William P. Warford

Is it just me, or have there been fewer signs of Christmas over the first three weeks of November than we’ve been seeing the last few years?

Granted, I don’t get out as much as I used to, but I haven’t seen as much in the stores or been hit with as many ads so far this year. Haven’t heard a single Christmas song.

I hope I haven’t jinxed it. Maybe the pendulum is swinging back to a more reasonable approach: kicking off the holiday season after Thanksgiving.

o

If you missed Sunday’s letter to the editor from Eli Johnson, go back and read it.

Eli, the student representative on the Antelope Valley Union High School District Board of Trustees, wrote beautifully about the feeling of serenity that overtook the meeting room Thursday night after divisive Board members Victoria Ruffin and Amanda Parrell walked out because they didn’t get their way.

The cloud of negativity had left the building.

Clearly, the students of the High School District have once again selected a smart, articulate representative who is not afraid to, as the saying goes, speak truth to power.

It is a reminder that, despite the turmoil on the Board, the administration, teachers, support staff, and students keep doing great things every day.

o

I loved what the great ESPN sports commentator, Stephen A. Smith, said about Colin Kaepernick. Smith said the former quarterback has zero interest in playing in the NFL again; he just wants to be a martyr.

Preach, Stephen A.!

o

Did you see that two Arkansas college chemistry professors were arrested for manufacturing meth?

You know, that could make a pretty good plot for a television series. Oh, wait.

o

Just as there is zero tolerance for “bomb jokes” in line at the airport, we are moving toward zero tolerance for school students “joking” about shooting up a school.

A 15-year-old Lancaster boy was arrested last week for online comments, and as everyone knows a Saugus boy killed two others and himself in a school shooting on Thursday.

Then we have a case out of Florida, where, according to ABC News, a judge dismissed charges against a 15-year-old boy who shared his six-page “Shooting Plan” with a classmate in September.

The classmate, fortunately, reported the incident, and the boy who wrote the plan was arrested.

But a judge turned him loose this week, saying that the prosecutors could not “prove the threat had been transmitted as described in the law.”

The story did not explain what that means, and the judge did not return the reporter’s call seeking comment. But it did say the boy admitted writing the plan, and obviously he shared it with the other boy, which is how the authorities found out about it.

The boy denied he planned to carry it out.

So how to justify letting him go free? No counseling? Just go back to school on Monday? Classmates and parents, as you can imagine, are not happy.

It is a mixed blessing that so many would-be shooters have been thwarted of late. Good news that they were stopped — bad news that they planned or even just thought about doing it.

I always go back to my standard point on this issue. I am not a gun person, but if guns are the culprits, why wasn’t this happening 40 years ago? We’ve always had guns.

William P. Warford’s column appears every Tuesday, Friday and Sunday.

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