Eagle Scout denied graduation for gun left in car

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OliveOilMom
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05 May 2013, 1:08 am

This is the story.

I copied and pasted from FB.

Meet Cole Withrow from Princeton, NC. Eagle Scout; great student; devout Christian; responsible citizen. Just two weeks shy of high school graduation... and now, ACCUSED FELON?!?

Cole arrived to school Monday morning and reached behind the seat of his truck to get his book bag. He suddenly realized he'd accidentally left his shotgun in his vehicle after he was out fishing and shooting over the weekend and that it needed to be returned home immediately.

Afraid of getting in trouble for skipping class, Cole locked his truck, walked to the front office and called his mother to come and retrieve it, as he couldn't leave school; he would miss class.

Due to his conversation being overheard by school staff, the police were called, Cole was arrested and charged with a felony, along with a year's expulsion. He will not be able to graduate with his class.

If you believe this boy acted responsibly and doesn't deserve this, PLEASE LIKE AND SHARE IT! Thank you!

Princeton NC High School: (919) 936-6431
Johnston County District Attorney: 919-209-5520

You can support Cole on Twitter @DCWithrow #FreeCole

If you'd all please sign this petition to be presented to Cole's school board, I'm sure it would mean a great deal. Thank you!

<Link to the petition>


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vermontsavant
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05 May 2013, 9:05 am

massacusetts used to have law that said that leaving a gun in a car was felony.but they changed that law


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Sweetleaf
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05 May 2013, 9:13 am

What do you know even great students, devout Christians and responsible citizens aren't immune to the stupidity of our system or ridiculous penalties over essentially nothing.


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techtalknow
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05 May 2013, 12:23 pm

that is plain bull


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05 May 2013, 1:35 pm

Signed it, I hope the legal system comes to their senses on this.



Raptor
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05 May 2013, 6:05 pm

It's knee-jerk BS but it doesn't surprise me.


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visagrunt
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07 May 2013, 2:55 pm

He discovered the shotgun in his vehicle on Monday morning, after he had driven to school. He last used it on Sunday afternoon.

So not only did he leave the shotgun unattended after he knew it was there; he had also left it unattended overnight, as well. Is this the responsible behaviour of a reasonably prudent person? Surely the correct course of action was to wait for his mother to arrive, and then make his excuses to the school for being late.

That being said, even if his behaviour was negligent, the punishment imposed by the school appears to me to be wantonly excessive.


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OliveOilMom
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07 May 2013, 3:01 pm

visagrunt wrote:
He discovered the shotgun in his vehicle on Monday morning, after he had driven to school. He last used it on Sunday afternoon.

So not only did he leave the shotgun unattended after he knew it was there; he had also left it unattended overnight, as well. Is this the responsible behaviour of a reasonably prudent person? Surely the correct course of action was to wait for his mother to arrive, and then make his excuses to the school for being late.

That being said, even if his behaviour was negligent, the punishment imposed by the school appears to me to be wantonly excessive.


He left it in his truck overnight. People do that all the time. You see that in parking lots with the windows down. Nobodys going to bother it. I'm assuming the truck was parked in his own yard. I don't see how it's irresponsible to leave it in his truck.


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07 May 2013, 5:51 pm

Simply leaving a gun in a vehicle is not irresponsible or illegal in the free world, especially if the vehicles is locked.
A burglar would have to commit one crime (B&E) to gain access, a second crime in stealing the gun, and a third crime if he used the gun in the commission of another crime. Add to that if he was legally barred from possession of firearms from prior convictions or whatever.
Personally, I don't keep my guns secure to protect burglars form themselves I keep them secure to protect me from loss.
Had it been me I would have just kept quiet about the gun being forgotten in the car for the rest of the day. If the school isn't given a reason to suspect he had a gun in the car then they'd have little to no reason to look inside and/or call the cops.
I've done that same thing several times without incident.
What the idiots running the school don't know won't hurt them.....


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07 May 2013, 9:25 pm

He should have just kept quiet.Once our school parking lot had vehicles with guns in the racks,staff and students.Many of them hit the woods after class was out to get in a little hunting before dark.The poor kid just made an honest mistake.I drove all over town once with a loaded pistol my son had left in the truck,I had no idea it was in there.


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visagrunt
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08 May 2013, 11:46 am

Raptor wrote:
Simply leaving a gun in a vehicle is not irresponsible or illegal in the free world, especially if the vehicles is locked.


Surely the question of whether or not it is illegal is a question within the jurisdiction of the legislature and the courts of the jurisdiction concerned. If the young man was arrested, it strikes me that there must be a prima facie case for him to answer.

Personally, I don't believe that a vehicle provides adequate security, unless the weapon is locked in a gun case. But that's a matter of personal opinion, not law.

Quote:
A burglar would have to commit one crime (B&E) to gain access, a second crime in stealing the gun, and a third crime if he used the gun in the commission of another crime. Add to that if he was legally barred from possession of firearms from prior convictions or whatever.


I don't think that the fact that a person intent on taking possession of the weapon would have to commit other crimes contributes to its security. If a person is going to make a smash and grab, the additional offenses don't serve to protect the firearm from being stolen.


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Fnord
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08 May 2013, 2:37 pm

He brought a firearm onto school property. Knowingly or not, responsible or not, he broke the law.

Being an Eagle Scout is irrelevant - He broke the law.

Being a Christian is irrelevant - He broke the law.

Being an Honor Student is irrelevant - He broke the law.

Being black, white, Asian, or whatever is irrelevant - He broke the law.

"Everybody does it" is irrelevant - He broke the law.

The school district is well within reason for the actions it took, because HE BROKE THE LAW!

He deserves to have his say in criminal court.

Needless to say, I did not sign the petition.



Misslizard
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08 May 2013, 3:02 pm

^^^^thank you Fnord for getting the song "I broke the law,and the law won" stuck in my head,it'll be there all day now. :lol:


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08 May 2013, 3:33 pm

Fnord wrote:
He brought a firearm onto school property. Knowingly or not, responsible or not, he broke the law.

Being an Eagle Scout is irrelevant - He broke the law.

Being a Christian is irrelevant - He broke the law.

Being an Honor Student is irrelevant - He broke the law.

Being black, white, Asian, or whatever is irrelevant - He broke the law.

"Everybody does it" is irrelevant - He broke the law.

The school district is well within reason for the actions it took, because HE BROKE THE LAW!

He deserves to have his say in criminal court.

Needless to say, I did not sign the petition.


Breaking the law doesn't mean he has done something bad. People break the law all the time, not because they have bad intentions, but because there are so many laws and many of them are ridiculous. Laws are just some rules made up by politicians. Here in the Netherlands we have a blasphemy law. Do we really need to call the police when we hear someone swearing or saying god doesn't exist?
The school did the wrong thing in ratting this kid out to the police. They should have told him to bring the gun home and figure out an appropriate punishment such as staying after school or have him do some chores. The community and government invested a lot of money into these kids, having them unable to graduate this year doesn't help anyone.



Fnord
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08 May 2013, 6:02 pm

trollcatman wrote:
Breaking the law doesn't mean he has done something bad...

Does your homeworld have oxygen in its atmosphere? I think you may need to go outside and breathe some of it.

:roll:



trollcatman
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08 May 2013, 6:34 pm

Fnord wrote:
trollcatman wrote:
Breaking the law doesn't mean he has done something bad...

Does your homeworld have oxygen in its atmosphere? I think you may need to go outside and breathe some of it.

:roll:


So on your homeworld there are no bad laws?

I believe in freedom of speech. I will not help enforce anti-blasphemy laws. Insulting god(s) is a victimless crime. That silly anti-blasphemy law will probably get scrapped soon anyway. It hasn't been enforced for decades.
The law is a work in progress anyway, not set in stone. Slavery was legal in many places in the past, but that does not mean it is ethical.
In Germany there is a Tanzverbot (dancing ban) for religious holidays such as Good Friday. Even for people who do not follow the teachings of Yeshua of Nazareth.
A bunch of Dutch politicians thought it would be a good idea to make helping illegal immigrants against the law (didn't happen). Then people giving food to illegal immigrants (who have no legal way of having any form of income) would be against the law. Is it ethical to follow such a law?
I do believe most laws in my country are good, and I try to follow them. But we should be critical of the bad ones and support reform to make it better.