Let 'Em Eat Gun-Shaped Cake, Lawmaker Says

     DALLAS (CN) - A Texas congressman introduced a bill that would deny federal funding to any public school that punishes students for drawing pictures of guns, pretending to have an imaginary weapon, or "brandishing a pastry or other food which is partially consumed in such a way that the remnant resembles a gun."
     Congressman Steve Stockman, R-Friendswood, calls H.R. 2625 the "Student Protection Act," and "A bill to protect the rights of children."
     It also would deny federal funding to any school that punishes a child for "using a pencil, pen or other writing utensil to simulate a firearm."
     The bill states: "So-called 'zero-tolerance' weapons policies in federally funded schools are being used to outlaw harmless expressions of childhood play.
     "So-called 'zero-tolerance' weapons policies in federally funded schools are being used to teach children to be afraid of inanimate objects that are shaped like guns."
     The bill then cites several examples in which schools allegedly punished students for pretending to have weapons, or other bizarrerie.
     "A school in Grand Island, Nebraska, this year demanded a three-year-old deaf boy in pre-school change his name because its sign language expression resembles a gun," the bill states.
     "A seven-year-old Colorado boy was suspended for throwing an imaginary hand grenade.
     "In Talbot County, Maryland, two six-year-old boys were suspended this year for shaping their fingers in the shape of guns while playing 'cops and robbers' during recess.
     "A 14-year-old in Kentucky was not only suspended from school this year for wearing a NRA T-shirt that said 'protect your right,' but the principal called police to have him arrested."
     Stockman claims in his bill: "This government-sanctioned political correctness is traumatizing children and spreading irrational fear."
     The bill continues: "No funds appropriated pursuant to any provisions of law may be used for any educational institution which punishes a student as a result of any of the following actions by the student:
     "(1) brandishing a pastry or other food which is partially consumed in such a way that the remnant resembles a gun;
     "(2) possession of a toy gun which is two inches or less;
     "(3) possession of a toy gun made of plastic snap together building blocks;
     "(4) using a finger or hand to simulate a gun;
     "(5) vocalizing imaginary firearms or munitions;
     "(6) wearing a T-shirt that supports Second Amendment rights;
     "(7) drawing a picture of, or possessing an image of, a firearm; or
     "(8) using a pencil, pen or other writing utensil to simulate a firearm."
     Stockman wants the bill to take effect immediately upon passage.
     Stockman is serving his second term in Congress. During his first term, in 1995-97, he wrote an article for Guns & Ammo magazine that claimed the raid on the Branch Davidian compound in Waco in April 1993 was part of a Clinton administration plot to ban assault weapons.