Zero Tolerance

Kid With Laser Pointer Suspended Under Weapons Policy, Because Lasers = Guns


U.S. Navy

Reason readers know that students can get in trouble for bringing guns to school (even accidentally). They can also get in trouble for writing clearly fictional stories that mention guns. They can also get in trouble for folding paper airplanes and chewing Pop-Tarts in such a way that the airplanes or delicious pastries resemble a gun. "Lookalike" weapons are banned along with actual weapons in most school districts.

Laser pointers also count as "lookalike" weapons, according to a Westville, Indiana, school that suspended a 13-year-old boy for allegedly waving one in the school parking lot. According to The NWI Times:

As it turned out, the 13-year-old boy was in possession of a laser pointer, which police view as dangerous even if it's not shaped like a firearm.

"They are very dangerous in and of themselves, but anytime you have anything that looks like a firearm it's obviously a danger and would be considered a credible threat,"  said LaPorte County police Capt. Mike Kellems.

Very dangerous? Really? As far as I can tell, no one has ever been killed by a laser. They might be annoying, and you're not supposed to aim them at planes, but there's no way they are "obviously" dangerous or a "credible threat."

The way the kid was caught is also telling. According the news story, no one actually saw him with what was definitely a laser. Rather, a nosy parent saw him holding "something she believed was a gun." She went to the authorities—of course—and police searched the kid's locker, finding nothing. Then the cops asked the boy's mother, and she offered his laser pointer as a possible explanation. The naive mother probably thought that would get him off the hook.

The police didn't charge the kid with a crime, though he was suspended for a full week. As far as "lookalike weapon" incidents go, that's actually a fairly light punishment.

NEXT: Texas Wants to Execute Man Who Killed Home Intruder Who Turned Out to Be SWAT Member

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    /Pants crapping cop

    1. And the kid could have been a Jedi Knight, using The Force!

      /the fuzz

    2. “LIGHTSABER!!!”

      Good shoot, hth, smooches

      1. Hokey religions and ancient weapons are no match for a good blaster at your side, kid.

        1. That’s my line

          1. Good against remotes, maybe. Good against the living…?

            1. Servator, you’re a wonderful human being.

        2. Especially when you draw first…

  2. You could always hired law enforcement professionals who can correctly identify what a firearm looks like.

  3. If only one cat is protected from being teased, it will all have been worth it. Also, we need to bring back the pillory for nosy parents and neighbors who negligently report stupid stuff.

  4. Once again, if you love your kids, unless they are the victim of a crime or in sufficient danger to justify calling the cops, YOU DON’T TALK TO THE COPS ABOUT THEM!!!!!!

  5. What the actual fuck?

  6. How long before:

    1) Some supreme court nominee is derailed because they find out he once made a finger gun in grade school and pointed it at a classmate?
    2) Before the absence of an expulsion on your permanent school record marks a person as a total douche?

    If I was this kid, I’d turn this expulsion into my own “I’m as bad ass as Chuck Norris” meme. I’d mention it in any resume or college application.

    1. It actually makes a great essay about overcoming adversity or something like that. Starting your college essay with “When I was 13 I was expelled for having a laser pointer” is going to keep the reader reading.

  7. anytime you have anything that looks like a firearm it’s obviously a danger and would be considered a credible threat.

    But this didn’t look like a firearm. Is Mike Kellems that stupid or that blatantly dishonest?

    1. Why not both?

  8. What do we call it when the people we entrust with teaching our children have been taught not to think?

    1. +1 reason (drink!) not to have kids

      1. That’s not how the drinking game works!

        1. What game? If you’re not drinking by noon, the day’s a waste.

    2. In this political environment, “education.”

      In others, “reeducation.”

  9. Silver lining: every moment the Laporte County authorities are harassing local kids is time not spent harassing motorists on the Indiana Toll Road?

  10. This is awful.

    My son has a laser pointer that is powerful enough to permanently blind people. He got it at a Yankee Swap (lucky bastard).

    Let’s say some moistened bint calls the cops and claims she thought he saw him with a weapon, and the cops get a search warrant for my home, the mere fact he possesses this laser pointer could get him suspended?!?

    Event though he rarely energizes it and has always handled it responsibly?

    1. Ain’t zero tolerance great?

    2. some moistened bint

      I like this phrase. I am stealing it now.

    3. You’d think the kid would be made king.

      Or does that require the bint giving him a laser pointer instead of merely noticing something gun-like?

    4. The cops didn’t get a search warrant for the home, the mother just blurted out the laser pointer suggestion.

  11. “You’ll shoot burn your eye out, Kid.”

  12. A 2 watt laser seems like it would be $300 worth of fun. Actually is dangerous, though. (2 watt one is more, actually)

    1. Phase plasma rifle in the 40 watt range?

  13. no one has ever been killed by a laser

    Now, shark-mounted lasers, on the other hand…

    1. Counts as a shark-related death. Or drunk driving.

  14. My brother and I used to launch fairly sizable rockets (multi-stage, 5-6 foot contraptions), that I now wonder whether we’d get DHS attention for launching. Ditto, for that matter, his 8″ Dobsonian telescope, which looks like a mortar.

    1. I’ve been wondering that myself. I used to enjoy model rocketry when I was a kid. Figure that if you try it today, some concerned citizen will report terrorist activity and next think you know a SWAT team will show up with guns drawn.

      1. My younger daughter likes rockets, so I’m thinking maybe being more formal about launch sites might be a good idea, rather than just launching them in whatever open field there happens to be nearby.

        1. I used to do most of my launches at a local school. Though that was back in the days before carrying a pen knife on your keys on school grounds was a felony.

      2. Back c. 1999, the HR manager had the cops raid his house on a search warrant – can’t remember if it was a SWAT raid or not, but it was pretty traumatic.

        Basically, his kid (Alex) was a model rocket enthusiast he also was into shooting and was getting into black powder hunting. Some other kid (Bob) in a different high school was caught setting off pipe bombs. The cops feared he had accomplices and pressured Bob and his friends to tell them who else was into explosives.

        One of the friends (Cindy) had heard of this kid named Alex who was really into chemistry and rockets and stuff, and bam they had their search warrant.

        Unfortunately Alex was in possession of a bunch of rocket motors (25 or so), including one that he had taken apart. He also had 2g of black powder, and a chemistry book that had a recipe for gunpowder that he had bookmarked. It being August in Ohio, he had been pretty active with his hobbies. However, Alex had never heard of Bob, Bob had never heard of Alex, and Cindy from hanging out with one of Alex’s friends.

        Nonetheless, Alex was suspended before school started pending an investigation of whether he should be expelled, all his rocketry equipment, his firearms and his chemistry set were seized by the police, and the dad was left scrambling to arrange schooling for him. IIRC the investigation of Alex never led to any charges, but it did negatively impact his college applications.

        This was in Appalachian Ohio, 15 years ago.

        1. Back when I was into model rocketry, it was because they could be made with regular glue. I would have built model planes and cars instead but the model glue was behind the counter, expensive, and doled out in limited quantities. Because everyone who build model planes just wants to get high on sniffing glue.

    2. If a kid gets caught with one of those rocket motors today he’d probably be charged as an ISIS member.

    3. We made model rockets in shop class when I was in junior high. I guess that’s out the window now too.

  15. “Lasers aren’t made to be toys”
    Really? Because right know my cat is chasing a laser I bought in the pet toy section of the super market.

    1. There are different classes of lasers. Some are safe to be toys (unless you are stare into the sun stupid) others can cause eyes damage (the ones we use to deliver and designate ordnance).

      Point being calling ever laser dangerous is like calling a pop gun as dangerous as a real rifle….

      …. Nvm, I just got there point.

  16. Next thing you know, they’ll be arresting cats!

  17. Really? Is that the only standard for “dangerous”, that no one was ever killed by a laser pointer? and if they’re so “harmless”, why the “of course don’t point them at aircraft”? No plane ever crashed due to a laser pointer shone on the cockpit, right?

    Why do you think the sign in labs everywhere said “Do not look into laser with remaining eye”?

    1. Look up the different class of lasers …. Then try not to be an over reactionary douche. Planes are a big deal because if you lase a pilot they could potentially run their aircraft into something.

  18. As far as I can tell, no one has ever been killed by a laser.

    No, but if you flash one in my face you might be killed because of a laser. At the very least that laser will be illuminating an area where the sun don’t shine. I recently had a friend lose eyesight to some asshat with a laser – don’t know if it will be permanent loss yet.

  19. Captain Reynolds’ whore got killed with a laser that one time.

  20. This has nothing to do with Zero Tolerance idiocy, nor with hysteria after the Sandy Hook shootings. It is not idiocy. It is deliberate. It is a tactic. Idiocy is just the smoke screen. This is a program to condition, to terrorize, to brainwash our children into fearing and hating guns, patriotism, and Americanism. If the Liberal Vermin can ruin our children, they have won.

    Counterattack. Buy your child a gun, as young as he or she can operate one, and take them to the range. Let them talk it up with their friends. Spread the Good News. Spread the Good News in school.

    And teach your children to trust nothing about the education system. Take the education they give you, but only believe the “hard” stuff like mathematics and physics. Parrot the rest back, but never believe it. Be subtle as snakes. Give nothing back to the system. Whatever you say will be taken down and used against you. Treat them as if they were enemy captors interrogating you as a POW. Know that the teacher is a cop who wants to destroy you; a tyrant who wants to enslave you, a spy who wants to betray you.

    Sorry about that, good teachers, but you have the responsibility to take the schools back. Harangue, harass, and if necessary, terrorize the Liberal Vermin out of the system. Otherwise, you’re part of the problem, too. No prisoners. No quarter.

    ????? ????

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