Citizens of a small city in Texas received a shocking reminder of the ever-present danger in today’s schools when a fourth grade boy was found in possession of the One Ring (or an extremely lifelike replica). He was suspended after being turned in by a classmate after telling another boy that he had a magic ring and could make him disappear.

I support this school’s zero tolerance policy for magical violence. Measures like this are necessary to avoid another tragedy like the Battle of Hogwarts. But many magic fanatics will have argued that the suspension was uncalled for. I’m astounded that there should be any debate on the matter.

While it has not been determined whether the ring is actually the One Ring created by the Dark Lord Sauron, the incident offers Americans everywhere an opportunity to reconsider our society’s cavalier attitude towards magic.

Our wand happy culture has created a dangerous environment for people of all ages, but most especially for impressionable young people like the child in this case. When questioned, the boy’s father told officials that his son was acting out a scene from “The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies,” (the latest in a long line of movies glorifying magic starting with Fantasia in 1940).

Now, setting aside the debate over magic in movies, surely we can at least agree that a parent who allows a child to be exposed to that sort of magical violence in fourth grade should lose all parental rights and be shipped off to Azkaban.

As if that weren’t bad enough, the father told reporters that his son doesn’t even know how to disappear someone. What sort of parent allows their child to handle powerful magical objects without proper training? When you think about the damage that could have been done, a one-day suspension doesn’t seem nearly severe enough. He should have been expelled.

Of course, this all could have been avoided if our legislators would pass legislation to limit access to this sort of military-grade magic. This kind of magic shouldn’t be in our homes, much less our schools. Believe me, I’ve taken an Elder Wand out to the casting range, so I can tell you first hand, that sort of magic has no place in our society.

I can hear the magic nuts now. “You want to ban questing!” No one said anything about banning quests. I don’t deny that questing across Middle-earth is part of our cultural heritage. Long, drawn-out quests to collect and destroy horcruxes are part of what made this country great. But if you really feel that you need a Resurrection Stone to slay a dragon, I say you just need more practice with your wand.

And so often, these deadly magical artifacts end up in our schools. Every Deatheater in the country knows he can pop down to the Shire and return with a cursed opal necklace or a Death-Cap Draught.

So why do pro-magic groups continue to lobby for expanded access to magic?

The Ministry of Magic has already relaxed magical regulations too far. We have schools filled with wand wielding professors and students- students that begin learning magic at age twelve! It’s one thing to carry an enchanted talisman on a quest and quite another to walk through the hallways of a school with Deathly Hallows or a ring forged in Mount Doom.

It’s time we acknowledge that the use of magic and magical objects should be restricted to Aurors and Council-Sanctioned Ring-Bearers.

But ring nut zealots won’t even accept common sense magic reforms. Fifty-two percent of the wizarding world supports universal background checks, and yet Bilbo Baggins, hero of the pro-magic lobby, is on every channel stirring up opposition to any magic reform bill that comes before Congress.

Without these background checks, we can’t know the difference between a good guy with a wand and a Death Eater. Take Peter Pettigrew, for example. An Order of the Phoenix member awarded the Order of Merlin, and yet he was directly responsible for at least twelve murders and indirectly responsible for countless more through his work with Voldemort (the other Dark Lord).

I hope this close call will serve as a wake up call to our country. Please, contact your elected officials and ask them to push for stricter magical control laws, because next time someone might disappear for real.

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