foxnews.com reports that Carolina cops arrested Eagle Scout and Honors student Cole Withrow after he [allegedly] accidentally brought a shotgun to school. According to reports, a school administrator overheard Withrow arranging to have his mother come pick up the gun. His friends are up in arms, so to speak. The young man—just weeks away from graduation—won’t be seeing them on campus this year. In fact, he can’t resume his final push for his diploma until 365 days hence. All of which reminds us that discretion is the better part of valor, all round.

88 Responses to Honor Student and Eagle Scout Arrested for Shotgun Left in Pickup

  1. There was a report on Drudge earlier today that the Superintendent offered to let the boy go to an alternative school so he can graduate on time. Has this changed?

  2. Truly disgusting. And people wonder why I am so against new “common sense” gun laws? Because they will be used to utterly destroy the lives of good people. Common sense will not be used in the prosecution of people for minor infractions. What should have happened is the mom came and got the gun, and then the kid went to class. Problem solved!

  3. There was a story in Ohio today about something similar, but his was an unloaded pellet gun in his trunk.

    Also, what is up with the letter box requirement now?

  4. What a relief that the school is a Gun-Free Zone! Hundreds of children saved and another victory for justice!

    /end sarcasm

    Common sense is dead…

    • The running joke in most schools that I’ve worked in that only the stupid or crazy people become administrators… whose daily routines consist of things like:

      -dealing with only the bad, defiant, un-medicated kids
      -dealing with only the bad, pushy, obnoxious parents
      -dealing with only the bad, incompetent, whiney staff members

      Most teachers, who got into teaching to help young people, calculate that the added compensation isn’t worth having 2/3rds of your time dealing with bad adults. If they wanted that job, they would have become prison guards…

      • Those who can, do.
        Those who cannot, teach.
        Those who cannot teach, administer.
        Those who cannot administer, vote in Chicago.

      • Not sure about your neck of the woods, but in most major Metros the reason is simple : big wads of wampum.

        Administration are the real expense points in most public districts – principals start @$80-100K, and the rest of the food chain goes up to the mid $150s. Teachers’ salaries are always rather small compared to the overhead staff.

        Did I mention the gold-plated retirement?

  5. Apparently we can make exceptions for people like David Gregory, for whom the Attorney General of DC decided not to press weapons violation charges. The AG “made this determination, despite the clarity of the violation of this important law, because under all of the circumstances here a prosecution would not promote public safety in the District of Columbia.” But, of course, when it’s an Eagle Scout in school the laws are “black and white” and the zero tolerance policy, of course, *MUST* kick in. No subjectivity could possibly be allowed, despite the clear fact that he was obviously not a threat and prosecuting/sanctioning him will not promote public safety.

    http://www.washingtontimes.com/blog/guns/2013/jan/11/miller-david-gregory-gets-scott-free/

    • Excellent point. If the AG in this case chooses to prosecute he should be run out of town on a rail.

  6. F*ckers. Throwing a huge roadblock in the path of what seems to be a promising future for this young man. This really is a travesty. Yet again another attack on boyhood in America.

  7. I went to high school in the late 60s and 75% of the student and teacher’s pickups had loaded guns in the back windows!

    It isn’t the guns that are the problem: it’s the idiot liberals that won’t allow parents and teachers to bust the butts of little punks!

    • We all had shotguns and rifles in our vehicles while parked on school property. In fact, I brought my shotgun into the Industrial Arts department where I broke it down and cleaned the parts in the Gunk tank.

      However, our weapons were never left loaded in our vehicles.

      • Same story at my high school: a parking lot full of trucks and guns, and not a single problem.

  8. It’s appalling that this is even an issue. IMO any secured firearm in a car is a non-issue. It’s not like he brought it into the school, much less threatened anyone.

  9. The local prosecutor stated that if an administrator had brought a weapon on campus it would have been a misdemeanor but he would charge a student with a felony.

  10. Same school.

    In March 2011, Princeton School Assistant Principal Catherine Bennett was suspended but never criminally charged after bringing a gun onto campus that was found in the glove box of her vehicle, while being worked on by the school’s auto mechanics class.

    Bennett had reportedly asked the resource officer to check the car because she had misplaced the weapon and had been searching for it. The officer, Andy Worley, reportedly found the gun but did not take possession of it, instead, he placed it back in the glove box and locked the car doors.

    When Bennett and Worley went to retrieve the weapon from the car hours later, the vehicle had been moved inside the auto mechanics class, and the gun was missing.

    After questioning several students, the gun was reportedly found hidden underneath the fender of the vehicle. Two students who found the gun allegedly showed the firearm to two other classmates. None of the four students were charged in the 2011 incident.

  11. The moral of the story is, don’t fess up to anything. Ever.

    It’s not a good moral, but this is the society we live in, where anyone can accidentally commit a felony and have their lives ruined on a technicality. One of Stalin’s right hand men, the one who ran the gulags used to say, “Show me the man and I will show you the crime.” Welcome the USSR of A.

    • Unfortunately, very true. I must admit that I learned this lesson when I was young. I carried a pocket knife on me every single day without fail since I was like 9 years old. At some point, the schools fully banned it (I think I was in middle school). One time I didn’t realize my small pocket knife was in the pocket of the pants I put on until I was already at school. I gave it to the office to hold onto for me until the end of the day and I got in some amount of trouble. It wasn’t a huge deal back then, but it was bad enough for them to call my parents who had to go down there and talk them out of suspending me (they were only threatening like a day or two suspension, and they dropped it entirely). Well…. fast forward a month or two and it happened again. I reached into my pocket or put my hand on top of my pocket or whatever in class in the morning and I felt a pocket knife in there. It stayed in there all day long that time and I sure as heck didn’t volunteer the mistake. Didn’t get in trouble. Zero stabbings occurred. I don’t think I made the mistake again though. …but… now the question you ask yourself is, what mistake? Does he mean carrying a knife on him or telling somebody about it? Good question 😉

      • Way to teach middle school students that the authorities are NOT your friends.

  12. When I graduated from a NC high school in 1995 many rifles and shotguns were on racks in trucks. Oh how the times have changed.

  13. Time to re-instate gun clubs at every high school in America. Justice Scalia has said he used to ride the NYC subway with a .22 rifle on his way to school because he went to rifle practice.

    • My high school had a gun club – a Jesuit priest ran it. You could bring your own rifle (only .22 pellet guns were used), check it in at the Prefect of Discipline’s office for the day, then pick it up after class to go to the school range.

  14. I used to check my rifle from the armory, along with a brick of .22, walk across campus with no carry case to get in the car for afternoon range practice.
    I lettered in small bore marksmanship. San Diego, CA. Class of ’76.
    Times have indeed changed.

    • C’mon. He probably had the right to keep it in his truck but forgot one morning that he had left it there and that Big Brother banned guns from school.

    • I never do that accidentally either…its always on purpose. My train of thought is that if someone finds out I have it…it will be after I defend myself or another against death or great bodily harm…and at that point i wont care if anyone knows or not…i will just be glad to be alive and breathing to explain myself.

      • “…i will just be glad to be alive and breathing to explain myself.”

        Correction: you will be glad to be alive and breathing to remain silent.

      • And isn’t that the idea behind “concealed” carry? If someone can tell that you have it, it’s not concealed. And spouting off to someone that you have a gun likewise makes it no longer concealed.

  15. California is the North Korea of the U.S. You have to be careful what you say around fellow victims.

    • I originally wrote a post to your random comment (this story is in North Carolina guy), but you know what. Why waste the time correcting misconceptions? This video sums it up

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0MRmxfLuNto

      I will go back to owning firearms without having to own a permit to do so, buying liquor at any regular grocery store, without having to go to some special room, buying cigarettes at a lower tax rate than most other states, and in general abiding by all these human rights violations California does.

  16. I have been diligently teaching my kids the wonders of 1. Not answering unasked questions and 2. Offering nothing that anyone doesn’t need to know (i.e. wait for a question and then answer it, keeping in mind rule #1)

    • Absolutely. Have they watched the YouTube video of why never to talk to the police? In case you haven’t seen it, it gives many examples to illustrate this concept.

      • Yep, that’s where I got it. I love the one at the “border” crossing between AZ and NM where DHS was stopping everyone and asking them for “their proof of residency”. Good stuff. Made me realize how much I give away with my irresistable urge to be friendly and well-liked.

        • I have not seen that one — I’ll have to check it out. The only one I know of is the law professor giving a lecture and sharing time with a local police detective.

        • looks like my videos got removed … Go to you tube and search on “he RIGHT Way to Handle a Police Stop” and “top DHS checkpoint refusals:

        • I caught ’em last night, and they were good. So was the other one, the law school lecture that was posted by another commenter.

  17. Honor student-check
    Eagle scout-check
    Call you mom over
    making mistake-check
    No one got hurt-check
    Principal knowing who he was
    dealing with & still calling cops-schmuck
    Getting locked up-Political correctness gone amuck
    Liberty University offering scholarship-Priceless

  18. Geez Robert, have you never made a mistake or forgotten something? You howl about wanting to expand gun rights then side with the assholes who turned this boy in. CHOOSE A SIDE ALREADY!

    • I’m not sure what makes you think he is siding with them? I could be wrong, I’d like to see what makes you flip out like that? (Unless that was all /sarc, then ignore me)

  19. Why don’t they look at the situation and use their powers of deduction to determine how to respond, rather than just pretending they stopped a school massacre?

  20. More evidence of the declination of American society. The leftists have not only feminized the male role but have seized control of the educational process – exerting absolute control over the minds of our children. A new educational curriculum, known as “Common Core” is being rolled out in public schools across our nation. Educate yourselves about this assault on our children.

    • “The leftists have not only feminized the male role but have seized control of the educational process – exerting absolute control over the minds of our children.”

      Feminism has had a large role.

  21. Shows the utter danger of being a decent, liberty-minded, productive person in today’s screwed up society. Welcome to Police State America.

  22. If a speaking of a gun can lead to this, imagine what soon speaking the wrong idea will result in.

  23. LONG LIVE ZERO TOLERANCE POLICIES*

    *Except when applying them to administrators for the same offense in the same school. WAIT! Did I say “same?” I meant drastically worse, because hers was loaded and accessible to students.

  24. This kid is an idiot who should’ve immediately gone home and saved himself a whole lot of trouble. The courts have ruled a bunch of times that kids basically don’t have constitutional protections on school grounds, and they are notorious dens of “zero tolerance.” The WORST thing that could happen if he bailed was asking his mom to write a note because he suddenly felt sick right after he got to school and so he went home. There’s a reason why “boy scout” is often synonymous with “naive.”

    To the person who said the administrator should be “investigated for treason, really?? I’m getting really tired of this site being nothing but fox news about guns. There is no leftist/liberal/communist/muslim/satanist/black-helicopter/lizard person conspiracy out to get the brave, patriotic white male. Before sandy hook I would’ve pegged this site as more or less politically agnostic libertarian. Now it’s nothing but partisan shilling.

    I am so bored of this us vs them crap, I can turn on a million television channels and fill my brain with this kind of drivel. You guys planning on returning to a gun blog any time soon?

    • That’s the message we want to send to the next generation. If you are in trouble, lie about it to make it go away. Because that is the correct thing to do, anything else is being “naive”.

      Maybe you didn’t know the first tenant of the Boy Scout Law is being trustworthy.

    • “Before Sandy Hook”:

      -We didn’t have antis vomiting up psychotic death threats towards gun owners and NRA members that went unpunished by a sympathetic federal government.
      -Anti-gun politicians such as Joe “Both Barrels” Biden weren’t telling people the proposed legislation wouldn’t prevent a single tragedy behind closed doors and that “this is just the beginning”
      -New York, Connecticut, and Colorado were better off.

      Go read all the gun, ammo, and gear reviews elsewhere and bury your head in the sand. I’ll stay here, take my daily dose of political reality, and laugh as I recall every moron I knew in 2008 who told me this administration wouldn’t touch gun rights with a ten-thousand foot pole.

    • rtempleton

      First of all, neither this site nor the people who comment on it are partisan. The site administrators and the people who comment cover the political spectrum from Democrat to Libertarian to Republican and probably additional parties as well. What you are probably noticing is that elected and appointed people in government who attack gun rights usually call themselves Democrats, although there are Republicans as well.

      Second of all, it is laughable to claim that there is not a large scale concerted effort for civilian disarmament in the U.S. There are two prongs to the attack. The first prong throws up as many legal barriers as possible to minimize firearm ownership and possession. California, Illinois, and New York lead the nation for being hostile to firearm ownership and possession. The second prong demonizes firearm ownership and possession and seeks to destroy the “gun culture”. This is where the mainstream media and academia heave their full weight into the fray.

      Look at it this way. At some point in the past there were absolutely no restrictions whatsoever to the ownership and possession of firearms. More recently, various elected and appointed people in government have stated on record that they seek to eliminate civilian ownership of all firearms. And we have events like the student who is the topic of this story.

      Make no mistake: plenty of people are coming for all of our guns. We need to be aware and active. If not, no one will be able to acquire nor possess any of the guns that you want to see reviewed on this website.

  25. Please, have mercy on us here and return to Mother Jones. We of the ignorant persuasion simply cannot compete with your intellectual superiority.

  26. I’m sending my child to private school next year and every year after that. I’m done with the government schools/

    • I wish I could afford that. I have to settle for keeping an eye on their history and social studies curriculum and making sure my kids understand what is reasonably established fact, what is opinion, and what is outright falsehood.

  27. I’ll play devil’s advocate on this one.

    Deprived a bright young man of his future? Well, not so bright apparently, to “forget” a firearm in a vehicle; to bring a firearm to a school knowing that they are forbidden there. Not bright enough, frankly, for not simply keeping his big mouth in check and waiting the day out, or finding an excuse to be excused for the day.

    Seems to me everything that happened was his own doing.

    • So there’s an unconstitutional and stupid ban in place, and it’s his fault for accidentally not complying one single day? No, it’s the fault of the people who support such bans, and the legislators who voted such bans into place, and the administrators who enforce the bans.

      • Stupid is bringing a firearm to a place where you know you can’t, whether or not you believe your rights are being trampled, and then bitching when you get caught. Unless you do it deliberately, in which case you know what you are setting yourself up for, and you can save your constitutionality argument for the judge and the jury.

        The ship about firearms restrictions in schools has long sailed. While I can see a case to be made for universities, don’t hold your breath when it comes to K-12.

        • Courts have ruled you don’t even have the first or fourth amendment protections, so I have no idea why anyone would think you’d have the second. I went to high school in the post-columbine years, under bush, I might add, and things were a colossal mess then too.

          Would I have liked it if I could have opted out of PE to take a shootin’ class? Sure, but I don’t expect them to get better in a culture as litigious as ours. Whenever there’s a possibility that someone will get sued, they WILL take an insane “zero tolerance” policy, everywhere, and under any political administration.

    • And this isn’t nearly the worst example, either. At least there was an actual firearm involved here, as opposed to an improperly positioned finger or a piece of a pop-tart.

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