Green Room

Who Says Liberals Are Weak on Homeland Security?

posted at 4:17 pm on February 7, 2010 by

Kvetch, kvetch, kvetch — that’s all we conservatives ever do when it comes to discussions of how effective liberals are at protecting the homeland. Why, back shortly after 9/11, when the distinguished journalist Phil Donahue appeared on FOX News Channel to decry “Cowboy” George Bush’s plans to invade Afghanistan rather than simply “find and arrest the responsible individuals,” one conservative who shall remain nameless characterized Donahue as a “goggle-eyed loon.” P.S., I haven’t received holiday greetings from the Donahues ever since!

You don’t think liberals are watching our backs? You’re wrong, and I’ll prove it. Consider the swift and decisive action officials took last week in Staten Island, New York, in the apprehension of Patrick Timonthy. On Friday, Timonthy showed up a P.S. 52, a local elementary school, brandishing an automatic assault rifle. There is no telling what might have transpired had it not been for the quick reflexes and courage of principal Evelyn Matroianni, who at great personal sacrifice, forced Timonthy to the ground in the school cafeteria and wrested the weapon away from him.

After which she frog-marched Timonthy, by this point in tears, to her office, where she promptly phoned his mother.

Oh, did I omit the fact that Patrick Timonthy is a fourth-grade student in the school? Or that the rifle in question is two inches long and manufactured by the makers of LEGOs?

If so, I probably also neglected to mention that the New York City Board of Education enforces a strict zero-tolerance policy toward bringing weapons onto the school grounds. Now there is something in that by-law about a school employee’s use of personal discretion in sizing up a “situation” and about the disciplinary measures that follow a breach.

Now some may feel that Principal Matroianni overreacted to the threat potential of a two-inch long weapon. Others may feel that a suspension of Patrick Timonthy — which hasn’t been ruled out yet! — is perhaps extreme.

I say, “Do the crime, do the time.” I don’t care if the perp is 9 or 90. (Actually, those ages have much in common when it comes to comparative threat potential.) I say throw the book at him.

My only caveat is to be sure to read Timonthy his Miranda rights. That’s what the Justice Department under Eric Holder does when they capture someone who poses a threat to homeland security arises. And look how safe we are with that bunch watching our backs!

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Do you have a link to the original story? Arrested for a LEGO weapon?! Sounds pretty hard to believe, but then again it is NY.

jwolf on February 8, 2010 at 9:14 AM

The child wasn’t arrested. He was disciplined. Here’s a link.

Howard Portnoy on February 8, 2010 at 9:24 AM

Thanks for the link. Yeah, I was exaggerating with “arrested.” The whole thing is silly. They don’t trust teachers and administrators to make responsible decisions, so they put in a massive zero tolerance policy against just about everything. Dumb.

jwolf on February 8, 2010 at 9:28 AM

Another big “thank you” to the lawyers in the world. Over fear of lawsuits, “zero tolerance” becomes a lot easier to do brainless, but “fair” actions without having to use common sense or make actual decisions.

DrAllecon on February 9, 2010 at 11:50 AM

Zero Tolerance needs to be flushed, along with its cousin, Three Strikes.

Judges should have the option of differentiating between offenses that are similar by statute and completely different in the real world in which we all must live.

Of course bad judges exist, but that’s no reason to warp the entire judicial system into a tyrannical one-size-fits-all perversion of justice.

hillbillyjim on February 9, 2010 at 12:20 PM

The Federal sentencing guidelines were created because the electorate felt too many Federal Judges were too lenient in sentencing. And Congress didn’t want to impeach the Judges, so that they could be replaced by less lenient Judges, it wouldn’t do to create the impression that the Federal Judiciary was actually accountable.

Three Strikes is the result of a similar dynamic at the State level.

IMO, the correct response to people who cannot properly exercise discretion, whether they be Judges or teachers or school administrators, is to fire them and replace them with people who can.

And the correct response to frivolous lawsuits is to penalize the lawyer, who as an officer of the court should know better than to be bringing a frivolous lawsuit in the first place, and the vexatious litigant. Lawyers and judges are too cozy with each other, so it falls to the victims to sue for malicious prosecution.

LarryD on February 9, 2010 at 12:52 PM

LarryD on February 9, 2010 at 12:52 PM

Well said, sir.

Thank you.

hillbillyjim on February 9, 2010 at 1:01 PM