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Thread: Story on KOMO about bus driver with firearm on bus

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    Regular Member compmanio365's Avatar
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    http://www.komotv.com/news/11080901.html



    SPANAWAY -- A Bethel School District school bus driver, who six years ago was hailed as a hero for saving 22 kids from a burning bus, was arrested early Wednesday morning for allegedly having a loaded handgun and marijuana on her bus.

    School District spokesman Mark Wenzel said school officials received an anonymous tip that Cheryl Mooring had a gun on her bus. Two officials from the school's transportation department went to the site where the bus driver was about to pick up a group of kids and called police after interviewing the driver.

    Deputies searched the bus and found a loaded handgun.

    The bus was taken back to the bus barn by another driver, and a subsequent search of the bus also turned up a case with marijuana and a pipe, Detective Ed Troyer said.

    Mooring was booked into the Pierce County Jail for investigation of unlawful possession of a firearm, three counts of possession of weapon on school property, and marijuana possession.

    Troyer said Mooring was also intoxicated when deputies arrived, but she was not operating a vehicle at the time, so there were no alcohol-related crimes.

    Wenzel said the driver has been with the school district for at least five years.

    In 2001, Mooring was honored by state lawmakers for saving 22 kids from her bus after a fiery collision with an SUV near Graham.

    Mooring was trapped in the driver's seat of her bus as smoke filled the interior, but she managed to pry herself free and search the bus to make sure all the students were able to get out.

    "It is ironic that this happened and that she was lauded for her valor just a few years ago," Wenzel said. "It's been difficult, but we're just relieved, frankly, that no kids were hurt in this."

    Investigators said Mooring does not have a permit to carry a concealed weapon, and she allegedly told detectives that the gun had been planted on the bus.

    She has been placed on unpaid leave while prosecutors determine whether to file charges.

    [line]

    Hmm, the one part of this article I take offense to is the part where they are speaking like the gun was just going to jump up on it's own and start shooting all the "poor childrens!" It sounds like this woman is a good person, so I wonder why she felt compelled to carry the handgun, even though she didn't have a CPL? And what is the deal with the marijuana? Is it for medicinal purposes?

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    compmanio365 wrote:
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    Hmm, the one part of this article I take offense to is the part where they are speaking like the gun was just going to jump up on it's own and start shooting all the "poor childrens!" It sounds like this woman is a good person, so I wonder why she felt compelled to carry the handgun, even though she didn't have a CPL? And what is the deal with the marijuana? Is it for medicinal purposes?
    All very good questions. Of course neither one would be allowed on school grounds, although medicinal pot might win out in court. Can't see how the gun was legal though. Damnit, I would like to see all bus drivers school or transit armed.

    Steve

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    Mhm... if she had a CPL she could always fight that she was dropping and picking up kids in compliance with RCW that allows it... :celebrate

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    Doesnt the law give exception for cc at home and at your place of buisness?

    She works on the bus?

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    jonnyjeeps wrote:
    Doesnt the law give exception for cc at home and at your place of buisness?

    She works on the bus?
    "permanent fixed place of business" At any rate you need a CPL to carry in a vehicle, plus there is probably something in the rules where she works that no guns allowed, plus there is probably other BS that keeps the people who are supposed to keep our kids safe from being armed (for the sake of the children of course)

    Steve

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    Yes I understand but if you picture her saying to the arresting officers its hilarious

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    I know someone who drove a school bus in Edmonds for about five years. Shehas a CPL and carried a gun on her bus every single day. No marijayhootchie though.

    Their policy manual states the drivers are prohibited from having ANY sort of weapon at all. No guns, knives, clubs, or mace. Nyet, Nada, Nein, Nothing. She always asked how was she supposed to protect her kids if she wasn't armed. It was grounds for immediate termination but she said she'd rather be judged by 12 than carried by 6.

    She drove a middle school route and after seeing some of the security tapes from her bus I think she'd more likely need it to protect herself. No offense to anyone, but personally I think anyone who drives a school bus unarmed is a fool.

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    BluesBear wrote:
    She drove a middle school route and after seeing some of the security tapes from her bus I think she'd more likely need it to protect herself. No offense to anyone, but personally I think anyone who drives a school bus unarmed is a fool.
    Agreed, I went to school in the Edmonds school district from 6th-12th grade and the bus was one of the more dangerous times to be in the custody of the state.

    When you're dealing with kids that have felony convictions and are known to carry knives and such... plus there's anywhere from 20-60 of them on the bus... going unarmedwould be like walking into an Islamic Extremist training camp with Apollo Creed Red/White/Blue shorts on and expect to be able to take a couple shots on some AK's at the range and head on home with a handshake.
    B.S. Chemistry UofWA '09
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    sv_libertarian wrote:
    jonnyjeeps wrote:
    Doesnt the law give exception for cc at home and at your place of buisness?

    She works on the bus?
    "permanent fixed place of business" At any rate you need a CPL to carry in a vehicle, plus there is probably something in the rules where she works that no guns allowed, plus there is probably other BS that keeps the people who are supposed to keep our kids safe from being armed (for the sake of the children of course)

    Steve
    There is the BS of no guns on school provided transportation.
    "A fear of weapons is a sign of retarded sexual and emotional maturity."

    "though I walk through the valley in the shadow of death, I fear no evil, for I know that you are by my side" Glock 23:40

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    joeroket wrote:
    There is the BS of no guns on school provided transportation.
    Our trap team has to have a parent drive the shotguns to the range while the kids go in the school van. Absolutely moronic.

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    I think it's a shame that a woman who obviously served the city well, did a great job, and never harmed anyone is probably going to wind up in prison. Our society should be ashamed of itself, and the laws that we pass and enforce.

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    heresolong wrote:
    joeroket wrote:
    There is the BS of no guns on school provided transportation.
    Our trap team has to have a parent drive the shotguns to the range while the kids go in the school van. Absolutely moronic.
    What school is this, is it in Blaine? Used to live up that way and I don't remember there being a trap team.......something new they've added in the last few years?

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    Cue-Ball wrote:
    I think it's a shame that a woman who obviously served the city well, did a great job, and never harmed anyone is probably going to wind up in prison. Our society should be ashamed of itself, and the laws that we pass and enforce.
    Mooring was booked into the Pierce County Jail for investigation of unlawful possession of a firearm, three counts of possession of weapon on school property, and marijuana possession.

    Troyer said Mooring was also intoxicated when deputies arrived, but she was not operating a vehicle at the time, so there were no alcohol-related crimes.
    You really want someone who is intoxicated and armed driving a school bus?

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    State Researcher dng's Avatar
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    I know I don't. She wasn't arrested for just the gun. She is a pothead... I don't want that person driving my kids around.

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    You really want someone who is intoxicated and armed driving a school bus?
    First off, you're making quite a leap by saying that she was intoxicated. I can have a six pack in my back seat. That doesn't mean I'm drunk. Nothing in the story indicates that she was impaired in any way. (edit: she was intoxicated when they arrested her, but there's no proof that she was while she was driving).

    Secondly, I have absolutely no problem with her being armed, just as I have no problem with you being armed. She has as much right to self defense as anyone else.

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    dngreer wrote:
    I know I don't. She wasn't arrested for just the gun. She is a pothead... I don't want that person driving my kids around.
    What's wrong with being a pothead? Most of the people I know drink liquor. It doesn't make them bad people, so long as they don't endanger anyone by doing so. I've seen nothing so far that would tell me that this woman was a danger to anyone. Until I do, I'm willing to give her the benefit of the doubt.

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    Cue-Ball wrote:
    dngreer wrote:
    I know I don't. She wasn't arrested for just the gun. She is a pothead... I don't want that person driving my kids around.
    What's wrong with being a pothead? Most of the people I know drink liquor. It doesn't make them bad people, so long as they don't endanger anyone by doing so. I've seen nothing so far that would tell me that this woman was a danger to anyone. Until I do, I'm willing to give her the benefit of the doubt.
    She had pot and a pipe, on the bus. Drugs are illegal; maybe you feel they should be legalized, but as of now, they're not. So you have someone who is responsible for kids every day who is breaking the law (which sets a bad example) and if she was smoking the night before she should not have kid's lives in her hands. If you want to argue that doing drugs is a personal choice, I can at leastunderstandthat. But when you cross the line of affecting yourself over to affecting others, not to mention children; that's not ok. That thinking blows my mind. Then you throw the gun in the mix; not good. I don't want to be around anyone that's been smoking pot and has a gun, because their ability to make decisions is not what it should be, much less give that person a bus filled with kids.

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    dngreer wrote:
    Cue-Ball wrote:
    dngreer wrote:
    I know I don't. She wasn't arrested for just the gun. She is a pothead... I don't want that person driving my kids around.
    What's wrong with being a pothead? Most of the people I know drink liquor. It doesn't make them bad people, so long as they don't endanger anyone by doing so. I've seen nothing so far that would tell me that this woman was a danger to anyone. Until I do, I'm willing to give her the benefit of the doubt.
    She had pot and a pipe, on the bus. Drugs are illegal; maybe you feel they should be legalized, but as of now, they're not. So you have someone who is responsible for kids every day who is breaking the law (which sets a bad example) and if she was smoking the night before she should not have kid's lives in her hands. If you want to argue that doing drugs is a personal choice, I can at leastunderstandthat. But when you cross the line of affecting yourself over to affecting others, not to mention children; that's not ok. That thinking blows my mind. Then you throw the gun in the mix; not good. I don't want to be around anyone that's been smoking pot and has a gun, because their ability to make decisions is not what it should be, much less give that person a bus filled with kids.
    I am no lawyer but I suspect that the posession of marijuana charges will be thrown out. The article said they had another driver drive the bus back to the bus barn, or whatever they want to call it, and during a subsequent search they found the marijuana. Seems to me that the officers lost chain of custody as soon as the other driver drove off unless there was an officer on the bus with her, but I highly doubt that. In this instance you have no idea when the marijuana was put there or who put it there.
    "A fear of weapons is a sign of retarded sexual and emotional maturity."

    "though I walk through the valley in the shadow of death, I fear no evil, for I know that you are by my side" Glock 23:40

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    Regular Member compmanio365's Avatar
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    dngreer wrote:
    Cue-Ball wrote:
    dngreer wrote:
    I know I don't. She wasn't arrested for just the gun. She is a pothead... I don't want that person driving my kids around.
    What's wrong with being a pothead? Most of the people I know drink liquor. It doesn't make them bad people, so long as they don't endanger anyone by doing so. I've seen nothing so far that would tell me that this woman was a danger to anyone. Until I do, I'm willing to give her the benefit of the doubt.
    She had pot and a pipe, on the bus. Drugs are illegal; maybe you feel they should be legalized, but as of now, they're not. So you have someone who is responsible for kids every day who is breaking the law (which sets a bad example) and if she was smoking the night before she should not have kid's lives in her hands. If you want to argue that doing drugs is a personal choice, I can at leastunderstandthat. But when you cross the line of affecting yourself over to affecting others, not to mention children; that's not ok. That thinking blows my mind. Then you throw the gun in the mix; not good. I don't want to be around anyone that's been smoking pot and has a gun, because their ability to make decisions is not what it should be, much less give that person a bus filled with kids.
    I agree about the gun and being intoxicated. They didn't say whether she was drunk or high. I definitely can't agree with driving and being impaired. I'm on the fence as far as her having the weapon with her while in that state. But if she smoked her (medicinal?) marijuana the night before, it's NOT going to affect her the next day. I mean, c'mon, we are talking about 2 hours max effective time here, not 10 hours later, she's still got a buzz going. I believe it should be legalized, but it's not, so......she shouldn't be doing it while driving any vehicle, and especially not while entrusted with a group of kids. But it doesn't get that specific whether she was intoxicated at all while driving. If so, then yes, she needs to be disciplined for that. If not, and she was perfectly lucid while driving, but was just armed, and had her medicinal stash with her (as what they usually use it for is nausea, which can hit suddenly), then I can't help but say I find nothing here morally wrong, even if it was legally the wrong thing to do.

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    She had pot and a pipe, on the bus.
    And? Did the pipe jump out and attack someone? What if she had cigarettes and a lighter? What if she had a cup of coffee? A drug is a drug is a drug. The arbitrary legality of one over the other has nothing to do with its effects or danger.

    Drugs are illegal; maybe you feel they should be legalized, but as of now, they're not.
    This has absolutely no bearing on whether or not she did anything wrong. It only has a bearing on whether she did anything illegal. We so often hear on this board "better to be judged by 12 than carried by 6", meaning that you're better off breaking the law and carrying your gun than you are obeying the law and leaving it at home because the law is not right. The same thing applies here.

    So you have someone who is responsible for kids every day who is breaking the law (which sets a bad example)
    I say that breaking the law is not necessarily a bad example. Civil disobedience is a good example. If they pass a law tomorrow outlawing all firearms, are you going to set a "good" example for your kids by turning in your guns, or are you going to set a "bad" example and stand up for your rights?

    and if she was smoking the night before she should not have kid's lives in her hands.
    So you're saying that if I drink a beer tonight I would be a danger driving to work tomorrow morning?

    If you want to argue that doing drugs is a personal choice, I can at least understand that. But when you cross the line of affecting yourself over to affecting others, not to mention children; that's not ok.
    Please explain to me how others were affected. Nobody was harmed (not even the poor, innocent children). She obviously was in control of herself and the vehicle since the only reason she was even investigated is because someone called in about her gun. Nobody said the she was driving unsafely, or that she was a threat to others. They only said that she had a firearm.

    That thinking blows my mind.
    The thinking that she hasn't hurt or endangered anyone, or the thinking that she's innocent until proven guilty?

    Then you throw the gun in the mix; not good. I don't want to be around anyone that's been smoking pot and has a gun, because their ability to make decisions is not what it should be, much less give that person a bus filled with kids.
    I agree that getting high (or drunk) and having a firearm is not a good mix. However, plenty of people do it all the time. Unless and until they pose a danger to others, they have done nothing wrong.

    You are assuming that she was intoxicated while she was driving. The article says nothing of the sort. It only says that she was intoxicated when the police approached her about the weapon. I'm not willing to condemn this woman until we know all the facts. If she was intoxicated while she was driving, then she should be fired. But unless she was a danger I do not believe she should be jailed. It doesn't appear to me that she was a danger, because nobody reported erratic or dangerous driving.

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    They make a huge leap that the pot was hers. She is driving a school bus! Perhaps one of the kids left it there? If they find her fingerprints on it, fine, but, until then, we have no proof or reason to believe the pot was hers whatsoever. In fact, it would seem that the police likely searched around her seat immediately upon her arrest--the fact that it took a subsequent search makes it seem likely she had no idea it was on the bus and was, in fact, left by a student. (time will make this information available, though I doubt we'll see a news story and we'll probably have to do some digging...)

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    Cue-Ball wrote:
    You really want someone who is intoxicated and armed driving a school bus?
    First off, you're making quite a leap by saying that she was intoxicated. I can have a six pack in my back seat. That doesn't mean I'm drunk. Nothing in the story indicates that she was impaired in any way. (edit: she was intoxicated when they arrested her, but there's no proof that she was while she was driving).

    Secondly, I have absolutely no problem with her being armed, just as I have no problem with you being armed. She has as much right to self defense as anyone else.
    The Seattle Times has a little more information on this arrest:

    http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/localnews/2004001227_bus08m.html


    A school-bus driver who was hailed as a hero six years ago when she was credited with saving the lives of 22 children has been arrested after authorities said they found marijuana and a loaded handgun on her bus.

    Cheryl Mooring, 52, of Spanaway, Pierce County, was arrested Tuesday afternoon just before picking up children at the end of the school day, said county sheriff's spokesman Ed Troyer. He said her blood-alcohol content in a breath test was 0.114 percent — above the state's legal limit of 0.08 percent.

    The arrest came after Bethel School District officials received a phone call from someone reporting that the longtime bus driver had a gun in the vehicle, according to court papers filed Wednesday in Pierce County Superior Court. The tipster, identified in court papers as someone who lives with Mooring, said the bus driver downed several glasses of wine and grabbed a gun before leaving the house. The tipster said Mooring appeared to be upset, court papers said.

    District officials found Mooring parked in her bus outside a district facility that houses a program for special-needs students, said Mark Wenzel, district spokesman

    School officials found a loaded .44-caliber handgun wrapped in a sock underneath Mooring's seat. The gun was loaded with six bullets, including a highly lethal hollow-point, court papers said.

    Deputies later found several packaged baggies of marijuana and a glass pipe stashed in the bus first-aid kit, court documents said.

    Mooring told investigators that the gun was hers but that she didn't know why it was there, according to court papers. She suggested it may have been "planted," court papers said.

    Mooring was booked into the Pierce County Jail for investigation of drug possession, unlawful possession of a firearm and possession of a firearm on school property. She was not arrested for investigation of drunken driving because she wasn't driving when deputies found her, Troyer said.

    Wenzel said Mooring has been placed on unpaid administrative leave. She has been a bus driver in the district for 16 years and has had a "clean record."

    "We do random drug testing of 10 bus drivers every month. We cycle through the whole department every 16 months," Wenzel said. "She was thought of well. We're shocked."

    Mooring was honored by the State Patrol and the Bethel School District for quick thinking after a Ford Bronco smashed head-on into her bus Jan. 8, 2001. The Bronco driver was killed.

    One of Mooring's legs was pinned beneath the dashboard of the burning bus and her vision was impaired by smoke, but she pulled herself free, felt her way through the bus and counted the children by touch. She led all 22 to safety.

    Jennifer Sullivan: 206-464-8294 or jensullivan@seattletimes.com
    CZ 75B 9mm, Ruger P94 .40 S&W, Bersa Thunder .380, AR-15 Homebuild

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    j2l3 wrote:

    The Seattle Times has a little more information on this arrest:

    http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/localnews/2004001227_bus08m.html
    county sheriff's spokesman Ed Troyer. He said her blood-alcohol content in a breath test was 0.114 percent — above the state's legal limit of 0.08 percent.

    Assuming she has a CDL, the alcohol limit is .04 no matter what vehicle (even her personal car). Not all buses require a CDL, she could have been driving a short bus--but most districts require a CDL regardless of whether the law would for that particular bus. I have a friend who works at a school and is going through the CDL process so he can help out on field trips or if a driver is sick. (small school, he is the director of IT).

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    including a highly lethal hollow-point
    Oh gods! Not the HIGHLY LETHAL hollow point bullet! Well, this just proves that only police should be allowed to carry just lethal instruments of death.......</sarcasm>

    Puhleeease....see what I mean about liberal media? :quirky

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    including a highly lethal hollow-point

    It's NOT lethaluntil it is fired AND it hits someone. While harmlessly resting inside the cylinder (or flying through open air only to rest in an inanimate backstop) it isno more nor no less dangerous than any of it's five non-hollow pointed brethren.

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