The real world of guns comes to my kids’ high school . . . maybe *UPDATED*

Main entrance to Redwood High School Larkspur

Both kids started texting me a few minutes ago, which came as a surprise, since they’re not supposed to text while class is in session.  In fact, class is not in session.  Instead, the school is in lock-down.  The rumor amongst the kids, all of whom are madly texting each other, is that there’s a kid with a gun roaming the school.  They don’t actually know.  What they know is that the police station is across the street, that when the lock-down started they were told it wasn’t a drill, and that there might have been a shot fired in a bathroom, but even that’s not certain.

The latest rumor is that the police did confiscate a gun, and are sweeping the school.  I’ll keep you posted.

UPDATE:  I know that, once we’re all home together, Mr. Bookworm will start ranting about the Second Amendment, and not in a good way.  He simply cannot comprehend that the best deterrent would be the armed person’s knowledge that each teacher has a gun.  I’m a whole lot more worried about deranged students than I am about a teacher with a concealed carry weapon suddenly going postal.  That’s especially true at this school, where the teachers have the world’s cushiest teaching job:  gorgeous environment, great pay and benefits, and no violent or otherwise awful students.

UPDATE II:  Lots of sirens in the distance, so I know that the police are still heading to the school, not away from it.

UPDATE III:  From one of my kids:  “I’m hearing a lot about someone planning a shooting.  A friend just texted me saying that her friend heard gunshots.  Not sure what’s going on, but still on lockdown.”

UPDATE IV:  The solidified rumor is that a kid — identity unknown — came to school intending to shoot one or more people, but something happened that tipped off the plan, leading to the lock-down and police presence.

UPDATE V:  The kids are more perturbed by the number of police showing up than they were about the original lock-down.  Or at least, that’s the excuse my younger one is using to argue that he shouldn’t have to go to school tomorrow.  I explained that, just as it’s probably pretty safe to fly after an airport or airline scare, because everyone is super vigilant, tomorrow should be a pretty safe day at school.

UPDATE VI:  The new rumor is that there was a large planned shooting and that the police are trying to get to the bottom of it.  I don’t know.  I see this as a rumor from my child who really, really would love to skip a day of school and is trying to spin the situation to his advantage.

UPDATE VII:  Now both children have announced that they’re done with school for the week:  “This is freaky.  We’ve been in lockdown for an hour now.  I don’t want to go to school tomorrow.”

UPDATE VIII:  And it’s over.  They’ve been released from lock-down and school continues as usual.  I can’t wait to see what the principal has to say about this in the email I know I’ll get soon.

UPDATE VIII: One of my kids filled me in on the latest rumors: Apparently several Marin high schools, not just Redwood, went into lock-down. That report came about because kids were texting their friends at other high schools who also said they were on lock-down. There were also rumors that someone was shot, although that appears to be untrue. What definitely happened was that, as the lock-down continued, people started hyperventilating and otherwise having panic attacks.

Now that the whole thing is over, Story One is that a kid was in the restroom trying to load a gun and dropped the bullets, giving the game away. Story Two is that a kid took out an insulin injector, someone saw it, thought it was a gun, and started the panic. It should be interesting to hear what really happened — or at least what the police and the school district are going to tell people really happened.

UPDATE IX: Yet another rumor: It was a BB gun. We do live in a paranoid age, although a BB gun certainly can do damage.

UPDATE X: And finally, the official word from the school newspaper, which is that the whole thing was much ado about nothing:

According to [Police Lieutenant Sean] Smith, the threat turned out to be a false alarm.

“After surveillance footage we looked at, we determined what student had come in to the bathroom and left, and what classroom he was going in. We made contact with him and brought him out, made sure he didn’t have anything on him,” Smith said. “The weapon turned out to be a medical pin that made a clicking noise, and the top had fallen off.”

The inconveniences (big and small) of environmentalism

Conservatives have been aware for a while that the Texas oil industry is being threatened by a lizard.  It’s not being threatened this way:

Godzilla Movie Poster

Instead, it’s being threatened this way:

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Logo

It turns out that the sand dune lizard, an innocuous little buff-colored guy, is (a) allegedly endangered and (b) living squat in the middle of 800,000 acres of Texas oil country.  If the lizard and its environmentalist supporters win their case before the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, all of those 800,000 acres will fall under the control of a federal agency.  Under the regulations as written, the lizard’s survival will trump oil production, farming, road construction — you name it, the little lizard will trump it.

Depending on how far the agency wishes to take it, this ruling could decimate a vast region in Texas, and, possibly, bring the United States to its knees too.  The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is currently saying that the oil industry is overstating the risks, but if there’s one thing we know about the bureaucratic mind, it’s that it will always go too far, especially when it’s doing so in the service of a Progressive agenda, with the agenda here being that Big Oil is eeeevviiilll.

I thought of the lizard when I got my hands on a letter that the City of Larkspur sent out to its residents.  The City was lucky enough to be the beneficiary of federal funding to rehabilitate Doherty Drive, which is a heavily traveled road that links two communities and serves both a middle school and a fairly large high school.

Doherty Drive, Larkspur, CA

The road renovation was to have taken place during the summer, when the schools are out of session, and traffic is therefore limited.  It turns out, however, that California Clapper Rails (flightless coastal birds) live in the waters along the construction route, and have their nesting season during the summer.  The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has therefore mandated that construction must be delayed.  As of now, construction is schedule for the first two months of the school year.  During that time, the road will be closed entirely:

Larkspur to close Doherty Drive for construction

The road closure means that traffic must be rerouted.  Had this happened during a quiet season, it would merely have meant somewhat heavier traffic on alternative roads.  Since it’s happening during peak season, it means substantial traffic jams all over Corte Madera, Larkspur and Greenbrae, which are the communities that will be used as alternative pathways to access the two schools and to travel from one town to another.  Traffic jams, as we know, are a major cause of CO2 emissions.

I should add here, in big, red letters, that I don’t think that two months of inconvenience and increased CO2 emissions are an unreasonable price to pay to protect a small bird during its short nesting season. I’m posting this here only as a reminder that environmentalism comes at a cost — and sometimes that cost is to the environment itself.  It also wouldn’t surprise me to discover that a lot of Marin-ites, after sweating it out in terrible traffic jams for a couple of months, blowing clouds of CO2 in the air, are a little less favorably inclined towards the small, flightless, hapless California Clapper Rail.

And in a related story, the EPA leaves unusable a vast Alaska mineral reserve.  (We currently relying on places such as China and Africa, which don’t have the resources to or the interest in mining those minerals in a way that has the smallest possible impact on the environment.)

The Bookworm Turns : A Secret Conservative in Liberal Land, available in e-format for $4.99 at Amazon, Smashwords or through your iBook app.

More common sense out of Marin

I blogged the other day about the fact that three Marin County towns had opted out of an expensive green energy plan — and that the local liberal newspaper applauded them.  News comes today that yet another town has now decided that the pocketbook trumps Algore induced environmental panic:

[Larkspur] City Manager Jean Bonander said the council’s position was firm.

“They made it really clear that a small city like Larkspur whose focus has always been on really basic core services and doesn’t know anything about running an electrical utility, it probably didn’t make a lot of sense for us to take that kind of risk,” she said.

“We did not go forward with the clean energy initiative at this time because it did not make sense financially,” said Councilwoman Joan Lundstrom, who is vice mayor and led the discussion in Hillmer’s absence.

“The bond market and the credit market have completely imploded,” she said. “It wasn’t a decision
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between clean energy and PG&E – it was a decision why should the county suddenly start an energy bureaucracy that would cost $8 million a year and have 20 employees at this time.

“This was not the time for the county to go into the energy market,” Lundstrom said.

Who knew there’d be an upside to the recession?