Here’s a little ditty about alarmist censorship in public schools. Bear with me while I set the scene.
The year was 1989. The gentle Wisco breezes caressed my righteous mullet and tickled my peach-fuzz mustache. And somewhere I had seen a Canadian comedy skit entitled “Last Will and Temperament (A Boot to the Head).” Curious readers can find it on YouTube, but the gist of the sketch is that a wealthy man has died. His surviving family members gather for the reading of the will, only to each receive (spoiler alert!) “a boot to the head” instead of the anticipated riches. A ridiculously fake shoe on a trouser-covered stick delivers each kick. It was stupid and juvenile and right up my alley.
Concurrent to this low-brow folly, my high school graphic arts teacher tasked us with designing/printing/binding telephone message notepads (you know, back when households only had one phone — and people actually talked on them). But I digress.
The Misunderstood Arteest
It was with no small amount of prideful glee that I slapped together a message pad out of clip art and hand-set type. The composite illustration, grayed out to allow writing, showed two kids playing on the floor while a large boot hovered precariously above them. “THESE PEOPLE DESERVE A BOOT TO THE HEAD,” proclaimed the headline, while a series of horizontal lines ran over the artwork to facilitate note-writing. The “joke,” of course, was that the listed callers deserved a boot to the head. Hilarious.
Somehow, a page of my little art project wound up in the hands of school administrators. They summoned me (a straight-A student and total goody-goody) to the principal’s office. There, my pearl-clutching guidance counselor demanded to know what possessed me to promote violence against children. They had mistaken my artwork as a red flag that I was a dangerous and troubled teen. Not hilarious.
The administrators forced me to explain myself, contacted my parents and made me redo the assignment. I wonder if I’d have received the same treatment over a notepad warning people to expect the Spanish Inquisition (a la Monty Python).
This incident happened years before Columbine, Sandy Hook and Parkland. Alarmist censorship in public schools has only gotten worse since then.
Gun Censorship Hits Dumb New Heights
This FOX News report cites cases in which one or more elementary or middle school children have been suspended for making gun shapes with their fingers while playing cops and robbers, having 2-inch toy guns on their keychains, or nibbling a toaster pastry into a shape that could be mistaken for a gun. Let’s pray no one ever misspells “gnu” at the spelling bee.
No Love for Free Speech (or Guns) at Markesan
Early in 2018, a student at Markesan High School in Wisconsin was reprimanded with in-house suspension for wearing a shirt that depicted the word “LOVE” spelled out with the shapes of a handgun, grenade, two knives and a rifle. Wisconsin Carry, an active supporter of the Second Amendment, sued the Markesan principal for violating the student’s rights. U.S. District Court Judge Lynn Adelman ruled in favor of the plaintiff. Chalk up a win for the good guys!
An Agenda of Censorship and Brainwashing
Proponents of such ludicrous censorship will say that keeping guns out of schools protects children and, in hindsight, I can see how administrators could have taken my “boot to the head” notepad the wrong way. Sure, nobody wants a kid to bring an actual gun to school. But a flat-out kibosh banning any weapon-like toy, imagery, topic or dessert is just absurd. It is an obvious ploy to demonize guns and to brainwash an entire generation against a fundamental human right.
About Jason Braun
Jason Braun works as a proofreader and content assistant for Concealed Carry Magazine. He enjoys writing, illustration and the great outdoors. One of Jason’s favorite aspects of his position within the USCCA is his “duty” — pleasure, really — to read and learn about self-defense, home defense and the concealed carry lifestyle. His everyday carry is a .45 XD-S Mod.2 from Springfield Armory.