A young Baltimore boy who was suspended from school earlier this year for eating a Pop-Tart into the shape of a gun received a lifetime membership to the National Rifle Association at a Republican fundraiser last night.

8-year-old Josh Welch has become something of a poster boy for the hypersensitivity of zero tolerance policies after Park Elementary School went so far as to make the school counselor available to students who were traumatized by their classmate playing with his food.

Taking advantage of Josh's minor celebrity status, the Anne Arundel County Republicans invited the boy to receive a lifetime membership to the NRA, personally presented to him by Maryland House of Delegates Minority Leader Nic Kipke.

Despite the shameless attempt to use Josh to make some sort of point (next time bring a real gun to school?), the second grader was clearly bright enough to know he was being exploited.

"Everyone keeps asking me why I did it," Josh told attendees. "I don't know why I did it. ... I wish people would stop asking me about it. It'll probably go on for 45 years or something."

The Baltimore Sun notes that Josh, who said he didn't know what the NRA was, handed the $550 certificate to his parents "and returned to playing games on a cellphone."

[photo via Nic Kipke, screengrab via WAVY]