They were playing with a toy gun. Seriously.
They were suspended for firing air-soft guns on campus. An air-soft gun is an artificial gun that fires little white pellets that, when it does hurt, hurts less than a paintball gun.
Do people get suspended from UK for paintball?
The first thing, of course, is exactly what rule they broke. There was a lot of talk about breaking the rules, but what are the rules? Here is the code according to the Lexington Herald-Leader:
The code states that punishable disciplinary offenses include “any possession or display of, or attempt, or threat to use firearms, explosive or other weapons upon University property without University authorization.”Okay, so where does an Airsoft pistol fit in here? It's not a "firearm," nor is it an "explosive," nor does it constitute a "weapon." So how did the players violate the code? Now maybe there is some rule about triggering the UK security alert or something (there was a brief lockdown because they thought someone had a gun), but, so far, that is not what they are saying.
My theory is that they are doing this for the same reason they ban students from smoking even outside on campus where the smoke could not possibly hurt anyone: they are against guns per se.
While pellets from an air-soft gun are not as dangerous as bullets from a regular firearm, they could cause injuries, particularly if they struck someone in the face, Monroe said.Pellets from an air-soft gun are not as dangerous as bullets from a regular firearm? Someone give this man an award for understatement. He has probably also realized that a firecracker is not as dangerous as a hand grenade.
Pretty soon the UK Police will be patrolling the campus vicinity arresting children for driving their toy fire engines without a licence.
And can they cause injuries when they strike people in the face? Of course they can. So can a lot of other things, such as, oh, I don't know, tennis balls.
That's right. Tennis balls. Tennis balls, it turns out, are not as dangerous as bullets.
In fact the UK Football team has a player just coming off an injury from a drill they did in practice wherein a tennis ball is shot at a player, who is supposed to catch it. But wide receive Jeff Badet didn't do that, and it hit his eye and caused him to miss the team's first two games.
But do we ban the throwing of tennis balls?
In fact, players can be injured doing a whole lot of things on the football field. But we don't ban any of them. So precisely what is wrong with an air-soft gun and why should players be suspended for using one?