Pellet gun carrying Central Coast teen facing expulsion

August 28, 2012

A Lompoc Valley Middle School student is facing expulsion from school after police discovered a pellet gun in his backpack.

On Monday morning, a caller informed police that the 13-year-old boy had pulled what appeared to be a handgun from his backpack before saying that he needed it for protection.

Police responded by placing the school on lock down and contacting the teen who cooperated with officers and gave them his backpack.

Police arrested the teen for possession of a weapon on school grounds and booked him into the Lompoc City Jail before releasing him to his parents.

Following the arrest, school officials suspended the teen and are contemplating expelling him for disrupting school operations and bringing a dangerous weapon to school.



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The police didn’t know if it was a real gun or not!

The irony is that if it was real, the mchaney’s of this world would be all over the police department if they just arrived and took action in the vein of; “wait guys, it may just be a pellet gun, so let’s not be to extreme in our actions, okay? Let’s just walk in, grab a coke, and just easily walk around looking for the culprit, okay? We’ll just follow mchaney’s advice that it just could be a pellet gun and we’re not to worry”. Preposterous! You error on the side of caution, especially with all of the school shootings of late!

Oh, and machaney, have you ever been shot with a pellet gun? It’s not that it’s capacity may not be permanent or kill you, but it will certainly leave a mark and scare the hell out of anyone that doesn’t know it’s not a real gun, especially if shot in the face or eye. Hello, get it?

Expelling this child is not right? Stupidity should not be rewarded, period. Life is a learning process, and this fool that brought the pellet gun to school, where it could be thought of as a real gun, has learned a serious lesson.

It’s so easy for the mchaney’s to Monday Morning Quarterback this situation since is wasn’t a “real” gun. Mchaney, your “after the fact” logic is flawed and comical, to say the least.

This is an EXCEEDINGLY dumb way to respond to this episode of poor judgment. First and foremost, it’s not a firearm, it’s a pellet gun. I’m going to provide my argument as a list to encourage anyone who disagrees to respond to my logic and not their impression of my logic.

– It’s capacity to cause permanent serious injury as a result of an accident (unintentional discharge, etc…) is pretty darn minor. FOOTBALL is more dangerous in that context!

– It’s capacity to cause the same as a result of INTENTIONAL action is not any higher (more likely lower) than a rock, a sharp stick, or a baseball bat.

– Expelling the kid has a higher potential for indirect consequences… e.g. a frustrated uneducated bored adolescent is probably more likely to cause harm as a result of an eventual drunk driving accident or something of that nature

– The dramatic reaction and severe consequence to the possession of the item is based on the IMPRESSION or FEELING that it’s particular construction (i.e. it LOOKS like a firearm) is frightening, and that it is categorized as a weapon, as opposed to a bike lock, sports gear, etc.

Let’s try not to ruin lives as a result of SUPERFICIAL and not SUBSTANTIVE characteristics of this item. Don’t even suspend the child, but rather make him do something productive for the school with his free time.. then EVERYONE WINS instead!

All I know about the incident is from the printed news reports.

It sounds like the kid’s intent was to make others believe it was a real gun to intimidate others. Otherwise, why didn’t he tell the person he showed it to that it wasn’t a real gun? It’s not like the kid was playing with the pellet gun on the weekend and forgot he had it in his backpack.

None of the articles I’ve read said the kid has been expelled or stated any other punishment We don’t know if this kid was in a gang, or a straight-A student that was getting picked on. I trust the school is capable of deciding the correct consequences after weighing all the facts.

As much as I prefer reading mkaney’s posts over Ted’s (one of my auto-skip posters), I have to agree with the bit about “they didn’t know if it was real or not” – ANYONE who deals with firearms knows 1) Always assume the weapon is loaded and 2) Even BB/pellet guns are dangerous firearms.

Maybe not THIS particular model or whatnot (we don’t know), but there are pellet guns who’s velocity EXCEEDS many (bullet) firearms! While generally safe, ANY weapon of ANY kind in the wrong hands has potential to be deadly. Hell, a BASEBALL BAT or even a COFFEE MUG has potential to be a deadly weapon.

Mkaney, I normally agree with you, but I think you might be over-stepping it here.

Crusader must be the father of the young cowboy in question. Please don’t defend bringing a weapon to school in the name of gun owners’ rights. As a retired veteran of 35 years in the classroom, teachers have enough to deal with. How bout you and Ted Nugent fight your fiight outside of our schools?

Also, school lock downs are practiced regularly for a variety of safety reasons, not just gun or shooter on campus. Educators take student safety seriously.

LOL! Sure they do! I was in middle school less than 35 years ago in a very nice community and it sucked from a “safety” standpoint.

Of course we didn’t have “lock downs” in my day…

Stop lying. I posted “The student exercised exceedingly poor judgement in bringing a pellet gun to school. There is no way around that” and “The student did something very wrong.” You are flat-out lying to suggest that I “defend bringing a weapon to school in the name of gun owners’ rights.”

I also don’t care for the “cowboy” slur. I have no idea who this student is nor do you. To label them a “cowboy” in such a demeaning manner is unacceptable — particularly for “a retired veteran of 35 years in the classroom.”

Lastly just knock-off the firearms ignorance and hatred. I’ve listen to enough of that crap from people like you to last me three lifetimes.

How is being a cowboy demeaning? In fact, I would venture to say he is probably NOT a cowboy- or he would have been raised to respect firearms and act responsibly with them.

Not to say that I completely disagree with you, but why did you swallow the bait? You can’t argue with stupid.

In this context its use is a demeaning slur.

I agree that was the intent. However, it is only demeaning if you agree with Salty’s premise, which I do not.

Of course we all want our children to be safe, but that will not happen by taking away the rights of responsible tax-paying citizens.

I have decided my time is better spent explaining the reason behind my views, not arguing with people who resort to petty name calling. It only shows their views and opinions are based on emotion, and not reason or logic!

You’re quite right of course…

I am just appalled at that total lack of common sense and self reliance — rather than confiscate the backpack and isolate the suspect while waiting for the cavalry they did nothing leaving everyone at risk. Once police isolated the suspect and recovered the pellet pistol THEN the big song-and-dance started.

That “lock down” was nothing more than an opportunity to further inculcate fear and hatred of firearms into students and staff alike. The very mindset that kept people from confiscating the backpack and isolating the suspect in the first place!

Amazed the student would bring a pellet pistol to school. After all the campus is a “gun free zone.”

I know this is ironic considering my posting name, but I think a more accurate term should be UNcommon sense… it is getting sparse these days!

This concerns me. If you react to this incident on the basis of the superficial characteristics of this item, which leaves the IMPRESSION that it is a firearm or firearm-like, it makes me question what kind of thought processes you fostered in the children which you taught? To think the ripple effects of this on society… I say barring overly dramatic irrational teachers from the classroom instead would likely have better long term results than punishing kids for doing stupid things in a way that will hurt their futures.

The student exercised exceedingly poor judgement in bringing a pellet gun to school. There is no way around that. But this overreaction is sickening.

It’s terribly sad to see more and more Americans being conditioned to fear and ultimately hate guns. No effort is made to actually understand them. “Lock down?” Pardon me? Would it have been truly that difficult to have confiscated a backpack from a middle-schooler, carry it to a secured area (such as the principal’s office) and ascertain what’s actually inside of it while the student is interrogated in a different location?

Not in this day and age because it was a GUN! There’s probably no one at Lompoc Valley Middle School that even has to knowledge to determine if was a pellet gun or an actual firearm. This “lock down” was in reality nothing more than another means to indoctrinate people to fear and hate guns.

While not excusing the student of bringing a pellet gun to school, the response is almost as boneheaded as making schools so-called “gun free zones” which do nothing but ensure only criminals will be armed on school campuses. Pure bunkum designed by politicians to get votes.

It’s easy to tell people what they should have done after the fact. Sounds like someone called about a kid with a gun at school and the school implemented a lock down to try to keep the kids, teachers, and staff safe while they figured out what was going on. Maybe 3 kids brought guns to school that day because someone wanted to fight after school.

I talked with a teacher last night who stopped a 12 yo student from fighting another kid because the other kid was throwing up gang signs. That’s the reality in our public schools in this area. A stupid hand gesture caused a violent reaction.

Most schools have zero tolerance with bringing a weapon to school which is the way it should be.

So someone called the police about a student with a gun.

Was this student isolated from the populous during the time it took the police to respond to the scene? If not, why not? Why didn’t an adult forcibly confiscate the backpack while other adults interrogated the suspect? By the time the police arrived there would have been no need for a “lock down.”

This situation was handled in this manner for two main reasons. First, people are conditioned in today’s society to fear and hate firearms. In this case I suspect no one had the resolve or the good sense to simply confiscate the backpack.

Second, this “lock down” was a wonderful way to underscore to young, malleable minds a need to fear and hate firearms rather than understand their history, mechanics and application. It was also an excellent opportunity for law enforcement to “put on a show.”

The student did something very wrong but the response would be laughable if it were not so sickening.

Looks like the police didn’t know who the student was at first and the lockdown was initiated by LE while they tried to identify the kid. I’m sure you’ll have your reasons why this wasn’t the safe thing to do.

From a Santa Barbara news site:

Lompoc Valley Middle School was put on lockdown Monday morning after a citizen reported seeing a juvenile headed to the school with a semi-automatic handgun in the backpack.

Lompoc police Sgt. Chuck Strange said officers responded to the scene about 7:45 a.m., and lockdown procedures were put in place at 8:15 a.m.

Strange said the caller told police that the 13-year-old boy pulled the gun from his backpack and said he was taking it to the school for protection.

The teenager was identified with the assistance of school staff, according to Strange.

In the future, when another student brings a bb gun, a pellet gun, a decorative lighter that looks like a gun, a teacher will simply take it away from that student and nothing bad will happen; but, what about the student who has a real firearm? Surely it is safer for all involved to assume any sort of firearm-looking device is the real thing, treat the threat like the real thing, and diffuse the situation in the safest manner possible. The police officers responding to a call of a student with a weapon have no idea if the weapon is the real thing or not; do you want them to assume that the weapon is a fake, a replica, a “soft-air” type, bb or pellet gun and end up getting shot by a real gun? I don’t hate firearms, I don’t fear firearms, I do have a problem with a possibly disturbed individual taking a loaded firearm to a crowded place with the intention of causing the death of others and I think the police department and the school officials reacted in the proper manner in this case.

Hey! I have a better idea! Let’s put even bigger and fancier signs around campus underscoring the campus as a “gun free zone!” That way no one (except law enforcement of course) will bring guns onto campus! Problem solved, right? LOL!!

On second thought, given the hideous marksmanship exhibited by most law enforcement officers (ref. NYPD recently shooting nine innocents), let’s make them check their weapons too before the come on campus.

“Lock down?” Good grief. This is all about conditioning people to hate and fear firearms.

Since when is a pellet gun not allowed to carry a teen?

Who knows…maybe there’s something to his claim of needing it for “protection.” Maybe he’s being bullied at school/after school and tried to take matters into his own hands. Not condoning his actions but there may be more to the story…

What kind of nincompoop actually thinks a pellet gun protects them from anything (except, perhaps, a sparrow)?

*sigh* Mary, Mary…always so contrary.

The “nincompoop” in question is a thirteen year old child, remember? All his brain synapses aren’t developed yet. It’s not like he’s a 21 year old college student who came to campus armed w/guns, ammo and a ski mask. Sheesh.

Again, I’m not condoning bringing a pellet gun on campus but hopefully administrators are actually investigating the kids’ claims of needing “protection” and not just over-reacting because of their zero weapons policy.

Amen. In my day middle school was a jungle. Looking back I really wonder why the principal and the assistant principal didn’t simply put the word out to knock all the crap off? Walk the halls before and after school. Be present and visible.

I suspect things are better now. I hope the administrators are doing their jobs…

Really? You know 13-year-olds who believe a bb gun will protect them?

“Lockdown”? Oh geez…

They shouldn’t blow the poor kid up for a pellet gun. Are they going to use dynamite??!!

The term is “expulsion.”

Let the kid stay in school………………………..jail the parents. Lets take a look at who’s really to blame !

Always blaming the parents is so wrong.

I knew in grade school what was right from wrong and to accept blame for my own mistakes.

We had to work things out for ourselves and never brought our troubles home to mom and dad!

We stood and fought when we had to!

When we needed patching up, parents usually asked: “Who started the fight?” and “did you win or lose.”

When I was 12 years old I was allowed to take my single shot 22 cal. rifle out any time I wanted to, to shoot squirrels up the Del Mar reservoir riverine in N. Morro Bay, Ca.

Blame the parents….I don’t think so!

Hey Rawhide… Who taught You right from wrong…. a Godly vision ? Take drive by Paso Robles High School…… and take a look at the dress code……….. Most parent are too busy to have a clue what the hell their Kids are doing………………… and possibly dont give a S>>T. i ALSO HAD A 22 AND 410 at a very age…………… because My Parents knew where I was going, and what I was up to…Where are Your kids today ?

I stand on my premise…!!!

Parents alone don’t instill all values of “right from wrong” in their children…!

At an early age the norms of society are instilled within our children by their parents first…

Children observe other children through interaction at play grounds etc…

Children learn from and observe parents and teachers at every level of learning in school…etc…Etc.…

So it is not just the “failure” of the parents, but just maybe the failure of the child to learn right from wrong!!! ???

Cain slew Able…Must have been Adam and Eve’s fault…LOL…

FYI…My children are educated and successful…

Sorry……….. but I feel that the parents should of seen a few signs that the boy was having some adjustment problems with middle school. It was not parent failure problem….it was lack of attention, and possibly not caring… both parents working ? Again Sorry for My comments…. just My way of thinking. Glad Your childern are doing well.

Thanks for your comments…

13 year old boy “saying that he needed it for protection…”

Back in my day fist fights settled things between us boys.

In my case someone else almost always started the fight.

Now days a fight can end with “threats” on one’s life at any age…

Just ask Jory Brigham…who was beaten down by Fireman Ryan Mason.

It is rumored that he practiced Mix Martial Arts Fighting at “The Pit” in Arroyo Grande.