Thursday, April 25, 2013

When Squirt Guns Are Outlawed ...

You know our society's threshold for panic has sunk to new low levels when a local police department sends out a warning to citizens about teenagers playing with squirt guns.

This sort of warning was, in fact, distributed by Montgomery Township (New Jersey) police in an email dated April 23. The web version of the email says, in part (telephone number redacted to reduce the number of justifiable crank calls):

A portion of Montgomery High School seniors are participating in a Township wide game known as "senior assassin." The game is not supported nor condoned by the School District. The game involves teams of students seeking out each other and squirting them with water guns. The activity causes both residents and law enforcement alarm due to the devices and methods used by the participants. Citizens may notice an increase in both vehicular and pedestrian traffic involving groups of high school youths. Motorists are asked to use extra caution especially during evening and early morning hours. Parents of participating students are asked to caution their children on the dangers of possessing realistic looking weapons, careless driving, and overall risky behavior. Residents should not attribute suspicious activity to the game and contact Montgomery Police at (908)xxx-xxxx or 9-1-1 in case of an emergency.
The game in question -- here called "senior assassin" but which goes by other names such as "Gotcha, Assassins, KAOS (Killing as organized sport), Juggernaut, Battle Royal, Paranoia, Killer, Elimination, or Circle of Death" -- is not a new phenomenon. I remember playing a version of it in my college dorm in 1980 (I was eliminated in the first round) and the game is a principal plot element in the 1985 Cold War comedy thriller, Gotcha!, starring Anthony Edwards when he still had a full head of hair.

It has been years since commercially-available squirt guns have borne any resemblance to actual firearms, so the police department's stated caution about "possessing realistic looking weapons" is a bit disingenuous.

Maybe New Jerseyans have a different temperament than Virginians, but what really disturbs me is how this innocent game "causes both residents and law enforcement alarm."

As I recall from The Sopranos, therapists are available in New Jersey. Anyone who is "alarmed" by squirt gun fights among teenagers really needs to be under the care of a licensed psychologist.

The last sentence of the missive offers me some comfort, however, and a suspicion that even the communications staff at police HQ in Belle Mead, New Jersey, are rolling their eyes in disbelief at what they are compelled to do. If you read it grammatically, the last sentence says: "Residents should not ... contact Montgomery Police..."

(Cross-posted from Bearing Drift.)

Be sure to visit my CafePress store for gifts and novelty items!
Read my blog on Kindle!
Follow my tweets on Twitter! 

See my articles on! 

Thursday, April 04, 2013

2013 Ronald Reagan Dinner Has Exciting Silent Auction Items Ready for Bid

Only a few days remain until the 2013 Ronald Reagan Dinner sponsored by the Charlottesville Republican Committee. The dinner will take place the evening of Sunday, April 7, at the Omni Hotel in downtown Charlottesville. (Last-minute tickets are still available for purchase at -- just follow the links to the secure payment page.)

In addition to speeches by former U.S. Secretary of Transportation James Burnley and former White House advisor Karl Rove, this year's dinner offers a range of interesting and intriguing personalized items donated by conservative celebrities and Republican VIPs.

For instance, Kansas Governor Sam Brownback is offering a Kansas state flag, flown over the capitol building in Topeka, with the winning bidder choosing the date for the flag to fly.

Similarly, Nevada Governor Brian Sandoval has contributed a commemorative state coin and Iowa Governor Terry Branstad has sent a coffee-table book about his state, with his autograph attached, called Iowa: Simply Beautiful II.

Former President George H.W. Bush has sent us a limited-edition lithograph portraying his presidential library in Texas, signed and numbered by the artist and autographed by the President himself.

Here are some of the other items that will be available for bidding during the cocktail reception at the Omni, beginning at 6:00 p.m. Be sure to bring a checkbook to pay for your purchase, or you'll risk losing it to the second-place bidder! (All of these items have been autographed or otherwise personalized by the donor.)

From former Georgia Congressman Bob Barr

From former UN Ambassador John Bolton

From former Florida Governor Jeb Bush and coauthor Clint Bolick

From House Majority Leader Eric Cantor

From Lynne V. Cheney

From former New York Mayor Rudolph Giuliani

From Fox News host Sean Hannity

From 1994 U.S. Senate candidate Oliver North

From Karl Rove

From House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan
An autographed 2012 Christmas card

From CSI:NY actor Gary Sinise
Signed photo and autographed DVD, High Flight: A Voyage to the Edge of Infinity

From Virginia Congressman Rob Wittman

In addition to featured speakers Burnley and Rove, the dinner program will include remarks by Albemarle County Board of Supervisors member Ken Boyd and Fluvanna County Board of Supervisors Chairman Shaun Kenney, as well as a special presentation by the GOP candidates for Attorney General of Virginia, Delegate Rob Bell and state Senator Mark Obenshain.

There may be additional surprises in store, but people will have to wait until April 7 to find out what they are.

(Cross-posted from the Charlottesville Republicans Blog.)