Here are a few reasons why someone may have a gun on campus:
- They intentionally want to murder innocent students, teachers, and staff
- They want to protect themself from an immediate threat, which then threatens innocent bystanders
- They forgot to keep it at home after a weekend of hunting
The problem is that ex-ante we cannot know the intent or the reason why the person bringing the gun to school did so, therefore make possessing a gun on school property a per se violation punishable by expulsion or at least a long suspension. If we cannot know the intent of the gun toter before any shots are fired, then punish a gun toter for the simple act of brining a gun to school.
Now, in the case of David Cole Withrow of Johnston County, North Carolina, he realized that he had accidently brought the gun to school with him after a weekend of hunting and immediately went to school officials to inform them of his mistake and to ask their permission to take it home.
Mr. Withrow appears to be a clean-cut kid, and Johnston County is certainly known for hunting, with all those Jim-Bobs and Skeeters living in the woods over yonder, so having a hunting rifle in your vehicle is not out of the oridinary. Maybe reason should have prevailed and the school official grant him permission to take the gun home, with a warning that the next time will be treated as a violation of the gun policy. But no, school officials immediately called the police, Withrow was suspended, and he is currently being told that he will not graduate with his classmates.
If you want kids who accidentally bring guns to school to never reveal their error, and in fact to possibly compound the problem by hiding the gun on their person or in an unsecured place where someone with evil intent can get to it, proceed to harshly punish Mr. Withrow and make sure that reason will never prevail when a bright and otherwise cooperative student attempts to rectify a mistake.
Oh, whatever happened to the good ol' days.