'Thoughtcrime': Ariz. High School Student Suspended for Computer's Wallpaper

'Thoughtcrime': Ariz. High School Student Suspended for Computer's Wallpaper

In the dystopian novel Nineteen Eighty-Four by George Orwell, thoughtcrime is the criminal act of holding unspoken beliefs or doubts that oppose or question the ruling party. In the book, the government attempts to control not only the speech and actions, but also the thoughts of its subjects. To entertain unacceptable thought is known as to crimethink in Newspeak, the ideologically purified dialect of the party.

In the book, Winston Smith, the main character, writes in his diary: "Thoughtcrime does not entail death: thoughtcrime is death." There is also a "ministry of love" which is actually the place of torture for people who commit thoughtcrime or any type of crime for that matter.

Florence, Ariz., high school freshman Daniel McClaine, Jr., found out what thoughtcrime means when he was suspended three days for having a picture of a Yugoslav AK-47 as the wallpaper on his school-issued laptop.

Check out the video from ABC-15.



School district policy says students are prohibited from "sending or displaying offensive messages or pictures," and cannot access, send, create or forward pictures that are considered "harassing, threatening, or illegal."

Now, I am all in favor of vigilance by school officials. None of us wants another school shooting, and it would be an especially fishy coincidence if one just happened to coincide with debate on Sen. Feinstein's assault weapon bill. It is also the case that endless lawsuits by parents and the ACLU have reduced school administrators to mindlessly enforcing Kafkaesque bureaucratic regulations rather than showing children by example how to make reasonable judgments.

But this one gets into the realm of thought control, and clearly even the district realized that, since it backpedaled as soon as a local TV station made inquiries

There was a prominent British gun-control activist in the 1980s, a woman whose name I regret I can't recall, who thought banning ownership of guns, while a good first step, was hardly enough. She wanted to outlaw BB guns, toy guns, antiques, dummy guns, pictures of guns, guns in museums, the use of guns in films — essentially, she wanted to erase the very concept of guns from the collective memory.


Give her credit for big thinking, but that's a truly quixotic dream, and one that would require coercion at the North Korean or Khmer Rouge level. The desire to strike a blow at a distance dates back to the atlatl or the boomerang, and no level of thought control will ever extinguish it. We may someday do it with ray guns instead of gunpowder, but there's no changing human nature.

In the meantime, Daniel McClaine, who hopes to join the U.S. Army after graduation, has changed his wallpaper to something the school district, at least for the moment, can accept.

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

Recommended Articles

See More Recommendations

Popular Videos

Hornady

Hornady's New A-Tip Line of Match Bullets

Hornady Manufacturing, has developed a new line of match bullets. The A-Tip is designed for precision and long-range shooting.

New Bushnell Prime 1700 and Nitro 1800 Rangefinders

New Bushnell Prime 1700 and Nitro 1800 Rangefinders

Jake Edson of Bushnell Optics tells OSG's Lynn Burkhead about the brand new Prime 1700 and Nitro 1800 rangefinders.

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.

Springfield Armory Saint Victor in .308

Springfield Armory Saint Victor in .308

The Saint Victor in .308 features a 16" light weight barrel, M-Lok® free float hand guard and included flip-up sights.

See More Popular Videos

Trending Articles

The last of Germany's infamous Elefant tank destroyers. Historical

World War II German Elefant Tank Destroyers

Neal S Shera - July 12, 2019

The last of Germany's infamous Elefant tank destroyers.

A $50 Ring Loc-Kit gives AirForce Condor airgunners unparalleled power and accuracy. Air Guns

AirForce Airguns Condor Ring-Loc Kit Review

Tom Gaylord - May 29, 2019

A $50 Ring Loc-Kit gives AirForce Condor airgunners unparalleled power and accuracy.

No one can restore receptivity to another Trump term with these disaffected gun owners but the president himself. 2nd Amendment

2020 is Trump's to Blow with Gun Owners

David Codrea - July 09, 2019

No one can restore receptivity to another Trump term with these disaffected gun owners but the...

This will be the first of many investigative reports about the NRA by Firearms News. 2nd Amendment

Firearms News Investigates the NRA: Part 1

Nedd Scott - July 18, 2019

This will be the first of many investigative reports about the NRA by Firearms News.

See More Trending Articles

More 2nd Amendment

Several thousand gun owners turned out at the temporary General Assembly Building on Monday, January 13! 2nd Amendment

Virginia 2A ALERT: Recap of the Senate Judiciary Committee Meeting on Monday, January 13th

VCDL - January 14, 2020

Several thousand gun owners turned out at the temporary General Assembly Building on Monday,...

Anticipation of potential Virginia Lobby Day violence means steps can be taken to discourage or minimize it. 2nd Amendment

Preventing Virginia Lobby Day Violence: Be Well Regulated

David Codrea - January 13, 2020

Anticipation of potential Virginia Lobby Day violence means steps can be taken to discourage...

The new tax would levy a two cents per round tax on rounds measuring .22 caliber or smaller, and a five cent tax on larger rounds, it would also impose a $25 fee on every firearm sold through a dealer in the city. 2nd Amendment

Tacoma WA To Enact New Guns and Ammo Tax

Jim Grant - November 04, 2019

The new tax would levy a two cents per round tax on rounds measuring .22 caliber or smaller,...

It wasn't until after some high profile police shootings started drawing media criticism that DeWine decided that he could no longer politically afford to ignore the obvious, so he did what comes so naturally to him: He reversed course. 2nd Amendment

DeWine On Again/Off Again with Gun-Grabber Roots

David Codrea - October 17, 2019

It wasn't until after some high profile police shootings started drawing media criticism that...

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.