Former Virginia Teacher Given Probation for Firing Blanks at Terrified Students (VIDEO)

Last April, a Virginia teacher tried to scare his students straight by lining them up outside their school and firing four to ten blanks in their direction.

In the short term, this unconventional disciplinary method proved effective.  That is, his 12 students at the William N. Neff Center in Abington were scared to death.

Thinking they were about to die, they dove for cover, scrambled about the ground and screamed for help as their welding teacher, 61-year-old Manuael Ernest Dillow, pulled the trigger of the pistol repeatedly.

Needless to say, he got their attention.

“They realized it was not real only after they looked around and saw that no one was bleeding,” Commonwealth’s Attorney Nicole Price told the Bristol Herald Courier.

In long term, however, things didn’t work out so well for Mr. Dillow.

As previously reported, Dillow was arrested and slapped with 12 counts of brandishing a firearm on school property (one for each student).

Over the course of the next several months, his attorney was able to work out a plea agreement with prosecutors.

On Thursday, in Washington County Circuit Court, Dillow pleaded guilty to one count of brandishing a firearm on school property.

Dillow received a five-year suspended sentence and two years probation.  In other words, as long as Dillow keeps a clean nose for the next two years he’ll avoid prison time.

Additionally, his career as a teacher is presumably over.

As for how Dillow obtained the gun, a local sheriff reported that Dillow borrowed the gun, which can only fire blanks, from another school department that teaches criminal justice.

In looking at this case, do you believe Dillow’s sentence was fair?  Was it too harsh/lenient?

Given the nature of the stunt, do you think Dillow should retain his right to keep and bear arms?  Or were his actions enough to strip it from him?

All of this raises another question, should the gun community support a law that provides extra punishment for those who use a firearm in a prank or stunt (just throwing this out there for discussion, not advocating it)?

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