'Thoughtcrime': Ariz. High School Student Suspended for Computer's Wallpaper

'Thoughtcrime': Ariz. High School Student Suspended for Computer's Wallpaper

In the dystopian novel Nineteen Eighty-Four by George Orwell, thoughtcrime is the criminal act of holding unspoken beliefs or doubts that oppose or question the ruling party. In the book, the government attempts to control not only the speech and actions, but also the thoughts of its subjects. To entertain unacceptable thought is known as to crimethink in Newspeak, the ideologically purified dialect of the party.

In the book, Winston Smith, the main character, writes in his diary: "Thoughtcrime does not entail death: thoughtcrime is death." There is also a "ministry of love" which is actually the place of torture for people who commit thoughtcrime or any type of crime for that matter.

Florence, Ariz., high school freshman Daniel McClaine, Jr., found out what thoughtcrime means when he was suspended three days for having a picture of a Yugoslav AK-47 as the wallpaper on his school-issued laptop.

Check out the video from ABC-15.



School district policy says students are prohibited from "sending or displaying offensive messages or pictures," and cannot access, send, create or forward pictures that are considered "harassing, threatening, or illegal."

Now, I am all in favor of vigilance by school officials. None of us wants another school shooting, and it would be an especially fishy coincidence if one just happened to coincide with debate on Sen. Feinstein's assault weapon bill. It is also the case that endless lawsuits by parents and the ACLU have reduced school administrators to mindlessly enforcing Kafkaesque bureaucratic regulations rather than showing children by example how to make reasonable judgments.

But this one gets into the realm of thought control, and clearly even the district realized that, since it backpedaled as soon as a local TV station made inquiries

There was a prominent British gun-control activist in the 1980s, a woman whose name I regret I can't recall, who thought banning ownership of guns, while a good first step, was hardly enough. She wanted to outlaw BB guns, toy guns, antiques, dummy guns, pictures of guns, guns in museums, the use of guns in films — essentially, she wanted to erase the very concept of guns from the collective memory.


Give her credit for big thinking, but that's a truly quixotic dream, and one that would require coercion at the North Korean or Khmer Rouge level. The desire to strike a blow at a distance dates back to the atlatl or the boomerang, and no level of thought control will ever extinguish it. We may someday do it with ray guns instead of gunpowder, but there's no changing human nature.

In the meantime, Daniel McClaine, who hopes to join the U.S. Army after graduation, has changed his wallpaper to something the school district, at least for the moment, can accept.

GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.

Recommended Articles

See More Recommendations

Popular Videos

M134 Mini-Gun

M134 Mini-Gun

While filming the 2018 season of Guns&AmmoTV we had the unique opportunity to fire the M134 Minigun.

Pioneer Arms PPS-43C Pistol

Pioneer Arms PPS-43C Pistol

The PPS-43 served Poland and the Russians during WWII. It is now available as a pistol for the US market.

See More Popular Videos

Trending Articles

The last of Germany's infamous Elefant tank destroyers. Historical

World War II German Elefant Tank Destroyers

Neal S Shera - July 12, 2019

The last of Germany's infamous Elefant tank destroyers.

Please sign and share the petition to get the required 100,000 signatures by July 27. 2nd Amendment

Tell the White House that the 2nd Amendment Was Not Given to the People by Government

Firearms News - July 02, 2019

Please sign and share the petition to get the required 100,000 signatures by July 27.

No one can restore receptivity to another Trump term with these disaffected gun owners but the president himself. 2nd Amendment

2020 is Trump's to Blow with Gun Owners

David Codrea - July 09, 2019

No one can restore receptivity to another Trump term with these disaffected gun owners but the...

A $50 Ring Loc-Kit gives AirForce Condor airgunners unparalleled power and accuracy. Air Guns

AirForce Airguns Condor Ring-Loc Kit Review

Tom Gaylord - May 29, 2019

A $50 Ring Loc-Kit gives AirForce Condor airgunners unparalleled power and accuracy.

See More Trending Articles

More 2nd Amendment

Perspective from the National Shooting Sports Foundation.

NSSF: Atlanta Mayor Brings Gun-Control Credentials to Moms Demand Veepstakes

Larry Keane - July 24, 2020

Perspective from the National Shooting Sports Foundation.

At the protest, many of the so-called NFAC members were heavily armed and dressed in black. One, who was carrying a rifle, inadvertently discharged the gun in the tightly packed crowd near Baxter Square at 12th and Jefferson, hitting three other protesters. 2nd Amendment

Regarding the NFAC Event on Saturday, We Present: Gun Safety Tips for Rioters

Clay Bell - July 27, 2020

At the protest, many of the so-called NFAC members were heavily armed and dressed in black....

Unfortunately, an ongoing court case could render the Florida preemption law useless, paving the way for just such a problem for law-abiding Florida gun owners. 2nd Amendment

Florida Anti-Gunners Looking to Skirt State's Preemption Law

Mark Chesnut - July 27, 2020

Unfortunately, an ongoing court case could render the Florida preemption law useless, paving...

Recently, two very damaging anti-gun bills were defeated in the Hawaii legislature—a rarity in the Aloha State. 2nd Amendment

Rare 2A Victory in Hawaii

Mark Chesnut - July 20, 2020

Recently, two very damaging anti-gun bills were defeated in the Hawaii legislature—a rarity in...

See More 2nd Amendment

GET THE MAGAZINE Subscribe & Save

Digital Now Included!

SUBSCRIBE NOW

Give a Gift   |   Subscriber Services

PREVIEW OUR CURRENT ISSUE

GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.

Get Digital Access.

All Firearms News subscribers now have digital access to their magazine content. This means you have the option to read your magazine on most popular phones and tablets.

To get started, click the link below to visit mymagnow.com and learn how to access your digital magazine.

Get Digital Access

Not a Subscriber?
Subscribe Now