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Boy suspended for making gun sign with hand. No, really

The contest continues; whose government is more stupid with its policies - the US or the UK?

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Daniel J. Mitchell
On 4 January 2013 17:20

I’ve shared several horror stories of government incompetence and bureaucratic nonsense as part of my series comparing stupid policies in the United States and United Kingdom.

This has been a neck-and-neck battle, with the United Kingdom recently throwing down the gauntlet with a decision to take kids away from their foster family because the mom and dad didn’t believe in unlimited immigration.

The United States responded by paying to have a bunch of bureaucrats attend a conference so they could learn how to respond to a zombie attack.

I’m not sure which of those decisions wins the prize for government stupidity, but today’s story suggests that it’s time to start chanting “U-S-A, U-S-A.”

After all, surely the United Kingdom can’t surpass the moronic decision by Maryland school bureaucrats to suspend a little boy for pretending his hand was a gun and “shooting” another child.

Here’s all you need to know, as reported by the Washington Examiner, about this laughable – yet nauseating – example of nanny-state political correctness.

A Montgomery County elementary school student was suspended for a pretend gunshot… The 6-year-old, who attends Roscoe R. Nix Elementary School in Silver Spring, made a gun with his hands, pointed it at another student and said “pow,” according to Robin Ficker, the boy’s attorney. He was given a one-day suspension, with a conference on the matter planned for Jan. 2, the day students return to school from winter break.

This is not an isolated incident. There are other examples of embarrassing stupidity in America.

- A Rhode Island boy offended the PC nanny-staters by bringing toy soldiers to school.

- A student in San Diego got in trouble for making a motion detector for a science project, simply because someone decided it resembled a bomb.

- A Florida student was expelled for having a toy gun on school property.

Seems like the United States wins this contest for government stupidity.

But wait, maybe I was blinded by patriotism. Perhaps I wanted America to win and that caused me to overlook equally inane decisions in the United Kingdom.

Indeed, that was the case. Showing that stupidity can reign supreme on both sides of the Atlantic, it turns out that two boys in England were reprimanded for make gun shapes were their hands.

But that’s not all. There have been other idiotic episodes of anti-gun lunacy in the United Kingdom.

- There was a serious proposal to prevent children from watching Olympic shooting events.

- A man got arrested for finding a gun in his yard and turning it over to the police.

- A prohibition on the use of starting pistols at races lest children get frightened by the noise.

- A bookstore putting shooting magazines in the porn section.

And let’s not forget the woman who got in trouble with the police for trying to scare away some thugs by brandishing a knife in her own home.

So I guess that means we still have a tie. In the contest for government stupidity, the United States and the United Kingdom are both winners. And the citizens of both nations are losers, but let’s not allow that pesky little fact to take away from this exciting contest.

P.S. You probably won’t be surprised to learn that Montgomery County is a suburb of Washington, DC. And, as you can see from this map, it is filled with overpaid bureaucrats and lobbyists. Since these are the people imposing so much bad policy on the rest of the nation, at least they’re being consistent and subjecting themselves to foolishness as well.

Daniel J. Mitchell is a Senior Fellow at the Cato Institute, the free-market, Washington D.C. think tank. His articles are cross-posted on his blog by agreement

Read more on: political correctness in America, political correctness in Britain and America, political correctness gone mad, political correctness, gun control, and Daniel J. Mitchell
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