Pop-Tarts, Warfair, & Concealed Weapons

Here at The Western Word I’ve poked fun at some of the pro and con gun arguments over the years. Today I write about people’s views on guns going a little too far.

It must have been frightening for the teachers and the students when a 7-year-old Maryland boy gnawed a pop-tart into the shape of a gun and supposedly said, “Bang bang.”

I wonder if the young man chewed a chocolate or brown sugar pop-tart into bullets to use in his strawberry pop-tart gun. He was supposedly trying to chew the pop-tart into a mountain. He failed miserably.

The boy was suspended (and not for failing to chew the pop-tart into a mountain).

Maybe the principal and teachers had a little too much caffeine that momentous day when the “Pop-Tart Terrorist” strolled into the cafeteria and chewed his pop-tart into the shape of a weapon.

It gets better…

Now we have a lawmaker (please don’t tell the Montana Legislature about this bill) in the Maryland legislature who has decided the state needed a law that prohibits “a principal from suspending or expelling a student who brings to school or possesses on school property a picture of a gun, a computer image of a gun, a facsimile of a gun, or any other object that resembles a gun but serves another purpose.”

In other words the lawmaker is trying to legislate common sense.

Speaking of common sense, in Great Falls (Montana) which is a place where guns are pretty ordinary, a person was a little concerned that during Great Falls High School’s annual “Warfair” program a couple of guns were brought to the high school for display.

The person was so concerned that he/she contacted the Great Falls Tribune newspaper. I don’t know if he/she contacted school officials or not. It’s OK to be concerned, but if the person did not voice these concerns or ask questions of school officials, that was his/her first mistake.

Warfair is an annual event that according to the district website is “a fair where students presented on topics from chocolate wars to camels to coffee.” The school newspaper says,   Warfair “is a presentation project on a war related topic. This project is done by groups of freshman each with a different topic.”

The Tribune reported that the child’s parents and the school resource officer (who is a police officer) approved beforehand the bringing of their guns to school for display. The guns are not loaded; the bolts and the firing pins are removed. (This means they were as much a gun as the pop-tart gun mentioned above).

The school resource officer was quoted in a Great Falls Tribune story saying, “I don’t fear the kid who comes and asks permission to bring a gun to school.”

No kidding. That’s common sense.

An unscientific poll conducted by the Tribune about the issue asked, “Should freshman at Great Falls High be allowed to bring guns to school during ‘WarFair’?” There were 227 votes and 41% said “Yes” and 59% said “No.”

Those results are pretty interesting for a “gun tote’n” place like Montana.

Meanwhile the Montana State Senate passed Montana House Bill 304 (HB 304) which “would allow people [to] carry concealed weapons within city limits without obtaining a concealed-carry permit.”

After reading this column, they may amend HB 304 to include pop-tarts…

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