When you allow people to steal a little bit of your natural rights they will soon steal all of them.

    It could be said that if you allow your natural rights to be stolen you didn’t deserve them in the first place.

  26. A pocket knife was a normal part of my everyday wardrobe when I was in elementary school (1970’s). I lived in the inner city and all of the kids carried a pocket knife. There were never any school yard knife fights. My father taught me at an early age that a knife was a tool. I can recall several times having to use my knife to cut the boot leather tough Salisbury steak that the school served in the cafeteria. No one screamed in panic. The times sure have changed.

  27. “If you live in California you deserve what you get!”

    Wow…that was really uncalled for (kind of like saying, with regards to Obama, “If you live in America, you deserve what you get.”). Which California are you speaking of, exactly? Because if you live here (as I do), then you know that California is not one huge, homogeneous, blue state. Roughly two-thirds of all Californians live in just three, typically liberal, metro areas: greater Los Angeles, the San Francisco Bay Area, and San Diego. The remaining ten million of us are scattered over a vast, very rural, and mostly conservative landscape. Most of us are appalled at Schwarzenegger’s recent actions, and not just because we value our gun rights. Considering California’s precarious financial situation, I suppose Schwarzenegger and his quack advisors thought long and hard about the potential financial effects of the handgun ammo restrictions (ha ha …not!). How much of California’s handgun ammo purchases will now be made out of state?

  28. Everyone likes to boil things down to left vs right, liberal vs. conservative. I am getting tired of this simplistic baloney, because it masks what is really going on.
    Zero tolerance was invented by cowards who were afraid of being billed as “soft” on “asocial” behavior.
    Firearm bans grew up with the violence spurred by prohibition. When it became illegal to brew, the prices went through the roof. Organized crime moved in, with all the murders, turf wars, and speakeasies. The Federal Government created its own police agency, an act which in itself is of dubious constitutional authority. Why did all this happen? Because booze became illegal.
    Today you have your stupid punks blaring their hate “music”, shirking and jerking, fighting their own version of turf wars, murderous, violent, and proud of it. Why does this happen? Drugs.
    The desperate types who stupidly believe that making something illegal bans it from reality are not leftist or rightist. They are taking the power of decision from the people, and arrogantly assuming that they know best, which they rarely do.
    What this means is that better ways of solving these problems will never come to light, because some moronic paper pusher wants to “get tough” on _____ fill in the blank.
    There is also a more sinister, more decadent motive to the use of bans. It is about subverting the democratic process. Zero tolerance removes the need for administration to actually do their job. With the zero in place, they are able to abdicate responsibility. Same for all the gun and ammo bans. It is no longer necessary for justice to be wrung out for each person. Now the politician, government employee, judge, jury need only know that the ban is in place.
    We have reached the point of absurdity in both zero tolerance, and in bans. Both are symptoms of the harm being done to our country, and our values.
    I will tell you what the ban will mean to armed gangster violence in California-nothing. I will tell you what it will mean to people who strain every day under the weight of ever more stupid laws-misery.

  29. Mas,

    If this is what the Progressives mean by common-sense gun laws. I think we may all find ourselves on the 3% bandwagon.

    Frankly, I am contemplating founding a new organization. “Eagle Scouts for Common Sense in Public Schools regarding pocket knives” Just have to trim the name down a bit into something catchier.

  30. Since this thread has taken a walk down memory lane, here is my two cents worth.

    I grew up in an outer borough of NYC (same one as Yankee Stadium). For those of you that don’t know, NYC is composed of five boroughs or counties within the border of the city. Went to high school in the late 1960’s. Not everything in the past was fun. Typical crowded urban school with a population of over 4000 students. Black panthers (not the furry creatures), assorted gangs, drug dealers, young hippies, 21 yr old draft dodgers having repeated senior year 3 times, and certainly lots of good kids also.

    The drug trade was so rampant the NYC Tactical Patrol Force (the TPF was the precursor to SWAT or today’s Emergency Services Unit) would carry out raids in our cafeteria during lunch. Guys cutting up keys of marijuana on the tables in the open. Snorting drugs in the class. Guys were found shot to death outside the school. Anti war riots of a couple of thousand were organized around the recruiter van a block away.

    Some of my friends carried pistols to school. Almost everyone carried a weapon of some kind or other. I carried a knife in my pocket or a steel pipe in my school bag. I carried these for protection from my fellow students.

    Later I went to college in Harlem. I carried weapons but now for protection from the shady characters of the community. It was not uncommon to have wolf packs invade a lecture hall or mug students on the way to the subway.

    In college I was on the rifle team. Yes NYC area colleges then (early 1970’s) had rifle ranges. Columbia, NY Maritime college, Brooklyn College, Seton Hall, US Merchant Marine Academy, St. Johns (go redmen !). There were 12 schools in our league. I forget if West Point was in the league, but we shot there often. Most had ranges. St. Johns built a state of the art range in their athletic building.

    All that went away by 1980. There was a sea change. It was now not politically correct to be spending dollars on evil guns. All the ROTC programs closed. Only the uniformed academies continued with their programs but no organized collegiate league. I took a summer graduate course at St. Johns some years later and visited their range. Plywood nailed over the hallway glass viewing area covered the 30 point range. A padlock on the door.

    Times have changed. In my eyes not for the better. The fact that there are books in the stores that teach kids how to play Mumblety-peg, whittle or build the dreaded CARPET GUN, just shows how much has been lost.

  31. If you folks don’t like the idiocy in the government schools, the answer is clear: take responsibility for the children you bring into this world, and get them out of those schools. Stop sucking at the government teat.

    Boy, am I tired of “conservatives” who say, “it’s not socialism when we do it.”

    It’s time to get over the “good old days” when you were allowed to carry a pocketknife in your local government indoctrination center. Schools are doing exactly what they were designed to do: turn people into sheep.

  32. Here’s an idea; we all pool our money, buy some island way out in the middle of the ocean, form our own nation, with politics based solely on the social contract (I agree not to harm you if you agree not to harm me, and so forth), common sense rules, the only real written law being a prohibition of lawyers (all disputes resolved by arbitration through a popularly chosen, odd numbered group), you can carry whatever form of personal arms you care to and can afford, punishment for crimes amounts to being put in a small, leaky boat sanse sails, oars or engine, and released to a local strong current, and so forth and so on. Direct and simple. The only way in or out is by fishing boat, our “country” being small enough to severely limit population simply by the smallness of the island. We’d have an absolute minimum of international agreements to keep our foreign entanglements low, and what legalisms we’d have would be based solely on the Federalist Papers, Anti-Federalist Papers, the Constitution as originally intended, and the Bill of Rights.

    Im thinking about something out in the middle of the Indian Ocean, so far away from any other country that we could live our lives “under the radar” of everyone else.

    Any takers?