Wednesday, April 25, 2007

What's wrong with this picture ????

Headline in today's local paper

Yes, that's right! A 19 year old UVa student, who used a "replica .45-caliber semiautomatic pistol" as a prop in a movie he and several other students were filming for a class project, was arrested on Monday. He remains behind bars until this morning when he will appear in court for a bond hearing. If found guilty of the misdemeanor charge of "brandishing a firearm," he could face up to a year in jail and a $2,500. fine. He could also receive University judiciary penalties for using the "BB gun" for the film.

Captain Michael A. Coleman of the University Police said, "his department received several 911 calls arond 11:20 PM, Monday, reporting a man with a gun in the area." When the force arrived at the crime scene with guns drawn, they were told by a another student that she was part of a group of students using the gun in a robbery scene they were filming for a class project. There were no other students arrested.

The University "prohibits the possession, storage or use of any kind of ammunition, firearms, fireworks explosives, air rifles and air pistonls on University owned or operated property without the express written permission of the University Police Department." In January of 2006, Virginia Attorney General, Bob McDonnell, issued a wirtten opinion that though the University "may regulate the conduct of students and employees, they may not impose a general prohibition on the carrying of concealed weapons by those holding permits."

In the wake of the Virginia Tech tragedy a week ago, there is no question that seeing a gun on any campus or in any public location, should and must ring alarm bells. However, it seems that paranoia is taking over in this case. The only crime committed here is that the students did not get written permission to use the "replica" from the police department or from their professor who had not been informed of their choice of props.

Why waste time and tax payer dollars on a trifle such as this? What about the bigger questions of stricter gun control across the country, especially by those who are deemed a danger to themselves or the general public??

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