Compleat Idler, Free Society

What a difference fifty years makes

(c) 2012  Earl L Haehl – Permission is granted to redistribute this in whole as long as credit is given.  Book rights are reserved.

Fifty or so years ago in a high school parking lot, the place does not matter but we can call it Littleton (in those days they rode horses in the downtown and had one zip-code) or Scottsbluff or any of a number of towns in eastern Colorado and western Nebraska, about five guys were standing around the open car trunk admiring Fred’s new Remington with the Weaver 6 power scope. The principal, the coach and a couple teachers came out to see what was going on.

“Well,” said the principal, “it looks like somebody else is going to be gone opening day.” There was laughter as well as a suggestion by the Latin teacher that they just close school that day.

In those days you could walk the a school parking lot and pop trunk lids and find a rifle or shotgun in most cars. It was not a big deal.  When you got something new the coach had to see it.

Today, such scenes are viewed through the filter of “zero tolerance” and handled by the “school resource officer” with backup from BDU clad SORT members who look like storm troopers out of Star Wars. There would follow a suspension for at least the remainder of the school year regardless of state attendance requirements, not to mention referral to the juvenile or adult justice system. Academic work completed during that time could not be counted.

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