Libertarians and conservatives often get chastised by liberals for holding a principled stance against “gun free” or “weapon free” zones. The enforcement of these zones not only makes people less safe, it also creates a confusing situation where a few elected officials try to determine which objects should be categorized as weapons.
Although, the individuals that dream up these laws might have good intentions, there is no magical formula to determine which weapons should be banned. In a private property centered society property owners would be responsible for determining how to best protect guests, tenets, or customers that they allow on their property.
Alas, we live in a society where democratically elected officials are tasked with developing the policies that are intended to keep us safe. The Daily Caller reports on an unfortunate situation where a Georgia high school student was charged with a felony for the innocent act of leaving his fishing gear in his car, which was parked in the school parking lot.
A Cobb County high school senior was charged with the felony of bringing weapons into a school zone after police found fishing knives in a tackle box in his car. Cody Chitwood, a 17-year-old student at Lassiter High School and avid fisherman, turned himself in and was released on $1,000 bond.
Police were performing a random sweep, and drug-sniffing dogs detected black powder in Chitwood’s car. The powder was residue from a firecracker that had been in the car since Fourth of July, but it was enough to a warrant a full search that turned up the fishing-related weaponry.
This story is disturbing on many levels. The cops’ blatant disregard for the 4th Amendment confirms there is an assault on our liberty, even at the local level.
It is shocking that a functioning adult would consider a fishing knife, secured in a locked car, a dangerous weapon. If the local authorities believe a small knife is so dangerous, then why don’t they also ban baseball bats, golf clubs, and tire irons from school property? All of those items could potentially be used as weapons. Heck, maybe the next step is to secure the students’ arms in straitjackets, so they can’t use their fists as weapons. Where does the insanity end?
If the citizens of this country want to live in a society that values common sense, then they need to become educated on the principles of liberty. Until this occurs, we’ll continue to be inundated with stories of nonviolent people being prosecuted for not following the rules handed down by out of touch elected officials. We need to get the State out of the security business and let the market fill the void.
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