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Police say 6 year old brought marijuana to school
AP ^ | January 17, 2003 | KESQ NEWS

Posted on 01/17/2003 8:01:41 AM PST by robertpaulsen

Parents in the high-desert say it's not what they expected their six year old' to learn in school, but police say teachers at Yucca Valley Elementary noticed one of their first graders doing a show-and-tell with marijuana they say he brought to school. The boy's parents are under arrest for child endangerment.

In elementary school, kids are thinking about recess and what's for lunch. You don't think drugs are even in the picture. But yesterday, police say drugs were at school, brought there by a first grader.

It's not what you'd ever expect a six year old to bring to school, a bag of marijuana, a pipe to smoke it in, and a lighter. But police say a first grader at Yucca Valley Elementary had all three of these things on campus, showing them off to his young classmates

Jennifer Whittemore's son Caleb is seven years old. Too young, she thought, to understand what marijuana is. Now she says it's a topic she's going to have to tackle

“I've warned my kids, but they don't know what it looks like. He would think it was candy.”

Police say a teacher found the boy with the drugs Tuesday morning, and quickly took them away and called the San Bernardino Sheriff's Department. Sgt. Fred Gonzales says the 6 year old knew what the drugs were, and told them exactly where he had found them.

“He told police he picked the marijuana up at his home,” says Sgt. Gonzales.

After police interviewed the boy, they came here, where they say they found even more drug paraphernalia inside the home.

The boy's father, Douglas Ballard, and his live-in girlfriend, Heather Peterson, were arrested for willful cruelty and child endangerment. And police say they've been to their home before to search for drugs. Both are now behind bars, on $100,000 bail.

As for the boy, he is now living with relatives.

We did speak with school officials, but they did not want to comment on the incident.


TOPICS: Culture/Society; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: child; elementary; endangerment; marijuana; school; yukkavalley
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"were arrested for willful cruelty and child endangerment."

I would say that this qualifies as an answer to the question, "Who is hurt by marijuana, other than the user?"

1 posted on 01/17/2003 8:01:42 AM PST by robertpaulsen
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2 posted on 01/17/2003 8:02:35 AM PST by Support Free Republic (Your support keeps Free Republic going strong!)
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To: robertpaulsen
Tip of the iceberg situation.....Yucca Valley, with it's breezy openness (to get rid of the whiff) is the undisputed Meth Lab capital of southern Kalifornia.
3 posted on 01/17/2003 8:05:13 AM PST by ErnBatavia ((Bumperootus!))
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To: robertpaulsen
But the legalize it crowd will say the boy is being hurt becuase his parents were arrested because of some harmless drugs.

I don't buy that argument, but that's their comeback.

4 posted on 01/17/2003 8:14:59 AM PST by for-q-clinton
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To: robertpaulsen
The boy's father, Douglas Ballard, and his live-in girlfriend, Heather Peterson, were arrested for willful cruelty and child endangerment..

For some strange reason, I fail to see how this parent was "willfully cruel" to his child for merely posessing marijuana. Hey may be guilty of stupidity, perhaps, but "willful cruelty"?

And police say they've been to their home before to search for drugs. Both are now behind bars, on $100,000 bail.

And Now the child is in the hands of CPS, or in a foster home....certainly that is a far less "cruel" environment. < /sarcasm >

5 posted on 01/17/2003 8:15:37 AM PST by deaconblues (Repeal the 21st amendment!)
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To: robertpaulsen
"I would say that this qualifies as an answer to the question, "Who is hurt by marijuana, other than the user?" "

Do you mean hurt like in the sense of if the parents had cigarettes or alcohol around the house that the kids had gotten a hold of?

6 posted on 01/17/2003 8:15:37 AM PST by Kerberos
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To: robertpaulsen
WILLFUL CRUELTY?!

Puh-lease!

7 posted on 01/17/2003 8:16:27 AM PST by Lunatic Fringe
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To: robertpaulsen; Howlin; justshe
I think you'll find a cute little contrarianite Lozerdopian band here at FR that will ask [with a Labored straight face]...


"What's the problem?"
8 posted on 01/17/2003 8:17:40 AM PST by VaBthang4
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To: robertpaulsen
R.P. you know i'm ususally on the other side of the argument and as you know I don't badger or call people names, I try to be logical and state my case intellectually. Indeed this was not good, but you know the kid could just have easily brought in a bottle of Jack Daniels, diet pills or tobacco products all of which are a suspendable violation. The only difference is that pot's not legal over the counter. Now with that said please don't misconstrue what I said to thinking that i condone 6 year olds doing any of thee above.
9 posted on 01/17/2003 8:17:49 AM PST by HELLRAISER II
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To: Kerberos
Geez, if only he'd brought in a 6-pack of beer, everything would have been fine, downright patriotic, even.
10 posted on 01/17/2003 8:17:59 AM PST by Wolfie (Marijuana is much to expensive to waste on kids.)
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To: deaconblues
I agree.
11 posted on 01/17/2003 8:19:12 AM PST by HELLRAISER II
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To: robertpaulsen
“I've warned my kids, but they don't know what it looks like. He would think it was candy.”

If true, she must have stupid kids, while they may have no reason to know what pot looks, smells, tastes like, but it sure isn't candy!

12 posted on 01/17/2003 8:21:35 AM PST by StriperSniper (Start heating the TAR, I'll go get the FEATHERS.)
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To: HELLRAISER II
Teachers took the drugs from the little boy, and then told him to go take his Ritalin.
13 posted on 01/17/2003 8:23:50 AM PST by Wolfie (Marijuana is much to expensive to waste on kids.)
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To: deaconblues
Either you didn't read the entire article or you're trying to paint the picture worse than it is: "As for the boy, he is now living with relatives."
14 posted on 01/17/2003 8:24:29 AM PST by for-q-clinton
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To: StriperSniper
Oh no son, that's oregno.
15 posted on 01/17/2003 8:25:16 AM PST by HELLRAISER II
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To: Wolfie
"Geez, if only he'd brought in a 6-pack of beer, everything would have been fine, downright patriotic, even. "

Might have been cause for a tailgate party.

Seems to me that with marijuana the child would have had to figure out how to get the seeds out, roll it up, and put a light to it. With a beer, all they would of had to do is figure out how to pop the top. Given the logic put forth here, beer would seem to be more of a child endangerment issue.

16 posted on 01/17/2003 8:28:47 AM PST by Kerberos
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To: HELLRAISER II
Oh no son, that's oregno.

Expensive, imported, oregano. So keep your grubby little mitts off of Daddy's OREGANO!!! ;-)

17 posted on 01/17/2003 8:29:30 AM PST by StriperSniper (Start heating the TAR, I'll go get the FEATHERS.)
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To: Wolfie
And don't forget your parents were funding Terrorists to. Please give me a break, the parents are guilty of nothing but being stupid.
18 posted on 01/17/2003 8:29:56 AM PST by HELLRAISER II
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To: HELLRAISER II
Heck, you mean they drive an SUV too? Dang.
19 posted on 01/17/2003 8:30:57 AM PST by Wolfie
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To: for-q-clinton
Either you didn't read the entire article or you're trying to paint the picture worse than it is: "As for the boy, he is now living with relatives."

FWIW, I was more focused on the "willful cruelty" charges.

Now, I am certain that intrusive state was not involved in the child's current living arrangement in any way. After all, ANY relatives are, better for suited to raise a child than a pot-smoking parent. < /sarcasm >

20 posted on 01/17/2003 8:31:25 AM PST by deaconblues (Repeal the 21st amendment!)
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To: Wolfie
The commericals are all saying if you buy drugs or drive SUV's your funding Terrorism. Sounds like 2 additional reasons for legalization of M.J. & drilling oil in our own damn country if you want to take them at their word. (Which I never would anyway.)
21 posted on 01/17/2003 8:36:06 AM PST by HELLRAISER II
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To: VaBthang4
""What's the problem?""

Not really, I think you'll find that the Libertarians here are very aware of what the problem is.

22 posted on 01/17/2003 9:27:41 AM PST by Kerberos
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To: Wolfie; EBUCK
Obviously, this doesn't qualify as harming someone else in your book.

Then maybe you can help me understand the persistent and pervasive pro-drug question of, "Who does marijuana harm?" I point out some children that were harmed, and you just pooh-pooh it, saying, in effect, beer is......what? Just as harmful? Not as harmful? "I'm just trying to be funny"? What's your point?

Now, if your point is that beer is just as harmful, then haven't I made my case that MJ is harmful?

23 posted on 01/17/2003 9:59:02 AM PST by robertpaulsen
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To: robertpaulsen
Depends on the baseline. Is using MJ (or beer) more harmful than NOT using it? Yes. But harm is relative. Does the harm justify imprisoning adults merely for using it? I would say no. You would say yes. We'll have to agree to disagree.
24 posted on 01/17/2003 10:05:18 AM PST by Wolfie (The people don't want freedom, they just want a tyranny to their liking.)
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To: Wolfie
Just trying to understand Libertarian thinking. But I think it goes something like:

Person A smoking MJ does not harm anyone else. If person B is harmed by person A while smoking MJ, punish person A for the action, not the smoking. How about that?

If that's the rationale, then how do we justify making it illegal to: go 95 in a school zone, shoot at someone and miss, drink and drive, let my pit bulls roam free, build a large bomb, or put a mine field in my front yard. What's wrong with attempted robbery (or attempted anything)? Why were people so bent out of shape when Michael Jackson hung the baby over the balcony? Hell, he should be allowed to juggle three of them.

With that thinking, do I qualify for honorary Libertarian?

25 posted on 01/17/2003 10:41:30 AM PST by robertpaulsen
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To: robertpaulsen
I point out some children that were harmed, and you just pooh-pooh it, saying, in effect, beer is......what? Just as harmful? Not as harmful? "I'm just trying to be funny"? What's your point?

Are you being coy? Or stupid?

The only "harm" that came to this child is the "harm" of seeing his parents arrested.

26 posted on 01/17/2003 10:50:28 AM PST by Trailerpark Badass
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To: robertpaulsen
Potential harm to others in those scenarios is taken into account, no doubt. I'm not even saying it shouldn't be a factor. I just happen to believe that, as with alcohol, the potential harm to others from marijuana use (not smoking and driving, not smoking and flying, not smoking and giving it to a little kid, just use) does NOT warrant laws against its use. Just as I would say that the potential harm from someone drunk off his ass on Budweiser does not warrant Alcohol Prohibition.

Like I said, we'll just have to agree to disagree

27 posted on 01/17/2003 10:53:17 AM PST by Wolfie (The people don't want freedom, they just want a tyranny to their liking.)
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To: deaconblues
Both are now behind bars, on $100,000 bail.

For comparison...the Dallas Cowboys cornerback that killed two men (who were trying to help a man out of a burning car) with his 110 mph weapon was released on 50K bail. Yup, the WOD creates some interesting situations alright.

28 posted on 01/17/2003 11:07:12 AM PST by EBUCK (....reloading....praparing to FIRE!!!)
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To: robertpaulsen
MJ is harmfull, for the last time, MJ is harmfull. It could probably cause cancer, makes people lazy and above all else it's illegal! Not safe, don't smoke it, not worth the risk!!

Now on to a non-strawman...

If anything this kid was harmed by his parents, I disagree, but that is the company line. The pot did not jump up and start kicking him in the groin repeatedly. Hell, the kid wasn't even smoking it.

You might try to say that pot caused the kids parents but that won't cut it either. Or that the pot somehow influeced the parents to leave it out, devil weed took possession of the house and all...don't work either.

29 posted on 01/17/2003 11:19:33 AM PST by EBUCK (....reloading....praparing to FIRE!!!)
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To: robertpaulsen
Now, if your point is that beer is just as harmful, then haven't I made my case that MJ is harmful?

No, "just as harmful" can mean they measure both harms as zero. Please answer this yes-or-no question: If the kid had come to school with a 6-pack, would you say that was evidence that alcohol harms its users' children?

30 posted on 01/17/2003 12:29:38 PM PST by MrLeRoy ("That government is best which governs least.")
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To: MrLeRoy
Why do you insist on comparing marijuana to alcohol? Let's compare it to another illegal Schedule I drug, heroin.

"If the kid had come to school with heroin and needles, would you say that was evidence that heroin harms its users' children?"

Your one word answer, "Yes".

31 posted on 01/17/2003 2:47:45 PM PST by robertpaulsen
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To: robertpaulsen
great comparison!!! one drug can easily kill in one dose the other has no proven cases of death by overdose
32 posted on 01/17/2003 4:55:46 PM PST by rayola
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To: rayola
"great comparison!!! one drug can easily kill in one dose the other has no proven cases of death by overdose "

What did you expect from the clueless?

33 posted on 01/17/2003 7:29:21 PM PST by Kerberos
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To: rayola; Kerberos
One is smoked and one is injected!! One is cheap and one is expensive!! Who gives a $hit!!

My point, for the clueless, is that they're both illegal, Schedule I drugs. Any parent who leaves this type of drug laying around for a 6-year-old child to find is guilty of child endangerment. And stupidity.

34 posted on 01/18/2003 8:34:38 AM PST by robertpaulsen
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To: robertpaulsen; rayola
"My point, for the clueless, is that they're both illegal, Schedule I drugs"

You are correct, they are both illegal, but the only property that a Schedule I drug must possess is that it has to have a potential for abuse. If cigarettes and alcohol were illegal, I’m sure that the government would see fit to include them as Schedule I drugs.

But to say that the addictive properties and\or the potential to harm oneself is the same for marijuana as it is for heroin is at best absurd. That’s like saying the potential for harm is the same from leaving a slingshot laying around as it is for a loaded 357. If you are going to try and make comparisons, at least try to compare apples to apples and oranges to oranges.

35 posted on 01/18/2003 11:52:35 AM PST by Kerberos
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To: deaconblues
And Now the child is in the hands of CPS, or in a foster home....certainly that is a far less "cruel" environment.

I guess you didn't read the article. He is living with relatives now.

36 posted on 01/18/2003 12:03:03 PM PST by BullDog108 (Kick their @$$ and take their gas!)
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To: Kerberos
"but the only property that a Schedule I drug must possess is that it has to have a potential for abuse."

Not quite. According to the CSA:

(A) The drug or other substance has a high potential for abuse.
(B) The drug or other substance has no currently accepted medical use in treatment in the United States.
(C) There is a lack of accepted safety for use of the drug or other substance under medical supervision.

Alcohol does have "accepted medical use in treatment in the United States", so it would not be listed as a Schedule I drug, if it were illegal, which it is not.

If, and I see that you're big on "ifs", marijuana is found to have some medical benefit, it would be rescheduled to a II, III, IV, or V drug. It's there mainly because of the "no medical use" designation.

Now, you say it shouldn't be there. Fine. I'm sure many others agree. But it is there, right along with heroin and all the others on the link I gave you. And no matter what schedule it is, it's still illegal, it was made available to a 6-year-old, and he brought it to class.

That's my point.

37 posted on 01/18/2003 12:38:44 PM PST by robertpaulsen
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To: BullDog108
I guess you didn't read the article. He is living with relatives now.

Gee, thanks for pointing that out.

I guess YOU didn't read the entire thread, somebody else already pointed out to me that the child is living with relatives. And as I stated to them, I am certain that NO government angency was involved in any way in that decision. < /sarcasm >

I hope his "relative" is more responsible than the exotic dancer in Newark who was taking care of her cousin's children.

38 posted on 01/18/2003 7:44:16 PM PST by deaconblues
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To: robertpaulsen; FreeTally; EBUCK; MrLeRoy
” And no matter what schedule it is, it's still illegal”

And on that point I will have to agree with you. Weather one likes it or not the law is the law, which is one reason I don’t use illegal substances, as I do believe in the rule of law, but certainly not the primary one. But even that being true, that does not mean that when one sees that the law is wrong, and in fact does more harm than it does good, that one should not speak up against it.

And I am aware of the other two criteria but didn’t think them really worthy of mention since their primary function is more verbose language to support the first criteria.

” Alcohol does have "accepted medical use in treatment in the United States", so it would not be listed as a Schedule I drug, if it were illegal, which it is not.”

A hundred years ago that would be true but I don’t believe that alcohol is being widely used these days for medicinal purposes. Outside of the base for some products, i.e. mouthwash, Nyquil, and as a cleansing agent, I have not recently heard of any doctors using Jack Daniels, or more appropriately Everclear, as an anesthetic. But even if it does have current day medicinal uses, does that mean that the government was willing to sacrifice the well being of it’s citizens, in it’s zeal to stamp out moral corruption during the years of prohibition? Would not the medicinal uses of alcohol been more pertinent in the 20’s than it is today? And while we are in the area, why did the government have to pass a Constitutional amendment to prohibit alcohol but can today make certain drugs illegal by simple legislative action? Did something change in the Constitution between then and now?

"if marijuana is found to have some medical benefit, it would be rescheduled to a II, III, IV, or V drug. It's there mainly because of the "no medical use" designation."

Or more specifically, it is there because the government has determined that it has no medical benefit, there are many in the medical community who would disagree. And giving the choice between what a doctor thinks is a substance medical value, and what a bureaucrat thinks it is, I would have to place more weight on the doctors opinion. But I have not spent a lot of time following the medical marijuana position in that it is somewhat disingenuous as it is an approach that recognizes the governments right to prohibit marijuana in the first place. A right I don’t believe the government has.

But to get back to the subject at hand to say that the parents in the article engaged in child endangerment by having marijuana in the house is a liberal position if I ever heard one. If one accepts that as being true, because that child might have been done some harm by coming in contact with the marijuana, although in the case as presented no harm actually came to anyone, then one would have to agree that having a loaded firearm in the house, for personal protection, is clearly subjecting the child to possible harm. I mean after all the only function that a firearm has is to kill, if the child were to somehow acquire the weapon it’s hard telling how many people could be harmed. And don’t think that the gun grabbers are above using that as an argument. No I think the true endangerment to the child here is that they could become a ward of the state. I can think of a no worse fate.

39 posted on 01/19/2003 7:19:25 AM PST by Kerberos
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To: Kerberos
"No I think the true endangerment to the child here is that they could become a ward of the state. I can think of a no worse fate."

Really? I can.

"Earlier this year (2000-rp), a six-year-old boy pulled out a gun at school and killed one of his classmates at a school in Mount Morris Township, Michigan. Her name was Kayla Rolland."

"No, little Dedrick Owens's family could be called a lot of things, but normal wasn't one of them. The family's collective police record reads like something out of an Iceberg Slim or Donald Goines novel. His 28-year-old father is in jail - again - and his mother has demons that prevent her from coping with the pressures of keeping a job, paying rent and raising her three children. She left her two boys with an uncle. That's when a sad story turned sordid. The uncle was a drug dealer whose home was a crack house."

"A drug dealer, to survive in the "profession," must be totally ruthless. He must be willing and able to kill at a second's notice. There are no trigger locks in a crack house. You won't find tenderness, mercy or morals, either. Frankly, the safety and well being of his nephews was probably the last thing on the uncle's mind."
"Time for Some Child Control" by Kimberley Jane Wilson

So you're suggesting that maybe we should wait until "harm actually came to anyone"? I'd rather not.

40 posted on 01/19/2003 8:44:05 AM PST by robertpaulsen
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To: robertpaulsen
"arlier this year (2000-rp), a six-year-old boy pulled out a gun at school and killed one of his classmates at a school in Mount Morris Township, Michigan. Her name was Kayla Rolland."

So here actuall harm was done. You have made a great case for why we should have a war on guns.

41 posted on 01/19/2003 8:49:19 AM PST by Kerberos
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To: Kerberos
So, that's all you took out of this story?

You've decided to ignore the point of my posting which was, contrary to your statement, there are worse fates than becoming a ward of the state. And that we should intervene in these cases before actual harm is done.

I can understand why you ignored my points. You wouldn't know what to say to the parents of Kayla Rolland.

42 posted on 01/19/2003 9:11:01 AM PST by robertpaulsen
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To: Wolfie
Teachers took the drugs from the little boy,

And later that day,uncontrolable ,hysterical laughter could be heard coming from the Teacher's Lounge as smoke come rolling out under the door as the pizza delivery guy was standing outside.

43 posted on 01/19/2003 9:18:44 AM PST by Uncle Meat
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To: robertpaulsen
"I can understand why you ignored my points"

Much the same as you ignored my points in my previous post to you. All you could get out of my post was that it was my opinion that becoming a ward of the state was not a good thing. However, just to clarify for you, I do believe that there are fates worse than death. That was not even a point but more of an opinion, but you still decided not to address any of my points.

"And that we should intervene in these cases before actual harm is done."

And so what intervention are you proposing should have been done here?. It would seem to me, because the main culprit of the story was a gun, that you are proposing that we should get rid of guns. I mean since your previous post concerning the posted article was that because a child was exposed to marijuana that they were somehow harmed, although no provable harm was present, then it would stand to reason that your point with this story, since a firearm did actual harm, is that we should have a war on firearms.

Perhaps if you ever got around to making a point I would more clearly be able to refute it.

44 posted on 01/19/2003 9:30:06 AM PST by Kerberos
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To: robertpaulsen
Police say 6 year old brought marijuana to school

It would be better for the kid and the parents if the kid had sex on the school bus, then they would give him a condom and drop the whole issue to protect kids "privacy".

45 posted on 01/19/2003 9:35:20 AM PST by Anticommie
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To: Kerberos
"Perhaps if you ever got around to making a point I would more clearly be able to refute it."

I made my point in post #37. I stated that it was my point in plain english. I said "That's my point". What could possibly be clearer?

Now, in your post #39, you start rambling about alcohol, prohibition, the constitution, medical marijuana, etc., then finally state, "But to get back to the subject at hand....".

My reponse to your post was the subject at hand. Did you want to talk about something other than the subject at hand? Fine. Maybe we can do that sometime on a relevant thread. But, as you say, back to the subject at hand:

".. because the main culprit of the story was a gun, that you are proposing that we should get rid of guns."

Where did you get that crazy idea? Dedrick Owens could just as easily used a switchblade or a knife or an iron bar to kill his 6-year-old classmate. Why do you insist on turning a child endangerment issue into a gun issue? Trying to stir the pot and change the subject (again)?

The story illustrates what can happen if a child is not removed from an environment which endangers the child. That we should not wait until the child is injured or injures another.

I don't agree with the Libertarian position that a crime needs a victim. Yes, I believe in child endangerment laws. But I also believe in sensible drunk driving laws, speed limits, leash laws for dogs, laws against murder-for-hire, laws against terrorist plots, and a whole bunch of others that don't have victims.

As a conservative, they make sense to me. If someone is shooting a gun at you, are you going to wait until you're shot before you take action? Until you're hit, where's the victim? Stupid Libertarians.

46 posted on 01/19/2003 10:16:39 AM PST by robertpaulsen
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To: robertpaulsen
"I don't agree with the Libertarian position that a crime needs a victim."

I can tell, which has been my point all along. For the socialist, all you need is a cause.

See ya,

47 posted on 01/19/2003 11:28:28 AM PST by Kerberos
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To: robertpaulsen
Why do you insist on comparing marijuana to alcohol?

Because they're both mind-altering drugs. Why do you insist on evading my question: "If the kid had come to school with a 6-pack, would you say that was evidence that alcohol harms its users' children?"

48 posted on 01/20/2003 5:52:23 AM PST by MrLeRoy ("That government is best which governs least.")
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To: robertpaulsen
they're both illegal, Schedule I drugs. Any parent who leaves this type of drug laying around for a 6-year-old child to find is guilty of child endangerment.

Alcohol is more addictive and more deadly than the illegal Schedule I drug marijuana. If leaving the latter laying around for a 6-year-old child to find is child endangerment, then isn't leaving the former laying around for a 6-year-old child to find even greater child endangerment?

49 posted on 01/20/2003 6:23:16 AM PST by MrLeRoy ("That government is best which governs least.")
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To: MrLeRoy
My point was that the severity of the incident was compounded by the fact that the drug was illegal. The parents were engaging in an illegal activity, thereby placing the child at greater risk (see my post #40).

Is alcohol dangerous in the hands of a 6-year-old? Of course. But so is liquid drano, a switchblade, sulphuric acid, a gun, and a whole host of legal products.

What is your hangup with alcohol, for crying out loud?

50 posted on 01/20/2003 6:52:06 AM PST by robertpaulsen
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