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Well, his gun. [Note: the gun shown is not the gun not not shown.] Here’s the story from

Authorities say an 18-year-old student was arrested after telling administrators at a Las Vegas high school that he left a rifle and ammunition in his car in a school parking lot. Clark County school police Lt. Ken Young says Joseph Patella was arrested Tuesday at Sierra Vista High School and charged as an adult with possessing a dangerous weapon on school property. Patella is a senior at the school. Young tells the Las Vegas Sun that Patella mentioned while talking with administrators that he had forgotten to take a .22-caliber rifle and bullets out of his car after target shooting on Monday night. Patella was booked at the Clark County jail and freed on $2,000 bail. The school wasn’t locked down during the incident.

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  1. I can’t believe that the school wasn’t locked down in the face of this clear and present danger. I hope they at least called in a SWAT unit to secure and dispose of this threat. And a bomb squad. Any word on whether BATF and the FBI have been notified?

  2. I’m a little surprised too that the school wasn’t “locked down” (an expression as exasperating as the portmanteau “babydaddy”) in typical knee-jerk reaction to this situation.

  3. Two points:

    1. Why the mention that he was “charged as an adult?” He is 18. He is an adult.

    2. The obvious lesson here is that if you accidentally leave a weapon in your vehicle on school grounds, keep your mouth shut about it. No credit for honesty or trying to ‘do the right thing’, obviously.

    • I’d argue that telling the administrators is probably not the “right thing”. As a general rule, educational institutions in this country seem to think that the 1st, 2nd, and 4th amendments don’t apply to their students, so why give some authoritarian administrator something he can use against you? That’s like walking up to a gang of drug dealers and asking them to hurt you, it’s just a silly, masochistic thing to do.

  4. heres too more example from upstate ny,
    an upperclassman when i was in hs (maybe a feshman) forgot that he had his box cutter in his pocket (he had a job at a grocer, hence he had a box cutter) he forgot it in his pocket so not wanting to get in trouble he went to the princple and told him he had forgot his knife, basically wanting it to give to the princple to pick up at the end of the day, and not have to worry about getting in trouble, he was suspended a week.
    2. my friends cousin goes to a school sanctioned basketball game, he forgot his knife in his pocket, a vp noticed it brought him out of the crowd. he was given 3 days oss for his cooperation
    3. anther upperclassman was screwing around in a tech class, he made like a crud little dagger, he was almost expelled his parents had to lawyer up to avoid it.

  5. Wait a minute, there’s no such thing as an “accident.” This was negligence pure and simple. I agree with the rest of your comment, Martin. He should have kept his mouth shut, that was his second mistake.

    • Absolutely right, this was negligence. However, the student realized the problem and tried to put it right. God forbid a teacher or security guard had looked into his car and noticed the rifle.

      That’ll teach the young miscreant never to be honest with a (public) school administrator again. It’s also more reinforcement (as if I needed any) that my wife and I did the right thing in sending 2yellowdogs Jr. to private schools.

  6. Re: Keeping your mouth shut: It’s the risk averse mentality of schools. They’re afraid that if they don’t react with maximum force, someone will get hurt and then the administrators will be blamed for it, so the safest thing for the school to do, liability-wise, is to enforce the policy at its most draconian.

    Reminds me of the Simpson’s quote from way back when, something like “As a public official, I’m not allowed to use my judgment or discretion in any way.”

  7. The lesson this kid and all the students around the country learned from this is that they should not be honest with anyone at their school. This kid, I mean ADULT tried to do the right thing and he got screwed. I wouldn’t have been surprised if this had happened in Jersey, but in Nevada I thought they’d be a little smarter.

    • Actually, since this was Las Vegas, the kid is lucky that the pigs didn’t “Eric Scott” him.

  8. I’m somewhat surprised, not by the overreaction, but by the fact that a kid who was 18 didn’t realize that school administrators like running their schools like mini-fiefdoms that are subject to their arbitrary regulations and “zero tolerance” policies. By the time I was in sixth grade, I figured out that the school was really just there to suppress individualism and that it was overtly hostile to anyone who made them think. Had the kid remained quiet, he would have gotten away with it, the school wouldn’t need to think, and he’d be returning to class. Now, he did the “right” thing and is going to get eviscerated for it.

    • Jeff my only disagrement is that you seem to think the schools did this on their own intiative. They didn’t. They are simply reacting in a completely rational manner to the hysterics of outraged parents who demand that school officials “DO SOMETHING!!!!!”

      After past incidents in which school officials used discretion and the results turned out badly, the natural (and predictible) reaction was that those discretionary powers were removed from the school officials and that is where you get “zero tolerance” nonsense.

      Put more simply, as with many other issues in our society, the problem ain’t “them” [i.e. school administrators, police or courts] but “US” [i.e. the parents who demand that our little darlings live in a bubble of complete safety and/or who are always looking for someone with deep pockets to blame/sue for shit that just happens.]

  9. How times change ….

    In the mid 60’s I was on my high school rifle team at Bethesda-Chevy Chase High School, in Bethesda, MD. I routinely locked my Winchester 52D along with my Eley 10X or Remington Match 22LR ammo in the trunk of my Studebaker Super Lark while in school. After school I drove to the indoor rifle range at Montgomery Blair High School, and carried my cased rifle into the school to get to the range. No one batted an eye lash about us high school students carrying a rifle into the building. After practice, we reversed the practice carrying our rifles out of the building to our cars in the school parking lot. Two or three days a week all school year we repeated the process, with the school paying for our ammo! I guess that at that time a dozen students carrying long and heavy Winchester, Martini, and Anschutz rifles into the school building on a daily basis were not seen as a threat. My, how things have changed!

    I earned a varsity letter in Riflery, and proudly wore my high school letterman jacket into my early years of college.

    I started college at Montgomery College – Takoma Park campus, partially because they had a rifle team. We qualified for the collegiate sectional championships held at the Naval Academy, and placed third in our division. What is noteworthy is that when my car was in the shop, I took a city bus from Silver Spring, up Georgia Avenue, through Wheaton, to the Armory on Rt. 28 in Rockville, where we did our college rifle practice. On the city bus (DC Transit at that time), I had my cased 52D under my arm or slung over my shoulder, and nobody cared or said anything either at the bus stop or on the bus. The bus drivers never said anything or even gave me a dirty look; they didn’t care at that time. I earned a letter again in Riflery at Montgomery College.

    I do not think that an otherwise honest high school student is much of a threat to the security of the campus, and having a felony conviction with its lifelong ramifications is totally inappropriate. Political Correctness and irrational fears have gone too far.

    My 52D is now about 50 years old, and looks as good as the day that I bought it as a teenager. Imagine a teenager, well under 18, buying a heavy barrel, highly accurate rifle! All the seller did was phone my mother to verify that it was OK with her for me to buy the rifle, took my cash, and handed me the rifle.

    Over the years and multiple moves around the country I have lost my Redfield Olympic sights that were kept in a wooden box adjacent to the rifle case. if anyone knows where I can find a vintage set of Redfield Olympic sights, please let me know.

    It is sad that the teen in this case, Joseph Patella, is a victim of this utter lack of common sense and irrational political correctness.

    I hope that he is exonerated.

  10. I was in high school from 2000-2004, so I’m no old timer. We had a metal/wood shop and two of my buddies were making custom thumb hole stocks for their .22’s. They were allowed to bring in the rifles in discreet cases so long as there were no bolts in them. The teacher, school cop, and principal were all ok with this.

    The school cop was more worried about the wood shop morons hitting each other with hammers or rigged nail guns that would fire without pressure on the tip of the gun than he was about the two straight A students making rifle stocks.

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