Police in Virginia’s Shenandoah Valley have readily forgiven an anti-mask mother shown on video during a school board meeting threatening to bring “loaded” guns to her children’s school in protest of the mask mandate she so vehemently opposes.
Amelia King was recorded Thursday night at a Page County School Board meeting berating school board members about the district’s mask mandate for students by explicitly threatening to retaliate with gun violence.
The video begins showing King appealing to the school board to ignore guidance from the state capital and instead pay attention to that she called “a lot of good science” about masks. But before she was able to continue, a school board member interrupted King to let her know she time to speak had elapsed.
No worries, King went on anyway; only;y this time, her words were dripping with venom.
“No mask mandates!” King exclaimed. “My children will not come to school Monday with a mask on, all right? That’s not happening!”
But it was her fateful choice of words afterward that caught everybody’s attention:
“… And I will bring every single gun loaded and ready to… I will call every…”
Her voice trailed off as a school board member, again, interrupted her again for exceeding the talking time limit.
So King had one final set of ominous words for the school board: “I’ll see y’all on Monday!”
Watch the video for yourself and you be the judge of her apparent intent.
Apparently, the Luray Police Department didn’t need to see the video to believe that King wasn’t serious with her threat. After all, the police department basically reasoned in a social media post addressing the situation, King said she was sorry.
In fact, Luray Police Chief C.S. ‘Bow’ Cook said there was no need to even arrest King, according to CBS News national correspondent David Begnaud.
“The statement [King] made absolutely caused public harm,” the Luray Police Department said in part of a statement. BUT, “the statement continued, “the parent that made the statement realized that, and immediately contacted law enforcement to apologize because the statement was not intended the way it was perceived.”
Loosely translated, that means the Chief Cook extended to King, a white woman, the type of sympathies, privileges and benefits of the doubt rarely, if ever, cast upon suspects of a darker hue.
Begnaud later reported that King said, “I in no way meant to imply ‘all guns loaded’ as in actual firearms, but rather all resources I can muster to make sure that my children get to attend school without masks. My sincere apologies for my poor choice in words…
“…I’m absolutely mortified. I would never do such a thing. I was only speaking figuratively …
“…Nonetheless, I’m beside myself… I never meant to imply I would show up with actual firearms. I’m not a dangerous person and I’m not a threat, and I’m so very sorry for the way it came across…”
Who’s gonna tell her?
Listen, we’re not even two months removed from the Oxford school shooting in Michigan, where four students were killed and several others injured in an instance of preventable violence had people close to the shooter read the writing on the wall.
But at the end of the day, school shootings are a real threat to society and should be taken seriously, even if the perpetrator apologizes. At least, that’s what the law says.
Specifically in Virginia, state statute says “threats of death or bodily injury to persons on school property” are a felony offense.
Threatening to bring loaded guns to a school to ensure no one makes her children wear a mask in that school seems to apply to Virginia code § 18.2-60.
But Chief Cook says that sing King said sorry, signaling that the law doesn’t apply to her.
Beyond the illegal threat to bring loaded guns to school grounds, King is also trying to make a case against her children wearing masks in school at a time when the most contagious variant of the coronavirus is hospitalizing school-aged children at a record rate.
“It is mind-boggling some states have a [mask] mandate ban, or do not do enough to keep our kids safe,” Tony Yang, executive director of the Center for Health Policy and Media Engagement at George Washington University and an expert in school mask mandates, recently told the Guardian. “Students should go to school in person. But you have to do that safely.”