Punishing kids for finger guns has nothing to do with school
safety; they know the difference between a finger and a gun as well as
adults do. It has everything to do with "moral disarmament."
I'm not sure about the deliberate part. If I was reaching for an explanation, I would look more to the gender gap in the teaching profession -- teachers are predominantly women -- combined with almost two decades of horror about school shootings. It's easy for someone who spends their days working with children to indulge in magical thinking and try to prevent a school shooting by banning the symbol of shooting and hoping that has an influence on the young minds in her care.
Anyone who looks at it rationally can see that it's nonsense. Millions of Americans played cops and robbers or cowboys and indians as kids, and are none the worse for it today. If "shooting" people with your hand doesn't cause actual school shootings, preventing children from playing childhood games won't prevent school shootings either.
You get back into a gray area when you are talking about a high school in a high-crime area, where such a childish finger-gesture could be meant to convey a very real threat. Any teacher worth their salt could tell the difference between the two, though; it's the desire to avoid liability by avoiding that sort of decision making that drives zero-tolerance policies.
Once you have a zero-tolerance policy in a high school dealing with a gang crime problem, well, it's easy to trickle that policy down to kindergarten. It doesn't make any sense, but someone would have to think about it to stop it.
All that said, the effects of such repression of childhood warrior-play are undesirable. Gun owners understand that violence is not inherently evil; violence is a means to an end. That end can be taking someone's property or their life; it can also be protecting your own life and property. If we allow our children to be taught in school that violence is never acceptable, they will be left at the mercy of those are all too willing to commit violence.
This entry was published Tue Jan 29 02:57:59 CST 2013 by TriggerFinger
and last updated 2013-01-29 02:57:59.0.