Monthly Archives: December 2010

The color scheme

A quick note on the color scheme. I cannot control the link colors. It is an artifact of Word. I’ve tried to get Blogger to change the link colors and it refuses to do so. If anyone has any ideas, let me know.

Ashley Smithwick and the Paring Knife

Since I live near Raleigh, and Sanford is pretty close, I spent the morning in the Lee County Board of Education’s emergency meeting. Instapundit posted that there would be an emergency meeting of the School Board to discuss Ashley Smithwick and her paring knife suspension/expulsion/double-secret probation.

First the hard news. The meeting was called to order at 9am promptly and immediately the Vice Chairman of the Board of Education, John Bonardi Jr., moved to go to closed session, to discuss “information not subject to public records,” and to “preserve the attorney client privilege.”. The vote was unanimous and the whole board left, saying they would be back soon. They returned at 9:41 AM and issued this statement.

The Lee County Board of Education is legally prohibited from releasing details and commenting on this student discipline matter further. The Board, however, contends strenuously that the related television and newspaper articles are inaccurate and that all relevant laws and board policies were adhered to and followed. Additional information will have to be obtained from the District Attorney and the Sanford Police Department. The Board, however, will be glad to comment further on this matter if the student and her parents will provide the Lee County Board of Education a written release of the school records.

Then the Board moved to adjourn and most of them left. The Chairman of the Board, Shawn E. Williams, and the Superintendent, Dr. Jeff Moss, stayed to speakwith the three TV media crews. I stuck around to listen.

Now for the “news analysis.” The whole thing struck me as silly. There was no reason to call an emergency meeting to have a discussion in private, to issue a press release. I can’t think of how they could have been more irritating in how they did it short of actually getting rude. The Chairman and the Superintendent were politicians. Who knew that a pair of leaders of a little school board in a small county in rural North Carolina would come across like seasoned politicians? They refused to characterize the situation at all. They did confirm that Ashley Smithwick was still enrolled at Southern Lee High School, but would not discuss whether or not she was allowed on campus. There are other students that are “enrolled” but are not on campus, such as homebound students, or others who are discipline problems, or students in “alternative” programs. This implied to me that the situation is as has been reported. She’s still “enrolled,” at the school, she just can’t go there. Or to any of her school related activities. Since she is enrolled, the school board would still be getting paid for her schooling, right?

When the discussion arose about the Smithwicks providing a written release, the Superintendent said that he would not, in their place, give a release to the press, because he would not want the press to be rooting around in his child’s records. That struck me as an implied threat. Don’t sign a release, or we’ll plaster every little detail of her records all over the news. That mischaracterizes the nature of a release. A parent and student may release all, some, or none of her records to anyone she chooses. It would be a simple matter for Ashley’s parents to have their lawyer type up a release allowing one person to read the records, and to give the School Board permission to speak to that one person. There is no particular reason that the release has to be all or nothing. I am willing to review those records and speak to the School Board if anyone knows Ashley and will put her in touch with me.

The things I want to know are
1.       What exactly was discovered
2.       Where it was discovered
3.       Why were they searching Ashley’s belongings for in the first place?
4.       Is she allowed on campus and to her extra-curricular activities?
5.       Why didn’t they shrug their shoulders and just tell her not to do it again?

What is law? Is it the words of the king, graven in stone, telling how you will be punished for violating laws you had no part in writing? Maybe in the days of Hammurabi, but now, in a common law country like the US, law is simply the prevailing morality of the community, written down. If we accept the story as basically true, Ashley had a knife in her lunch, for peeling her apple, the knife was her father’s, and so was the lunch pail, and the only reason Ashley had that pail was because of a mix up, then what we actually have is a conflict of world views. We aren’t arguing whether or not it is legal or not to carry a knife onto school campuses. What we are arguing is whether or not Ashley should be punished for a simple mix up. The School Board is pissed that she took her case to the court of public opinion.

The problem for the school board is that this is exactly where this should be decided. If the public does not see why Ashley should be suspended/expelled/placed of double-secret probation, then where exactly does the School Board get off making this a big deal? The fundamental question here is, who is in charge. Are a couple of elected School Board members and their hired Superintendent in charge? Or is the public at large allowed any oversight into their actions?
According to NC General Statutes, an ordinary paring knife is not a weapon for purposes of the weapons on campus law. The actual law here is

If the knife shown in the photo here or in this video above, is the same type of knife she was caught with, why did this become such a big issue? If it was a paring knife, does is that a “tool used solely for the preparation of food?” It is smaller than a simple pocket knife. One should keep in mind that when the law is an ass, applying it so vigorously makes you an ass as well.
Update: It seems that the Superintendent, Dr. Jeff Moss, is really not liked by the newspaper in his previous location.

The next post on Ashley Smithwick


What a fine example of leftist thought

Who is this clown?

Colman McCarthy, a former Post columnist, directs the Center for Teaching Peace in Washington and teaches courses on nonviolence at four area universities and two high schools.

Oh, another living vector for the dead hand of Communism. Time to face the facts. The “Peace” movement was just a Communist led surrender movement.

“But there is only one guaranteed way you can have peace, and you can have it in the next second. Surrender.”

Does stupidity have to rear it’s head so closely?

There’s a proposed ordinance in Johnston County to ban firing basically every projectile weapon within 200 yards of an occupied dwelling. So your kid shooting a pellet gun gets a 20 cop beatdown like the guy in Nebraska. Johnston County is about 2 miles down the road from me, and probably where I’ll move next. I’m not sure that I’ll ever have the money to buy land enough to have 600 feet between me and a neighbor.

Southern Snow

This doesn’t look like much snow

Until you realize that it is in Raleigh, North Carolina

Happy Global Warming!

Once you are approved, you can buy a gun

This starts off ok

Yeah, of course more people want a pistol license. More and more people are learning that carrying a gun is legal and possible for the average citizen.

Dan Sullivan, Oneida County’s assistant pistol license officer, said 528 people were granted pistol licenses in 2009. This year, the number will be about the same.

Wow, that seems kind of low. 528 licenses for Oneida County? Out of 235,469 people, (2000 Census) Lehigh County, PA, has 312,090, and in 2007 issued 2880. This means that as a percentage of population, Oneida County is issuing pistol permits at a rate of less than ¼ of the rate of Lehigh County.

You can’t just go pick up a pistol license. Oneida County Judge Michael Dwyer, the county’s chief pistol license officer, requires prospective applicants to complete the first eight hours of the National Rifle Association basic pistol course.
“After that, you can make an appointment to be fingerprinted, and it’s a four-month process (background checks and more),” Sullivan said.

Yeah, I know. It’s a NC class, $90, and 90 day wait for an NC Concealed Handgun License

                “Once you are approved, you can buy a gun.”

WTF!!!! You have to do all of this the BUY a pistol? Who the hell do these people think they are? According to the Oneida County website, the majority of licenses are “Restricted” which means that they are only for “Hunting, Target, Camping and Hiking, (PDF)” not for “Full Carry”

5.*To Receive a “full carry” license or “unrestricted” license,  It is solely the licensing officers decision as to whether the applicant has demonstrated proper cause for the issuance of a unrestricted license.  As per PL400.(2)(F).   Additional training is not required to receive a pistol license.

Well, that’s a relief, you don’t need any extra training. You just have to be politically connected.

This is insane. A citizen should be able to walk up to any gun store and plunk down cash and receive a pistol in return. Who died and left these jokers in charge? Luckily, the Second Amendment Foundation is on the case.

Mugabe and the White African

This movie is a real downer

This clip makes it look like there is a gun battle about to happen. In fact, throughout the documentary I keep expecting a gunfight to break out. There is no shortage of people that fall into the “He needed killin’” category, but they keep praying and not slaying. The movie would have been a lot shorter with me as the protagonist. One man would probably not make it against the entire ZANU-PF militia, but I’d have been shooting after the first 10 minutes. Like this guy.

Long story short, they threaten the guy and order him off his land and he tries to take the Government of Zimbabwe to court. The court delays and delays and delays. They get beat to a pulp. The court rules in their favor, and then thugs overrun the farm and burn it to the ground.

Here’s a tip. All power is force. Any “power” that lacks the force necessary to require compliance is not power at all. A bunch of guys in pretty robes may make any “ruling” they like, but since they lack an army to shoot anyone who violates that ruling, they are pretty much worthless.

Bev needs to take guns off the table in her re-election campaign

So what does that mean for gun rights here in North Carolina, where the ENTIRE General Assembly went to the Republican party in the November elections? Hopefully it means that Bev Perdue finds herself stuck between a rock and a hard place when it comes to signing any pro-gun bills that show up on her desk. Were I in charge of shepherding gun law reforms through to her office, I would make sure she understands that vetoing pro-gun bills will make her even less electable than she currently is. On the other hand, if she were to sign sweeping reforms of the current mess we have, she would be in a good position to take the gun control issue off the table come 2012. It would also mean that if she has any designs on running for President, she could pre-empt any attacks on her by being the Governor who signed serious pro-gun reform into law.

So if there are any Republican pols reading, I say, go for it. Bring it all to the table. Repeal the entire law against concealed carry of a weapon and go for Constitutional Carry in NC. There’s no reason that North Carolina should have fewer freedoms than Vermont, Arizona, and Alaska.

Here’s my policy prescription for North Carolina so far

1.       State of Emergency
3.       Guns in restaurants
4.       Random Checkpoints
5.       Purchase Permits
6.       Guns and Assemblies
7.       Guns and Parades
9.       Concealed knives

Not the usual fare, suicide among men


Remember this graphic?

See how many of the “gun deaths” are suicides?

Added to that, there’s this.

Remember that the professional Left wants things to be this way. To them, suicide is not a bug, it’s a feature. It gets rid of the independent men, the ones who are likely to argue with the leftist Nanny State. It also gets rid of them in a way that their dead bodies can be used to advance the cause of citizen disarmament.

This poor guy is now just another “gun death,” in whose blood our opponents will dance while calling for more and more restrictions on our right to keep and bear arms. Read the whole thing, and see for yourself if his suicide was the result of “easy access to guns,” or legal rape of his entire life.

It’s a human right, even in Turkey

Even in Turkey, gun control is being challenged.

The Weapon Producers, Sellers, and Lovers Association. Gotta love an organization that proclaims its love of weapons. It’s still a tough fight though

Jeez. It sounds like the pants wetters we have here. Slowly we are winning. One day we will have a world where everyone recognizes that self defense is a human right.

Update: And in India too…