Arizona -(Ammoland.com)- – A middle school student from Mobile, Alabama, is shown holding a revolver in a school bathroom. The picture has gone viral. The photo was taken sometime before September 11, 2018. From mynbc15.com:
MOBILE, Ala. (WPMI) — A photo of a Mobile middle school student allegedly depicting the student with a gun in a school restroom is under investigation by Mobile police.
The picture was posted on Facebook on Thursday October 11th 2018.
The photo was a allegedly taken inside a bathroom at Chastang-Fournier K-8 in the Trinity Gardens neighborhood of Mobile.
The image was well focused on the revolver. Whoever made the picture did a good job. School officials and police have identified the people in the image. The student who was holding the revolver is no longer a student in the Mobil Public Schools.
Because the picture is well focused, several interesting details are apparent. The revolver appears to be a high quality, if well used, Smith & Wesson model 36. We cannot be certain, as this common and well thought of revolver has been widely copied throughout the world. The odds are it is a genuine Smith & Wesson, however.
The revolver is loaded. Look at the chambers of the revolver cylinder on the left as you look at the picture. Peering into the chambers, you see the glimmer of bullets in the two chambers, indicating the revolver was loaded at the time of the picture.
The student who is holding the revolver is observing some necessary safety precautions. He is not pointing the revolver directly at the person with the camera, thus keeping with two of the basic safety rules.
- Do not point a firearm at anything you are not willing to destroy.
- Know your target and what is beyond your target.
He is following a third safety rule as well. His trigger finger is outside of the trigger guard.
There are prominent signs outside the school informing people that the school is a “gun free zone.”
Such signs did not dissuade the young man in the picture from taking a revolver to the school. I doubt that imposition of costly metal detectors at some entrances will make much difference either.
Taxpayers will not be well served by purchasing metal detectors and paying for the necessary armed security to man the detectors whenever school is in session, and anytime anyone has access to the schools.
Such measures are only useful if they are enforced rigorously. If they are not, the children (much like prison inmates, in effect) are quick to learn the vulnerabilities of the system and to find ways to circumvent them.
For example, keeping a gun hidden inside the school, after bringing it in at an entrance that is briefly not monitored.
My friend Roy Eykamp informed me of a time he and a friend brought a revolver to a one-room school in South Dakota around 1930. The teacher discovered they had the revolver and asked what the purpose was. The boys said they intended to shoot gophers during lunch hour. A bounty was paid for gophers by the county. The teacher instructed them to follow the safety rules and allowed them to keep possession of the revolver. Roy was about 12 at the time.
Today, things have changed, and not always for the better. Parents are much more removed from the management of the schools. Legislation and regulation have taken away much parental and teacher responsibility.
Schools and parents would be better served by teaching and enforcing discipline and ethical norms.
Teaching students that the “system” or the “man” are stacked against them works in precisely the opposite manner, encouraging them to game the system or ignore the rules.
About Dean Weingarten:
Dean Weingarten has been a peace officer, a military officer, was on the University of Wisconsin Pistol Team for four years, and was first certified to teach firearms safety in 1973. He taught the Arizona concealed carry course for fifteen years until the goal of constitutional carry was attained. He has degrees in meteorology and mining engineering, and recently retired from the Department of Defense after a 30 year career in Army Research, Development, Testing, and Evaluation.