Further Adventures in Zero Tolerance


In Philadelphia, a seven-year-old faces criminal charges for bringing a Nerf-like gun to school.

And in Virginia, a 14-year-old has been suspended and charged with assault for using a small tube to blow bits of plastic at his classmates.

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  1. That’ll learn em.

  2. spitball guns are a right of passage. Will they ban passing messages next? Paper cuts are dangerous too.

    1. “Passing messages”? “Paper cuts”?

      WTF are you talking about?

    2. The new right of passage will getting raped in Juvie.

      For the safety of the children.

      1. Close, but no cigar. The rite is the raping, not the being-raped.

        1. [insert Steve Smith rape joke post]



  3. A straw and spitwads are now a”weapon”?

    I blame DARPA.

    1. I blame MacGyver

  4. Is that a gun in your pocket, or do I have to file sexual assault charges, too?

    1. I still remember (and long for) those long lost days of raging hormones and the embarrassment of spontaneous, uncontrollable erections. And those days of struggling to piss every morning without hitting the ceiling. As 15 year old boys society shamed us for our randiness. It fact it was our greatest glory and we should have been allowed to revel in it.

  5. Damn. When i was in junior high, I used to bring in small oranges–when they are still green and about the size of a golf ball–and use them to give some heft to paper wads. I would probably be executed for this today.

  6. Apparently, I never would have made it thru school now.

    Pencils in ceiling tiles, M&M bombardment, pocket knife (the occasional Rambo style buck knife), general 80’s Red Dawn attitude and paraphernalia (at least until I discovered Miami Vice fashion)

    1. Chalk-loaded-eraser bombs, cracker-crumb-releasing projectiles, deodorant-can attacks, …. The list goes on and on.

      1. What do they do to kids who have pencil wars?


      2. I suppose a paper football is considered a dangerous projectile as well

        1. Cmon, this is America, anything sports-related gets a pass.

          1. Coin soccer does not get a pass.

            1. I said SPORTS, not namby-pamby-girly-games.

              1. Peanut hockey in the lunch room got us in trouble 21 years ago. 2 years prior to that I got no penalty for having a pocket knife in school, so I consider 1990 to be the beginning of the end.

        2. Corduroy is hitting ALL the good stuff FTW! Paper football = so stupid…but SO fun!

    2. Awesome – yoiu ever do the M80’s in the toilet? That was always a once-a-year rite at my school.

      1. Never braved the M-80 shenanigans. A smoke bomb in the restroom wasn’t out of the question though.

  7. Crap. Next they’ll be banning gris-gris.

  8. The Zero Tolerance rule is the dumbist thing ever to happen to education. All it does is give idotic school officals cover for their stupidity.

    1. I can think of something dumbister.

      1. Don’t even think of bringing a weapon to school.

        Seriously, don’t even think it.

        1. I’m thinking about it right now. What are you going to do?

          1. Have security shoot you dead!

    2. It is to same people who are incapable of making judgment calls from making judgment calls.

      1. And it is also an idiotic response to the idiotic argument that making case-by-case decisions is to open one’s self to claims of “discrimination.” Under this “logic”, if everyone is treated exactly the same, no one receives “favored” treatment.

        1. Discrimination is nothing but a fancy word for choice.

          So yes. The purpose of ‘zero tolerance’ is to eliminate any need to make choices.

          When government makes all of our choices for us, then we can be truly free.

          For freedom means being free from choice, free from responsibility, and free from consequence, as long as you obey.

          Freedom is slavery.

          1. Yep. It seems to me that it should be ironic that this appears mostly in schools, of all places….but instead I totally expect it. Sad, I suppose…

          2. “Discrimination is nothing but a fancy word for choice.

            So yes. The purpose of ‘zero tolerance’ is to eliminate any need to make choices.

            When government makes all of our choices for us, then we can be truly free.”

            Actually, this is more of a case of government refusing to make choices for itself. It’s sort of the extreme opposite of bureaucrats exercising legislative authority — if only the FCC, EPA, TSA, etc. got that memo.

  9. Ah the good old US of A.
    Land of the free and home of the brave my ass.
    Nowadays it’s more like land of the fucking morons and home of the mewling cowards.

  10. “You’ll shoot yer eye out, Kid.”

  11. Hammonton Police began an investigation into the “suspicious activity” at the Hammonton Early Childhood Education Center Jan. 18 after school officials alerted them to the incident.




    How do you even respond?

    1. 5 fingers and a palm, vigorously and repeatedly applied the facial regions.

      1. (facepalm or bitchslap? you decide.)

  12. Oh, it`s all so crazy. People are so simle-minded. It`s no wonder so many are attracted to goofy political cults…oops.

    1. I don’t even know who are you anymore

      No Liberturd. No Ron Pual.
      No Cocksucking.


    2. The Rothbardians or the Spoonerarians?

    3. I take it you support this kind of zero-tolerance bullshit, Max?

  13. Deseire Gherard, a parent of one of the students at the school, agrees with the policy.

    “I’d rather it be dealt with more severely than not,” said Gherard. “I would rather them go a little bit too far for the safety of all the children then to say ‘okay, it was probably nothing.'”

    I definitely want to stab this woman in the eye with my mechanical pencil.

    1. The follow-up where her precious snowflake blows her brains out with a shotgun while she sleeps is going to be priceless.

      1. The more likely end product will be grown up people running around afraid of imaginary demons capable of raining punishment on their heads for random reasons. Imaginary, not real items of concern, present in the actual world.

        Skittish, fearful sheeple are so much easier to herd, as they do it themselves.

        1. Aren’t there already buildings full of such people every Sunday???

        2. They are already here. They work at the EPA, CPSC, FCC and FDC.

      2. Libertarians love their violence fantasies. Is it the gaming culture or early parental neglect?

        1. They do it sometimes. But not as much as repressed lefties do. There seems to be a direct correlation between being a lefty douche beta male and having violent fantasies.

          1. It’s the result of being excluded from the the cool-kids lunch table, ignored by the cheerleaders, and forced to retreat to the highest point of the monkey bars to escape the jocks. Not even the druggies wanted to be associated with them. All this gets the wheels turning inside their devious little minds – about the quest for power, taking revenge on those who rejected and humilated them, forcing society to bend to their insecurities, to be included, because they didn’t have the courage to just be themselves and be satisfied with that.

            Sounds like every tyrant, petty or grand, that has ever drawn breath on the earth.

          2. There was a lefty douche hipster comedian on Conan last night who fits John’s comments to a T. JFC, I couldn’t stand watching the little bastard. If you value your blood pressure, don’t watch Jamie Kilstein.

            1. Saw that too. Just another lefty who hasn’t figured out that Bush=Obama. He started by saying Obama doesn’t torture. Exactly what policy did Obama change to prevent that?

        2. Hey, maybe, but the rest of you guys love your actual, real world violence – and this is the real reason why libertarianism seems ineffectual in the world, because only non-libertarians (all of them)are willing to enforce their agenda on others through violence. The non-aggression principle on which libertarianism is based puts us at a huge disadvantage relative to all the rest, in as much as we are not willing kill others to further our agenda. All we have on our side is human decency and the truth.

          1. I was talking about violence fantasies, not real violence. This place is rife with that kind of stuff. The insults, the obscenities, the lurid rhetoric…is it a kind of catharsis, or just arrested development?

        3. It’s the Y chromosome.

    2. God fucking damn. It’s a fucking toy designed to be safe for kids to shoot each other with. There is no safety issue anywhere nearby.

    3. Ya know, even the commenters on the article at the local news station’s site think the punishment is ridiculous and excessive. I just wonder how many parents the station had to interview before they found this nanny state mommy douche who agrees with the punishment.

  14. The federal Gun-Free Schools Act mandates that schools expel students who take weapons, including hand guns, explosive devices and projectile weapons, to school. E-mail traffic among school officials showed they ruled that Mikel’s plastic tube, which was fashioned from a pen casing, met the definition of a projectile weapon because it was “used to intimidate, threaten or harm others.”

    We basically have federally mandated stupidity.

    We’re Doomed!!! Doomed!!

    1. This is nothing new. When I was in school decades ago, such an act would result in a trip to the principle’s office, and suspension for repeat offenders. Nobody tolerated it. Back then we called it “punishment.”

      1. When I was in school, the teacher would either take it away from the kid or force the kid to walk up to the front of the room and throw it in the trash can in front of everyone, then go sit back in his seat. Maybe – mabye – you might get detention.

        But expel the kid because it’s a “weapon”? Absurd.

      2. This is nothing new. When I was in school decades ago, such an act would result in a trip to the principle’s office, and suspension for repeat offenders. Nobody tolerated it. Back then we called it “punishment.”

        Yeah, but no one would refer the matter to the police.

        1. I saw plenty of kids referred to the cops. They deserved it.

          1. you are an asshole

    2. I wonder how long until they decide that a child’s arm (plus a chalk eraser, book, etc.) is a “projectile weapon” since it’s so finely evolved for throwing things. Over-under on this is 6 years.

      1. I’ll take the under.

        1. Me too.

  15. What Balko missed is that the Virginia officials thought they were compelled to follow the zero-intelligence policy based on a Federal Law banning guns in schools (that I thought was struck down by the Supreme court, but maybe only part of it was). Apparently the law defines “gun” to include any device that can be used to propel a projectile, and the barrel of a pen counts if you blow a spitball through it. Makes you want to break into the chemistry lab, and chuck a chunk of sodium into the staff toilet since that is not covered.

    1. “the law defines “gun” to include any device that can be used to propel a projectile”

      So, penises are also outlawed?

      1. No, but balls are definitely prohibited.

      2. Only if you have kidney stones.

      3. Back in elementary school we figured out that if you took a length of surgical tubing, tied a knot in one end, fastened the tip of a pen to the other end, then jammed it into the water fountain, that the tubing would fill up with water and then release it with enough pressure to send a stream a good ten feet away.

        Would a water weenie be considered a “gun”?

      4. So pens and rulers are now guns and can’t be brought to school?

        I remember when the parts that made a click pen work could be rearranged to cause the spring to eject the plastic piece that originally covered the top of the ink tube. Pressed against someone’s neck, it hurt like hell. I hope the statute of limitations has passed for my felonies committed with this pen, I mean gun.

    2. Now we’re talking! Sodium blast balls are great for dynamite fishing when TNT just ain’t readily available.

      1. And with the lye they produce, instant lutefisk!

  16. Shit, I would have been in Rahway State Prison.

    Rubber bands shooting bent paper clips and highly-sharpened pencils into the ceiling tiles.

    We also used to shoot the paper clips at each other – and those things HURT.

    We also would fold a sheet of notebook paper several times, into a tight, dense square, and shoot that with a rubber band – they hurt pretty good too.

    And we used to make what we called “zip guns” out of ball point pen refill tubes. Tear the ballpoint tip off and you’ve got a very small metal tube. Cut a piece of coat hanger wire and bend it into an “L” with the long leg of the “L” just a bit longer than your pen refill tube. Make a very small wad of paper and push it down the tube to force the ink out. You have to do that several times to get the tube clean inside. Once it’s clean, you’re ready to go. Put one small spitwad in one end and tuck it in maybe 1/2″. Then put another one in the other end and tuck it in about 1/2″. Use the coathanger wire as a rammer and push it rapidly in – the compressed air between the two spitwads will shoot the one out the other end with a nice little “snap” sound and it will go all the way across the classroom. Do it right and the teacher will never know where it came from. A tiny spitwad will just magically appear.

    And pocketknives? Oh yeah – we always were comparing Swiss Army knives – who had the biggest one with the most stuff on it. I always had a pocket knife.

    The grand wussification of American continues.

    1. …rubbing oencil erasers on the backs of our hands till someone cried uncle (“Man or Mouse” game). Some people STILL have scars from that.

      Stupid kids…

      1. …then there was old, crazy Ricky, who built a gun from mild-steel tube and a brass fitting in shop class. If fired one shot with a rubber-band hammer.

        Fucking thing worked. Ricky was a mechanical genius. A little scary, but a mechanical genius.

        1. A kid I knew did that but with a spring instead of a rubber band.

          His had a pierce of rod bored out with a 1/4″ drill. Ramset cartridges (basically 22 blanks) worked great but the first time he tried it with an actuall 22lr round the spring was too weak. It had enough force to fire the thing but the spring was too weak to resist the recoil and the hammer came back and cut his thumb open.

          Damn that scared us. There was so much blood that for a while we thought he’d blown his thumb off.

          Good times.

        2. My friend made something like this in metal shop that fired 12 gauge shotgun shells. At least we were smart enough to duct tape it to a large tree that we hid behind to fire it.

          1. In Highschool, we stuffed silver dust (I think) and whatever else it takes to make black powder into a metal 35mm film canister. We used a sparkler for a fuse. We then took it to a loser kid’s house and lit the sparkler. Man…when that thing blew up we were completely amazed at the volume of the explosion.

            1. Damn expensive “black powder” if you made it with silver dust — unless you meant the brand of soap powder. Not that soap powder would be any better.

              I’m guessing you used a silvery metal powder, probably aluminum, to make flash powder rather than black. It’s possible, though, that you made black powder with a flash booster of powdered metal to make the explosion brighter.

      2. I think mine faded but I did that and had a scar for at least 20 years

        1. I’m glad you guys mentioned that – I thought I was the only one. I have a scar on the back of my left hand from 1973. There was zero chance that I would admit to any weakness. Guy damn near rubbed to the bone…. They quit before I did though – the blood grossed them out. Damn, kids are dumb. The current story proves that grownups are even dumber.

    2. I just remembered another nasty device we used to make. Remember those old wooden rules with the metal strip along the edge? Pull that metal strip out of the groove. If you rubbed the end on the concrete, you could get a decent point on it. Then bend the strip in a certain way (I doubt I could remember now), and you can make a spring-loaded “stinger.” When you push it against an object, it would spring and poke that point out. We also made smaller, and even more stinging, versions of the device using bobby pins. You’d sneak up behind your buddy and push one into his arm or back and it would be like getting stung by a hornet. Those things not only hurt like a bitch, we commonly drew blood on each other. And we would all laugh like mad and show off the bloody scabs on our arms – “Yeah, this is where Dave got me last week.”

      1. Also, sheet-metal clamps from shop class? They stuck to people’s chests really well – left a HUGE bruise for about a week. Hurt like a motherfucker…

      2. Thanks for resurrecting some excellent memories, BSP! I forgot how much fun we had trouble we caused growing up…

      3. >>”I just remembered another nasty device we used to make.”

        Our best were hand grenades made from those little barrel-shaped mustard squeezer containers. Pack it full dirt mixed with plenty of broken glass, BBs, nails – and a cherry bomb in the middle with the fuse through a hole in the side. Took them to to the park and tossed them in the bushes (never, of course, looking to see if there was anyone in there). Result: leafless bushes.

        I’ll bet these pussies these days would ban those at school, too.

        1. Not that I would ever have done this or anything, but I’ve been told, or maybe I heard this somewhere, that if you take a spent CO2 cartridge, say from an old-fashioned whipped cream dispenser, or maybe, let’s say, your friend’s BB gun, and pry out the little cap, and then fill it with gunpowder – for example, let’s say gunpowder that you removed from some 12-guage shotgun shells that you found in your buddy’s dad’s closet – and then you put a fuse in the end and seal it with some melted wax….

          You can pretty well completely remove the standard metal mailbox from a post, leaving just the flat metal base and some shredded sheet metal.

          I mean, that’s what I think I read somewhere once, a long time ago.

          1. Yeah, I know what ya mean. I heard somewhere that you can also make a really cool bomb out of a pint size cottage cheese container, full of course, with a cherry bomb in the center and a duct tape wrap. Sometime in the distant past I was told that they can be used on the porch or car of someone you *really* don’t like.

            1. Say, just out of curiosity, what would the statute of limitations be on something like that?

              1. We used to use a piece of copper pipe for those great little (completely unpredictable) projectiles… also we would just go down to a local gun shop to buy gun powder. It warms my heart to remember the days when a group of 12 year olds could rummage through their pockets at a gun shop to see if we had enough $ for a bigger can. Good times, and the local pharmacy carried salt petre, sulpher, and charcoal… one stop shopping

        2. Decades ago in a soap & detergent industry trade journal — because, you see, it dealt with a product of their trade — was a description of a Bab-O bomb as a cherry bomb inside a can of Bab-O. It was said to turn any room into an unspeakable mess.

    3. we used to make “spoke guns”. You take a spoke off a bicycle wheel. Scrape the heads off several matches and stuff the flammable part down into the tube of the spoke, then jam a thumb tack into the loaded spoke. Hold a lit match flame on the loaded barrel until the flammable material explodes sending the thumbtack off at a very rapid velocity. This would jam a thumb tack a 1/4 inch deep into plywood.

  17. PS Everyone – I’m starting a lawn darts company – we’re bringing back the “Jarts?” brand.

    They’re going to be lethal. I’m going to end up in jail, but I’m doing it for the kids.

    After that’s going, I’m going to produce realistic cap guns that you can’t tell from the real thing, and kid’s swords made of steel that are JUST this side of able-to-lop-your-arm off.

    You’re welcome…

    1. You are a patriot, sir. Almanian for President!

      1. A metal-bladed house fan in every house, and two dirt bikes (two-strokes, with lead wheel weights) in every garage!!

  18. Shit. I wouldn’t have made it through school today. And I was a good kid (more or less, I didn’t deliberately cause trouble). But I can think of a whole list of things that I did daily that would probably get you expelled now.

    1. In elementary school I mostly honed my capitalists skills. I made some of the above items and sold them for , GASP!, a profit. I even had an employee at one point (the kid made the things, I sold them and took most of the money). In HS I just shot roman candles and bottle rockets at my friends faces…got my favorit Def Leppard shirt burned that way.

  19. For Christmas, my nephew got a new Airsoft gun, apparently from the Airsoft “heavy metal” series, or something?

    I could not believe it – the thing looks and feels EXACTLY like a real AK-47 – steel barrel, wooden stock, the whole works. The only exception being the bright orange plastic tip. And it’s full auto – it will lay down a hail of Airsoft pellets – and those things sting like crazy, even 50 or 100 feet away, or maybe even more.

    But seriously, I could not believe how real this thing looked and felt. I told him do NOT, under any circumstances, EVER take that orange tip off, and do NOT use it anywhere other than his backyard, or friends’ yards, where the parents allowed it.

    This was in NJ, so I know that there are plenty of moms who would have an aneurism if they saw a teenage boy running around the neighborhood with that thing. I’m concerned that some stupid cop driving past while the boys are out in the field shooting their Airsofts at each other will jump out of his car and start shooting at them.

    1. I remember being approached by a cop for playing with toy guns on the playground. This would have been late 80’s, maybe early 90’s. He basically just walked up, made sure they were just toys, and left. I bet the response would be quite different today.

      1. Yeah, we didn’t have airsoft when I was a kid. We played the same game with Daisy spring-loaded BB guns. Nobody ever lost an eye.. . not sure how.

        Then some of the kids got crossman pump-action air rifles. We learned pretty quick not to let them use those for the game. The “just one pump” rule is way too hard to enforce. And prying a BB out of your leg isn’t all that fun.

        But nobody went to jail. We just got our motorcycle helmets with face shields and went back to playing. Criminal charges over Nerf and spitballs? Wow.

  20. “I have a gub.”

    1. “…and I’ll use it.”

  21. And don’t get me started on the lethal shit we developed in college – the “Gam-zooka” for shooting ordnance at the frat house next to ours, the house-sized slingshot that could put a water balloon (or firebomb, molotov cocktail, etc) about two blocks down the street, etc. etc.

    Good times, good times…

    1. Oh yeah!! Which reminds me of the tennis ball cannons we used to make out of juice cans duct-taped together. About 2-3 feet long, small hole one the side near the bottom. You’d cut the ends off the juice cans, but leave a little on the bottom one to have a combustion chamber. Shove the tennis ball or racquet ball down the muzzle, squirt a dose of lighter fluid in the hole at the base, stick a lit match in there and FOOM! We would launch balls the length of the school football field (we did this after school hours, not while school was in session).

      1. Sounds like a potato gun.

        1. Yeah, we used to make our tennis ball cannons out of coke cans (back when they were real cans with pull-off rings). Holy crap, was that “FOOOM!” sound satisfying.

          And whatever you do, don’t accidentally soak the ball with lighter fluid. And definitely don’t do that near dusk…. Flaming balls o’ death are pretty irresistible to a bunch of elementary school kids. Wow, my parents were a lot more tolerant than I gave them credit for.

        2. Oh how I miss my spud gun! Ahh, memories…

      2. God, I forgot about those – yes, we did those, too.

        How did you survive to adulthood with all your delinquent and dangerous behavior, Barely?

        1. I sometimes wonder.

    2. COLLEGE…I forgot about college…crap (must have been the alcohol). We did some really stupid shit in the fraternity. One time we stole and SAE lion (thincrete and not bolted down) and as we were running (down the middle of the street) it slipped and shattered. They bought another, we tried to steal it, we find it bolted this time, we back a truck up to it with a chain, hit drive, Lion (not well secured to chain) goes flying across quad…does that count as projectile?

  22. Is lighting farts verboten now?

    1. Cutting them is if you’re in Malawi.

  23. It’s good to know our schools are teaching reasoning skills and critical thinking; I was afraid the world might overtake us.

  24. If we’re going to have this kind of idiocy, why should schools bother paying principals? It’d be a lot cheaper just to have a laptop computer in each school. Type in the action and it tells you the punishment.

    Meanwhile, the fact that I’m somehow going to have to come up with the $15k+ per year to send my daughter to private school is becoming clearer and clearer.

  25. I have it on good authority that White Rain brand hairspray is a superior propellant for potato guns.

    1. Also makes an excellent flamethrower. If you “needed” something like that…

      Speaking of which, shop class, oxy-acetylene torches, bunch of JD’s – what POSSIBLY could go wrong?

    2. Aqua Net was our preferred choice

      1. For “special effects” you can try WD-40. Makes spectacular fireball with lots of red flame and black soot.

      2. Starting fluid…

    3. We always used White Rain. Why didn’t we ever think of the WD-40? Wish I’d have tried that.

  26. As a chemistry nerd, I released butyric acid into my high school. Whole place smelled intensely like vomit for at least a week. Fun times. I was a legend.

    Also made a smoke bomb with potassium nitrate and sugar. Couldn’t see my hand in front of my face.

    Often made hydrogen gas by dropping bits of aluminum foil into concentrated lye solution and collecting the bubbles. Makes a lovely WHOOOOOSH sound and a cool flash when ignited.

    Never could get my hands on metallic sodium or potassium, but if I had, I’d have exploded a toilet or three.

    Almost forgot the methylene blue in Coke. Blue pee is startling if you don’t know where it comes from!

    Today they’d send a kid who did things like that to Gitmo for life.

    1. I forgot about methylene blue, that was a favorite at summer camp. Never failed to amuse as we would tell some kid that it was a symptom of Herpes simplex 24 that could only be caught from using the latrine.

      1. What ever happened to the classic KMnO4 in the shower head?

  27. Everything we did in school paled in comparison to the havoc we created in Boy Scouts.

    Homemade napalm, white gas fuel bombs, hatchet throwing contests (with injuries), WD40 flamethrower chicken (with injuries), bonfire jumping contests (with injuries), hotwiring the camp ranger’s jeep for jollies

    The fun part was getting badges for emergency first aid after doing some really stupid stuff.

    1. …hatchet throwing contests (with injuries), WD40 flamethrower chicken (with injuries), bonfire jumping contests (with injuries),…

      I must say that it is somewhat remarkable that I got through childhood and adolescence with as few injuries as I did.

  28. For Christmas, not only did my nephew get his Airsoft gun, but my 12 year-old daughter got a Nerf N-Strike Alpha Trooper CS-18 blaster. It’s pretty cool, actually. The funny thing is, my wife also bought ME one, knowing that I would be jealous and that my daughter would need someone to play with. My wife is very thoughtful and also a very smart lady.

    My daughter and I have ended up chasing each other up and down the hallway, blasting each other with the nerf darts, on more than one occasion. Yeah, I guess I’m setting a really bad example. I know it will be my fault when she finally climbs the tower with the .308.

  29. True story

    I was on a work visit to the UK about 2001 or so. Went to Warwick Castle. On the open grounds they staged knight duels by paid actors. But they also had a part where they took volunteer kids from the audience, dressed them up in armor, gave them blunt weapons, and then proceeded to let them beat the holy hell out of each other. I couldn’t believe it, all I could think was “There’s no way they could get away with this in the US.”

    1. Have you ever been to a Renaissance fair?

      1. Never was into the Renaissance Fair stuff

        1. I had a girlfriend who was, and they had actors all dressed in armor beating each other up. I marveled at how loud it was. They even jousted, or at least attempted to since their horsemanship was pathetic.

          This was a relatively small event, so it wouldn’t surprise me if what you described might happen at larger events.

          1. No liability insurance for thee!

            1. I’m sure they’d have to sign a waiver.

  30. Dr. Dan Blachford, the Hammonton Board of Education superintendent, said the school has a zero tolerance policy.

    “We are just very vigilant and we feel that if we draw a very strict line then we have much less worry about someone bringing in something dangerous,” said Blachford.

    You know, someone really needs to clue in the superintendent about the origin of the word “draconian” and Draco’s thoughts on the death penalty and how punishments should scale. Not that it would probably make any impression on someone thick enough to think that a kid considering bringing in a real weapon will be discouraged by the charging of a kid who brought a Nerf gun…

  31. I’ve often wondered where I put my copy of the anarchist’s cookbook I bought in the 80’s. I suppose buying it now would put me on some sort of watchlist.

    1. Who says we haven’t?

  32. Oh, and phenolphthalein in people’s food.

    A serious laxative.

  33. And in Virginia, a 14-year-old has been suspended and charged with assault for using a small tube to blow bits of plastic at his classmates.

    The kid needed detention, for sure, and maybe suspension (I do not know his disciplinary record so I can not credibly write that suspension would be out of the question).

    But criminal charges. Why would the D.A. or equivalent file criminal charges?

    In Philadelphia, a seven-year-old faces criminal charges for bringing a Nerf-like gun to school.

    This is even more retarded. The worst the kid should have had is a time out. Why is the criminal justice system involved at all?

    1. This is even more retarded.

      No shit. The seven year old should have been terminated on SIGHT. What were they THINKING?

  34. Never made homemade explosives during my school years, but during slow nights in the ER we experimented with various types of flammable materials, e.g.; igniting exam gloves filled with a little isopropyl alcohol and inflated with 100% oxygen (not explosive but makes a nice fireball), or lighting acetone as you squirt it out of a syringe (nice stream of fire, but we found out later it creates a toxic gas — good thing we did all this outside.)

    Our favorite was to take an empty 4oz bottle of hand-disinfectant (the kind that have a screw-on flip-top lid that has a little squirt hole in it.) Fill it about half-way with liquid N, then fill it the rest of the way with lukewarm water (it’ll start “boiling” right away.) Carefully screw on the top (with the flip-top open to allow the pressure to escape), then when the top is on all the way, flip the top closed and throw (you get about two to three seconds before it blows — less if the water was too hot.) It doesn’t have much destructive power, but the noise has to be heard to be believed. It’s like M-80 loud. Used it a few times to wake up our Medical Officer of the Day.

  35. You should all be ashamed of yourselves! Buncha JD’s.

    I did *hear* that 3 lbs of black powder set with a candle-fuse (for plausible deniability purposes), and surrounded by old partially-filled paint cans in an old abandoned building would provide a lot of noise, an instant “paint job”, and head-scratching among the local gendarmes…

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