Liberty University Offers Scholarship to Student Who Brought Shotguns to School

Cole Withrow, a high school senior from North Carolina, brought guns onto school property two weeks ago.

It was an accident, he told school authorities. They were unloaded and in his car after a weekend skeet shooting trip. He only noticed when he went to his car during the school day to grab his bookbag and a drink.

In response, Liberty University and Harding University (both ultra-Christian schools) offered Cole a scholarship. (Because Jesus loved his guns.)

This week, Withrow admitted (PDF) he knew the guns were in his car. He never went back to his car. He lied to administrators about that. He apologized for letting misinformation spread. He pled guilty to misdemeanor in court.

In response, Liberty University’s Chancellor Jerry Falwell, Jr. says he will still offer Withrow the scholarship:

Cole Withrow and Jerry Falwell, Jr. (via Liberty University)

“In a radio interview a couple of weeks ago, I was asked if Liberty would still assist Cole if he was convicted of the felony. I said yes. We knew that Cole might be convicted of a felony. We also knew that he might have to publicly take the blame, whether he was at fault or not, in order to have the charges reduced from a felony to a misdemeanor. That’s how the criminal justice system works, especially in high-profile cases like this one, and I believe that is exactly what happened here,” Falwell said. “I personally believe that Cole was forced to admit to more than he really knew.

Our criminal justice system is a great big conspiracy against conservative, gun-toting Christians, after all.

(Thanks to Scott for the link)

About Hemant Mehta

Hemant Mehta is the editor of Friendly Atheist, appears on the Atheist Voice channel on YouTube, and co-hosts the uniquely-named Friendly Atheist Podcast. You can read much more about him here.

  • allein

    Is this really a “high-profile” story? This is the first I’ve heard of it…

  • JET

    A scholarship to Liberty University… now that’s punishment.

  • Drew M.

    And I’ve heard of it from at least five different blogs and news stations.

    My statistically irrelevant anecdote cancels out yours.

  • Richard Wade

    So… Lemme get this straight. When Liberty University and Harding University thought that Withrow had been careless, negligent, and irresponsible to the point of committing a felony by bringing weapons onto a campus, they thought, “Hey, we want to pay this kid to come to our college.” Then when they found out that Withrow had knowingly brought the weapons to school, and LIED TO COVER HIS ASS, Liberty University thought “Hey, we really want to pay this kid to come to our college!”

    I guess this means that Liberty considers willful defiance of the law and LYING to be additional character assets to carelessness, negligence, and irresponsibility in determining a student’s suitability for admission.

    I wonder if listing evidence of other traits such as brutality or abject stupidity on an admission form might help other prospective students gain admission there.

  • McAtheist

    ‘Gundamentalist christian”?

  • onamission5

    So they want criminally negligent liars as students so badly that they are willing to pay them to attend their school. What is there to say but WOW.

  • Rodney Barnes

    First, not a real school (Liberty University), no matter what anyone says. Second, who cares if he brought guns to a school. Unless he was toting them around on campus about to shoot someone, then we shouldn’t worry. What’s with all the anti-gun sentiment now? All of a sudden those who own a firearm because of all the anti-freedom bureaucrats running amok in Washington are a danger to society? If you actually believe that then you’re only a lemming.

  • Kristen Fournier

    Who said it was a high profile story? This isn’t Huffington Post.

  • MD

    Even if you’re pro-gun, you have to admit this kid is an irresponsible idiot. You don’t leave your shotguns thrown about after a day of shooting skeet.

  • more compost

    Exactly. He is clearly NOT a responsible gun owner.

  • Rob Crompton

    Cars never get broken into, of course. And certainly never by criminals.

  • Stev84

    It should always be written as “Liberty” “University”

  • Drew M.

    Yep, I’ll agree with that.

  • Drew M.

    Um, quoted text in the blog post itself?

    That’s how the criminal justice system works, especially in high-profile cases like this one, and I believe that is exactly what happened here,” Falwell said.

  • Drew M.

    I don’t care that he took them to school, since he had no intent to use them. However, it is irresponsible as hell, especially since they may have been visible from outside the truck.

  • chicago dyke

    upvoting you 1000 times.

  • Matthew Robinson

    Fuckin’ terrorist.

  • martinrc

    Exactly. The whole stance by the gun lobby is that responsible gun owners should be allowed to own guns and criminals will always get access to guns somehow. But now they are praising this irresponsible gun owner who gave criminals easier access to some guns right on school property.

  • Mark Chandler

    I taught until recently an Alternative program in a rural area in NY. Several of my students would milk, or do other farm work before and after school. They all carried pocket knives for this work. If a student accidentally brought in the knife they used that morning, they would give it to me to hold. We have to understand that these are working farm kids.

    I am now teaching in an elementary school, in Special Ed. Last week one of my students brought in a WWII type ‘pineapple’ hand grenade. It was the same as one I had on my desk as a paperweight when I was an Army Officer. Luckily, the principal called me before the school went into a panic (only a semi-panic omong the office staff). It turns out the student had brought it in to give to me, as I am his teacher, and the only person he knows with a military background. This is a student who is already removed from regular classes. Had the school expelled him, he would be totally lost; in second grade.

    Maybe it is due to my Special Ed perspective. But I see major problems with Zero Tolerance policies.

  • Kevin_Of_Bangor

    I’m extremely pro-gun and yes, this kid is an irresponsible idiot. It is a shame the felony charge didn’t stick.

  • Kevin_Of_Bangor

    This was the headline over at The Blaze: Student Punished, Charged With a Felony After He ‘Tried to Do the Right Thing’ When He Forgot His Shotgun Was in His Truck.

    And then this was posted in the story.

    “He was overheard in a private conversation with his mother explaining what happened,” Kimberly Boykin, a friend of the Withrow family told Starnes. “He could have told a story, but he told the truth.”

    Now when a story such as this hits a site such as The Blaze the right goes crazy in the comments but the amazing thing is The Blaze, as far as I know never once corrected the story and said he lied.

  • Kevin_Of_Bangor

    I’m own firearms, I have my concealed carry permit and I have a huge problem with this idiot leaving not one, but two shotguns in his vehicle unsecured. If you are going to own a dangerous tool you need to treat it with respect and follow the law.

  • Space Cadet

    He’s an Eagle Scout, a guy who made a mistake, and he doesn’t deserve to have his diploma not have Princeton High School on it,” Boykin said. “He doesn’t deserve to not walk across the stage with his friends that he’s known since pre-school.

    It’s overwhelming, it really is,” Boykin said. “In this horrible situation that (the Withrow family) is in the middle of, this is the one thing that they have that they can hang onto – that there’s so many people coming out to stand up for their kid and realize he’s a good person who made a mistake.

    We think he is a victim of a system that is a little bit, maybe, too overly sensitive to certain things,” Liberty Chancellor Jerry Falwell Jr. said. “There has to be room for honest mistakes, and right now, I don’t think the law does that.

    Now…imagine Cole Withrow is a person of color.

  • Space Cadet

    I went and checked this morning and no, there are still no updates on this story, even in the original articles, save for one. The only update to the original articles was a mention that Cole was not going to be expelled and that he’d be allowed to participate in the graduation ceremony. Not a single mention as to why those provisions were made.

    Also, if someone dares go to that site, don’t venture into the comments sections! Holy crap. There’s some weapons grade stupidity over there.

  • Kevin_Of_Bangor

    I visit the site almost daily to see what they post and yes, I do post in the comment section, not often, but I do. You can get some panties in a bunch with ease over there.

  • Charles Honeycutt

    If God was allowed in that school, then they wouldn’t have to worry about anyone stealing his guns. Or something.

  • Chad Boswell

    Wait, wait, “Thou shall not lie.” Right? /fpalm

  • Charles Honeycutt

    I don’t see the problem. Just ban video games and sex ed classes and no one will fire guns at school anymore. Then you can bring all the guns to school that you want in total safety.

    That’s how it works, right?

  • allein

    I stand corrected. ;)

  • Artor

    It doesn’t take a special perspective to see problems with Zero Tolerance policies. Two brain cells to rub together should be enough to see that they fail on all levels.

  • John

    There certainly are problems with Zero Tolerance, but that doesn’t apply in this case since he admitted to lying about it.

  • Artor

    I guess you’re not a high-profile reader. I saw it when it first hit the newsfeeds.

  • John

    No, no, you’ve got it all wrong. It’s “Thou shalt not lie unless it’s to promote Jesus or guns.”

  • Artor

    Ah- “high-profile,” in Jerry Falwell Jr.’s mind. That translates to something quite different in the real world.

  • Raising_Rlyeh

    Well, Liberty recently decided to let any student carry a gun on their “campus” so it’s not that strange that they would offer a scholarship to a gun loving christian.

    If the kid is smart he will turn down a scholarship to this “school.”

  • Michael W Busch

    “those who own a firearm because of all the anti-freedom bureaucrats running amok in Washington”

    That is not a good reason for anyone to own guns, especially because it is untrue (the US political system is set up to put limits as to how far amok anyone can run).

    But, as others have explained repeatedly, the immediate problem here is that Withrow wasn’t storing his guns in anything like safe conditions and criminally lied about his actions.

  • Michael W Busch

    There are certainly problems with Zero Tolerance policies. But that doesn’t apply in this case, since not only did Withrow lie about the guns he’s being rewarded for doing so.

  • Matt Eggler

    You forgot forced recitation of the lord’s prayer every day in class, that will make all those guns perfectly safe.

  • JET

    But it gets a little boring as their idea of a substantive response is “Burn in HELL, [vile epithet]!!!!!!!!!!!!” followed by a dozen or so “amen” posts.

  • Space Cadet

    Don’t forget the Ten Commandments! If those aren’t posted every fifteen feet then kids won’t know it’s wrong to kill!

  • Kevin_Of_Bangor

    They are not big on the Christian middle finger AKA I’ll pray for you.

  • Reginald Selkirk

    Even if you’re pro-gun, you have to admit…

    No, you don’t have to admit anything. Because you’ve got a gun.

  • busterggi

    Guns & bibles = American Christianity at its finest.

  • busterggi

    Or a non-Christian.

  • Randay

    Is Harding “University” the same as the Harding College which made hilarious films and cartoons in the 40′s, 50′s and 60′s which were pro-capitalism and anti-communist? They are a must see.

    Here is one from the 60′s:

    And one from the forties:

    Let me add that there are some very good films and documentaries at this site.

  • Kristen Fournier

    oops, my bad.

  • rg57

    “forced to admit to more than he really knew”

    But, but, but … “thou shalt not bear false witness!”

    What happened to that?

  • rg57

    No need to stuff the ballot box.

  • anniewhoo

    In other news, Kiera Wilmot, the inquisitive honors student who accidentally created smoke in an experiment on her high school campus, was expelled and arrested. (Charges have since been dropped, but these two stories offer an interesting cross section of our insane school systems.)

  • RobMcCune

    All of a sudden those who own a firearm because of all the anti-freedom bureaucrats running amok in Washington are a danger to society?

    That doesn’t make sense as a statement or a question.

  • Baby_Raptor

    Lying is bad, unless it’s about things Jesus considers really important like guns.

    The police station handling the charges against this kid should sue Fallwell for slander, make him actually support his “sincere belief” that the kid was forced to lie.

  • Baby_Raptor

    lol “Anti-freedom.”

  • RobMcCune

    IrresponsibleUse(guns & bibles) = american christianity at it’s finest.

  • Gabriel

    He will fit right in. No problem. Liar? Check. Criminal? Check. Never reads the bible? Check. Yep. He is a christian.

  • Michael W Busch

    They’d have to prove damages, and slander against government officials requires higher standards than slander against normal citizens (for good reason).

  • jdm8

    Not only that, it’s interesting that two clear, bald faced lies get translated into “honest mistakes”. Obstruction of justice is not something to be ignored.

  • jdm8

    “Who cares if someone breaks the law then lies about doing so twice?”

    That’s what part of your comment translates to.

    You can argue the laws are unjust, but ignoring the repeat lying to avoid the consequences of breaking the law isn’t civil disobedience.

  • milwaukeeprogressiveexaminer

    He shouldn’t have gotten a felony conviction for leaving a gun, mistakenly, in a car. Yes, that was a mistake but felonies aren’t something to be thrown around. They can ruin lives. I favor gun control but I do’nt favor ruining someone’s life, including taking away their right to vote, because of something they did in high school that involved forgetting.

  • duke_of_omnium

    Correction: “a great big conspiracy against WHITE, conservative, gun-toting Christians, after all.”

  • CelticWhisper

    *shrug* Worked for Dubya.

  • CelticWhisper

    I agree with this. The problem is that the US has become far too “all or nothing.” We have cases like this where someone is rewarded for irresponsibility with weapons, and cases where politicians who want to be “tough on crime” trash people’s chances of having a normal life for being in the wrong place at the wrong time (caught with a negligible amount of weed while going through an ordeal like divorce or a death in the family; lifetime sex-offender registration for public urination or shagging your 3-months-younger partner over the age-of-consent line, etc.)

    We’ve become too prone to responding to “I forgot” or “It was a mistake” with cries of “EXCUSES! BURN THE WITCH!” No. Not excuses and we’re not burning anyone. Sometimes people really did just make an honest mistake. Not necessarily saying that’s what happened here, but in cases where it’s true, you make sure the person understands what they did was wrong and try to guarantee it won’t happen again (through their own volition, not because we’ve thrown them in a cage so it CAN’T happen again) and you let it go at that.

    Moderation seems to be a lost concept in the United States of Homeland these days.

  • SeekerLancer

    Live by the sword, die by the sword. Live by the gun, get a scholarship.

  • allein

    I think I’m going to just start calling people “vile epithet” when I disagree with them on the internet.

  • JWH

    I don’t see that there’s either great virtue or great vice here. Dude left his shotguns in his car. Not a huge deal either way.

  • Gus Snarp

    So wait, he either lied in the first place about the guns hoping to get out of trouble, or he lied in court in order to get his punishment reduced. In either case, he lied to get out of trouble. And that’s OK with a conservative Christian “University”?

    I guess they care more about promoting conservative political causes like unfettered access to guns by high school students at school than they do about their supposed religious principles and their Ten Commandments.

  • Gus Snarp

    Dude lied. Christian school rewards him for lying because it suits their politics.

    Also, bringing a gun to a high school is kind of a big deal, in case you haven’t been following the news lately. And kind of illegal and against school rules pretty much everywhere.

  • Gus Snarp

    I heartily disagree. We have strict laws against bringing guns to school for a reason. But the main issue is this, a gun is not something you forgot where you left. That’s how you get five year olds accidentally shooting 2 year olds. There’s no forgetting with guns, it’s simply too dangerous. And if you can’t remember where you left your gun well enough to obey the law that prevents bringing firearms to a high school, then you take the punishment, both because you broke the law and because you deserve to be on the list of people who can’t buy guns anymore, a convenient side effect of a felony conviction.

    I mean, either that or he was knowingly flouting the law. Depending on which time you think he was lying.

    As for ruining lives, if felony convictions ruin lives, then it’s our system that needs fixing. Lots of people can be convicted of felonies for single incidents that shouldn’t ruin their lives. Of course, it didn’t ruin his life because he wasn’t convicted of a felony because he’s a good, upstanding, white, Christian boy in the South and the courts their go out of their way to make sure such noble lives aren’t ruined.

  • Bob Becker

    Yup. Rewarding lies. After all, it’s the Christian thing to do.

  • Gus Snarp

    This whole thread. So. Much. Win.

  • Gus Snarp

    She wasn’t white, was she?

  • Gus Snarp

    An Eagle Scout. Sheesh. My father who teaches shooting sports to scouts would be livid. You don’t forget your gun in the trunk, you take it home and put it in the gun safe and lock it up. Apparently the Boy Scouts now would rather have you be irresponsible with a firearm than gay or a non-believer.

  • Mike

    I fail to see why it is a problem he had two shotguns in the trunk of his car on school property. Am I the only one outraged the he was charged with a crime?

    When I was in high school (circa 1990) we had to do a history related demonstration of some sort. One student brought in a rifle and showed how to clean it, it sat in the classroom all day. Times have really changed…

  • Gus Snarp

    That’s funny. When I went to high school (circa 1990), we had a zero tolerance policy for any weapon (right down to a lowly Swiss Army knife) anywhere on school grounds, including cars in the parking lot, which we were reminded of often to insure that the gun racks in the pickup trucks stayed empty. And we were in a place where a lot of students had gun racks in their pickup trucks. Several school shootings later, I’m only surprised that there are people who find this troubling. Weapons are not allowed on school grounds. This is not a new rule. Students should not have guns in their cars, and certainly should not bring them to show and tell.

  • Gus Snarp

    I’d like to point out a detail from this story that I think is getting overlooked. Just from his story about what happened (the lies), I kept imagining the guns being in a trunk, or at least where I used to keep mine, behind the seat in the pickup cab where it was out of sight to passersby. This was not the case:

    Davis said it would have been impossible for Withrow not to know the guns were in the vehicle. He said the end of the barrel of one of the guns was near the gas pedal.

    The gun was in plain sight of anyone walking by. One smashed window and anyone who wanted it could have had themselves a shotgun. But he’s clearly a responsible young man.

    Also this:

    According to Davis, Withrow was texting and laughing as he taken to jail, saying “Ha, ha, my friends are going to start a petition about why I’m being charged with this.”

    This isn’t some conservative hero who made a mistake. This is a spoiled, privileged kids who’s used to always getting away with everything. This is a kid who got far less than he deserved and no one should feel sorry for him.

  • Brian Macker

    Actually Richard he had unloaded shotguns locked in his car which is hardly negligent. One of the teachers at the same school had a loaded gun in her car and handed the keys over to a bunch of kids, and the sheriff let her off scot free. He didn’t knowingly bring them onto school grounds either He forgot they were in the car. He noticed them when he went to get something out of the car and called his mother to deal with the issue. All his actions were responsible and innocent up until the point they frightened him with an unjustified felony charge. At that point it was perfectly reasonable, if foolish, to lie in order to get justice. He lied that he had informed school administrators. I looked at the law in question and it is extremely poorly written and bound to felonize innocent behavior of people exercising their second amendment rights. In fact, with a strict reading that teacher should have faced a felony, and this is a kid.

    I am amazed at all the intolerant comments, and the intolerant tone of Hemants article. Our society has been so criminalized it is possible you all felons yourselves. People get thrown in jail even when no underlying crime has been committed. For example both Scooter Libby and Marta Stewart.

    In this case what possible value does this law have? It can only serve to entrap the innocent. If someone brings a gun on school grounds for felonious reasons, such as armed robbery or murder then the possession charge really serves not purpose. What possible useful purpose does it serve to turn this child into a felon, when in fact he had done no harm, intended no harm, and nobody was put at any risk?

  • Brian Macker

    So you never had an unloaded gun in your car?

  • Brian Macker

    Actually no you don’t. What was irresponsible about his actions? You can criminalize any behavior, even if it is perfectly responsible, harms no one, and puts no one at risk.

  • Brian Macker

    Like that poor black girl in Florida facing a felony for bomb making. I don’t have to imagine. I also posted my outrage to hthat on my Facebook page.

  • Brian Macker

    Just because some activity is criminalize doesn’t make it negligent. It used to be illegal to teach blacks to read. One could call doing that criminally negligent in the same sense you are here. It was dangerous to social norms, just like keeping an unloaded shotgun locked in the car is violating some people’s social norms. The activity of leaving your gun locked in the car in and of itself is not negligent because it is not likely to directly lead to harm. In fact, the husband of a teacher from the same school leaves a loaded gun in his glove compartment and no one is charged. Why? Simple, the activity is NOT criminal nor negligent. A gun is not like a trained attack dog that is going to run off and do things by itself. Nor is it a trap unless left where a young child might find it. locked in a car is not such a place. Especially if one doesn’t have children. Oh, and as my wife says, why the fuck aren’t you watching your child if he’s breaking into my car?

  • Brian Macker

    So now everyone is responsible for the behavior of thieves? I have an idea. Hold thieves responsible for their own actions. I don’t look down qat the gas pedal to use it and there is stuff down on the passenger side footwell like CD case and other items that I don’t give a thought to from minute to minute. If the guns were there all weekend his brain might just ignore them.

    Last Thursday I had a presentation to in the morning so I got in at 7:00 am and got the front parking spot. I knew exactly where I parked, how could I forget. When I left for the day I walked right past my car to go to the spot I normally park at without thinking. The second I saw my car was not there I knew where it was. Why? Because I knew exactly where it was. To assume however that I purposely acted knowing that information to get some extra exercise wandering the parking lot fails to comprehend the normal functioning of the brain. I was preoccupied thinking about getting home early and working had to do there.

    … And remember this is all according to Davis, and his assumptions about what the kid was thinking. Which is at odds with other facts. Like the fact he called his mother to try to get the guns off school grounds. Doesn’t sound like the act of a kid intending to bring a gun to school. Just like my turning around to get to my car was not the act of a man out for a long stroll in the parking lot.

  • Brian Macker

    Black, and old news. She was facing a felony.

  • Brian Macker

    Lying is not always wrong.

  • Brian Macker

    What is that reason? He didn’t bring them to school. He left them in the car. Does that reason apply to the cops, like say laws against murdering people?

  • Charles Honeycutt

    You evil little vile epithet.

    Or would that be “you vile epithet little thing”?

  • Kevin_Of_Bangor

    Not sure what you are asking.

  • Charles Honeycutt

    Perjury is suddenly not a criminal act.

  • MD

    Hey, I’m not allowed to buy a gun because I have a criminal record, but, look! Some stupid kid left a couple of shotguns in his truck., out in the school parking lot! I think I’ll just accidentally slip, break the window, and run off with them shotguns!

  • sudon’t

    So Hemant, you’re congratulating this university for not going along with the “zero tolerance” nonsense that seems to plague our schools these days, right? I sure hope so because the kid did nothing wrong. It’s a shame that only a Christian institution would step up and do the right thing.
    Remember, we’re supposed to be the intelligent, tolerant ones. That goes for smokers, fat people, and law-abiding gun owners, too. Tolerance means respecting the choices of others, even if we disagree with those choices. It’s the very definition of small L liberal.

  • Brian Macker

    Not today it doesn’t. It means banning salt, big gulps, and trans-fats.

  • Brian Macker

    Funny when I went to school there were 80 NY schools that had gun clubs.

  • Brian Macker

    So what? You could just as well steal an Ipod or computer and use it to view child porn. He as the owner has no control over how you use the guns. Plus, shotguns aren’t really a problem when it comes to crime. Try walking around with a shotgun and not be noticed.

  • Brian Macker

    Exactly what I asked. When you go to the shooting range, or visit a friend, perhaps with several guns, do you ever lock them unloaded in the car. Plenty of people do that and it is not irresponsible. Like for instance someone who carries a gun for protection but needs to go into a courthouse. They may leave the gun in the car. Police have shotguns in their trunks all the time. Are the cops “irresponsible”.

  • Brian Macker

    How so? What has he done that any cop hasn’t done on a regular basis?

  • Kevin_Of_Bangor

    Anyone that leaves any type of firearm unsecured in a vehicle is being irresponsible. They make in car gun safes but some people are just to lazy to use them. If I know I’m going somewhere such as a court building I simply will not carry but if I must, it will be secure in in a safe, inside the vehicle.

  • Brian Macker

    He’d have to be under oath testifying in court for it to be perjury. He was being grilled by the police when he lied.

    Our language it not actually rich enough to discuss this topic without a grave danger of equivocating. We have no word for the difference from an actual crime to an act that is not criminal and yet against the law. So let me make the distinction.

    Criminal = An act that violates the rights of another individual unjustifiably harming or credibly endangering them.

    Unlawful = An act that is against some law whether criminal or not.

    Criminalized = A non-criminal act that has been made unlawful.

    This is just a comment so I might have to come up with better definitions on reflection but you get the drift.

    So here are some criminal acts = Slavery, enforcing laws legalizing slavery, a lawmaker passing a law that legalizes slavery.

    Here are some unlawful acts (depending on the law) = Helping an escaped slave, slavery, lying to the police about the location of an escaped slave, lying about holding a slave.

    Here are some criminalized acts: Helping an escaped slave, lying to the police about the location of an escaped slave.

    Note that some criminal acts, like enforcing laws legalizing slavery can never be unlawful. Either it is legal or not. Once it full legal (sanction to the highest levels of the legal system) they cannot be unlawful even though they may be criminal.

    It is sometimes criminal to lie to the police and sometimes not even if unlawful. For example, lying to the police about the location of an escaped slave is never criminal but may be unlawful.

    I do not believe that it is not criminal to lie to the police during an investigation when there is no underlying crime. It is not a crime to help an escaped slave so it can not be a crime to lie to the police about it. It may be unlawful but it is morally laudable to do this act.

    So back to the kid. There was no underlying crime here. The act of having an unloaded shotgun in your car harms no one, and the police do it all the time. Plus likely when the police arrived at the school they might have had an unloaded shotgun in their car and left it in the parking lot just as the kid did.

    So now the police are interrogating the kid. He knows he committed no crime (regardless of whether it was unlawful or not). So he is not guilty of a crime when he lies to avoid unjustifiable punishment for a non-crime. Just like a abolitionist can feel completely at moral ease when lying to the cops about an escaped slave.

    As one abolitionist, Spooner, points out, vices are not crimes and even if you think that gun ownership is some kind of vice that does not mean you can criminalize it on any kind of sound moral basis. You would have to show harm and that the police regularly practice these acts it is clear that no harm or credible endangerment occurs by them.

    Our traditions include philosophical stands which hold that neither the police nor politicians should be above the law. Apparently, in this case school teachers, husbands of school teachers, and the police are all above the law, because none of these actors were punished for violating this law.

  • Brian Macker

    As an example of this speeding on the roads in the case of an emergency should either be legal for everybody or nobody. If a siren and flashing lights is a mitigating safety factor then possession of a siren should be legal for everyone or no one. We in fact are partially in accordance with this. We do allow people to speed to get to the hospital without being convicted of a crime. Wouldn’t it be nice if a pregnant father also was able to purchase a siren and flashing lights in preparation for this possibility? You might complain that people would misuse them. Well the police do too. No reason a cop can’t follow someone to find out what the emergency is and the book them if they find that they falsely used the lights and siren to speed. People speed already in the first place.

  • Brian Macker

    Great abolitionists. Liars? Check. Criminals? Check. …

  • MD

    An iPod doesn’t directly harm anyone. And it’s the gun fans who are always talking about responsible ownership, and how great it is to have a population of responsible gun owners. Responsible gun owners, blah blah blah. Walk the talk, dammit.

  • more compost

    He went to the range. He fired his guns. He tossed them in the trunk. Did he clean them afterward? Maybe, I guess. He might have cleaned them at the range. He asserted that he forget the were there. HE FORGOT THEY WERE THERE, AND MISTAKENLY BROUGHT THEM TO SCHOOL. You don’t think that is irresponsible?

    And it is either disingenuous or stupid of you to pretend that a police officer correctly storing his weapon in his patrol car is even remotely the same as what this person did.

    Wait. Maybe you are just lying.

  • gleedaniel

    I think the scholarship that still remains to the guy who has bringing guns is still okay. he already apologizes and realizes his mistake.

  • David Hill

    As a lifelong Christian and someone who’s read my Bible enough times, I have to say that I don’t recall much about toting guns around. I do, on the other hand, recall a little something about bearing false witness and that we shouldn’t do it.

    Of course, I’m saying this as though Liberty University (who’s law school ranks near the bottom across the country, and I REALLY don’t want to be treated by anyone who went to their medical school) is a school that promotes Christianity, rather than a school that promotes the Republican Party.

  • Bobby B.

    Clean after every use and secure them in a safe place. That’s safe ownership 101. He shouldn’t be rewarded for being irresponsible. Makes it harder on all of us.