Freedom of Speech? Not in High School!

Freedom of Speech? Not in High School!

Airsoft_FLyndon Johnson was president when I was in high school, so I can't claim much familiarity with modern instructional norms, but a case in Massachusetts reported on the Guns Save Lives website makes it clear that the Bill of Rights is not getting a lot of emphasis these days.

Tito Velez, a student at Bristol-Plymouth Regional Technical School in Taunton, Mass., was dressed up for a night out with his girlfriend. The pair grabbed some airsoft guns and posed for pictures taken by his father. Their gun handling was impeccable, with muzzles pointed to the floor and fingers correctly positioned off the triggers. This was not a case of youngsters aping a poster of some gangsta rappers; the photo shows some well-groomed teenagers posing in a living room with some distinctively non-lethal airsoft guns.


That would have all been fine if Velez had just kept the photos on his computer, but he posted them to Facebook. Authorities at the school saw them and suspended both teens for 10 days. In a plaintive Facebook posting, Velez said:



"I understand it was wrong to take a picture with guns but come on. My dad took the photos, in my house. The guns were pointed at the floor, on safety, mock mags in, and our fingers weren't on the trigger. We had a responsible adult and he isn't against Airsoft. He knows gun safety and he keeps my guns, i dont have them unless im out at the fields."


No, Tito, it's not wrong to take a picture with guns, airsoft or real, in your house or elsewhere. It's exercising your First Amendment rights, which were upheld for high school students in the Tinker decision when I was in high school in 1969. The notion that a school has the authority to police student speech outside school hours and off school grounds is preposterous even by today's extremely debased standards of civil liberty.


Let's make the disclaimer that the GSL site only mentions one side of this controversy, and perhaps there are circumstances here about which we don't know. But there have been enough cases of hysterical overreaction by school authorities that Velez' story is hardly beyond belief.

I've said it here before, and I'll reiterate it. I'm a lot more worried about the First Amendment than the Second, because while the right to bear arms has expanded in recent years (except in benighted spots like California or Connecticut), freedom of speech is being eroded a little every day in incidents like this one. The local school board needs to intervene to rein in its overzealous administrators and return Velez and his girlfriend to class.

Alternatively, every kid in that school should post a picture holding a gun. Let's see them throw them all out.

Recommended for You

It's a matter of not wanting “What do you need a magazine with that many rounds for?” to become more than a rhetorical internet question. 2nd Amendment

Trump Administration Export Ban on Over 32 Round Magazines Raises Question of 'Why?'

David Codrea - June 14, 2019

It's a matter of not wanting “What do you need a magazine with that many rounds for?” to...

Governor Northam is calling a special session of the General Assembly on Tuesday, July 9th, to do nothing but pass more gun control! 2nd Amendment

Virginia Governor Northam Declares War on Gun Owners

Virginia Citizens Defense League - July 09, 2019

Governor Northam is calling a special session of the General Assembly on Tuesday, July 9th, to...

CZ-USA's handy CZ 527 7.62x39mm bolt gun now accepts a sound suppressor. Rifles

Suppressor-Ready CZ 527 Review

David M. Fortier - July 22, 2019

CZ-USA's handy CZ 527 7.62x39mm bolt gun now accepts a sound suppressor.

See More Recommendations

Popular Videos

Shooting the 20mm Lahti

Shooting the 20mm Lahti

David Fortier had the chance to fire the Lahti L-39 while filming the 2018 season of Guns&AmmoTV while on location at DriveTanks.com.

The GPO Rangeguide 10x50

The GPO Rangeguide 10x50

If you need to see your game, and know the distance in all hunting environments, the GPO RANGEGUIDE 10×50 is your winning ticket.

New handguns from Smith & Wesson

New handguns from Smith & Wesson

The Performance Center's M&P380 Shield EZ pistol features ported barrel, flat face trigger and tuned action.

See more Popular Videos

Trending Stories

If you want to keep the peace, keep and bear arms. Don't give up your guns. Any other choice would be ridiculous. 2nd Amendment

Is Red Dawn Really Just Ridiculous? If Not, Who Would Citizen Disarmament Help?

David Codrea - May 29, 2019

If you want to keep the peace, keep and bear arms. Don't give up your guns. Any other choice...

Governor Northam is calling a special session of the General Assembly on Tuesday, July 9th, to do nothing but pass more gun control! 2nd Amendment

Virginia Governor Northam Declares War on Gun Owners

Virginia Citizens Defense League - July 09, 2019

Governor Northam is calling a special session of the General Assembly on Tuesday, July 9th, to...

CRKT makes 17 different knife models exclusively for Ruger, from fixed hunting knives to tactical folders, and many of their models are offered in several different styles. Accessories

Ruger CRKT Knives Review

James Tarr - July 08, 2019

CRKT makes 17 different knife models exclusively for Ruger, from fixed hunting knives to...

See More Stories

More 2nd Amendment

According to WGAL News 8, making a ggun-like hand gestureh with your hand, is now a crime in PA. 2nd Amendment

PA Court Rules 'Finger Guns' Illegal

Jim Grant - September 03, 2019

According to WGAL News 8, making a ggun-like hand gestureh with your hand, is now a crime in...

Following the horrific shootings in Texas and Ohio, President Trump announced today that he has asked Attorney William Barr to go forward with efforts to pass red flag laws. 2nd Amendment

BREAKING NEWS: President Trump Greenlights Red Flag Laws

Firearms News Staff Report - August 05, 2019

Following the horrific shootings in Texas and Ohio, President Trump announced today that he...

NRA directors and staffers need to be held to the Bylaws in the same way government officials need to be held to the Constitution, and the Purposes and Objectives hold a key for what is needed, once management's self-created dumpster fire burns out. 2nd Amendment

Trump All Over Map on Guns as NRA Fights Self-Started Fires

David Codrea - August 29, 2019

NRA directors and staffers need to be held to the Bylaws in the same way government officials...

See More 2nd Amendment

GET THE MAGAZINE Subscribe & Save

Temporary Price Reduction.

SUBSCRIBE NOW

Give a Gift   |   Subscriber Services

PREVIEW OUR CURRENT ISSUE

GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.

×