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Forget Anthrax, "Stupidity" Virus Running Rampant

from Chuck Muth

October 17, 2001

"The sound of a gun going off to start the races at track meets could be a sound of the past. Last week, the National Federation High School Track and Field Rules Committee enforced a bylaw that prohibits officials from using caliber pistols - commonly known as starter's pistols - to start races. . . . Ed Thibodeau, rules interpreter for the NHIAA Track and Field Committee...will recommend that other devices be used to start races. 'We could use whistles, but I'll suggest that we use a bullhorn,' said Thibodeau.

". . . He said even though the guns don't fire anything, they are still dangerous. 'Believe it or not, at every meet we run, there is someone who attends the races for the very first time. It's very frightening for someone to hear a gun go off when they don't expect one to go off in the first place,' he said. 'The last thing we want is to have an accident or scare someone, especially a month after we experienced the bombings. When you think of it, guns of any kind shouldn't be used at athletic events.'"

- Manchester Union Leader, 10/17/01

Editor's Note: For you Palm Beach Democrats out there, NO BULLETS come out of starter pistols; only noise.

The NFHS Track and Field Rules Committee in Indianapolis can be reached at 317-972-6900 or

Mr. Thibodeau can be reached at 603-434-7966 or

The New Hampshire Interscholastic Athletic Association's (NHIAA) executive director is James W. Desmarais who can be reached at 603-228-8671 or

Not that any of you gun folks would find this absurd or anything and want to chew someone's "Clymer" over it.

--Chuck Muth

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