Saturday, April 15, 2006

Nichols of JS On Target

Couldn't resist.

The West Bend cop-shop, ever vigilant and brave, hauls a 17-year-old to the slammer for having an unloaded, encased .22 rifle in the back of his pickup truck while the said truck was parked in the lot at West Bend West HS.

Seventeen-year-old Joshua Rasmussen, a student at West Bend West High School who was arrested Thursday and taken to the Washington County Jail, had a turkey call in his pocket.
There was apparently some real fear he might gobble-gobble somebody to death.

He also, it is true, had a cased and unloaded .22-caliber hunting rifle out in the parking lot in his dad's truck. Like most kids that age, he is occasionally a bit of a "scatterbrain," to use one of his dad's words, and had left it there after going "plinking," shooting cans and whatnot, with some friends.

...He was booked, in reality, for a potential misdemeanor charge of possession of a dangerous weapon on school grounds, even though no one even remotely believes he was going to use it.
Even [WB police sergeant] Unertl says there is nothing to suggest he intended to hurt anyone.

Personally, I'm acquainted with high-school children. Using the term "scatterbrained" is polite--some of the one I know have forgotten everything but their pants when going to school in the morning.

The original story hints that the Cop Shop may have simply been the messengers:

The search involved the use of 12 specially trained dogs searching for drugs and ammunition in student lockers and parking lots. No drugs were found, said Dorreen Dembski, a district spokeswoman.

The district's policy states that the carrying or displaying of a weapon on school grounds can result in a suspension. Dembski would not comment further on the student or pending disciplinary actions.

So--was the action taken by some overzealous beat cop who obviously needs several weeks' work as a parking checker? or by some pathetic moron in the school administration?

Nichlols' take:

Unertl says he understands the argument that the police or school officials over-reacted - my exact argument, actually. You just know, he suggested, there would be people "up in arms" if they hadn't hauled the kid off.

He's right, of course.

But so what?

And just who, exactly, WOULD have been "up in arms" about it? C'mon, Mike--you're a reporter AND columnist. The world wants to know whose pink panties would have been all brown on the inside if this 'scatterbrain' simply stayed at school and went to class.

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