Posts Tagged ‘guns’

What Would Arming Teachers Mean for Education Politics?

February 24, 2018


President Trump and the NRA want to arm high-school and grade-school teachers. Well, that should make crossing the picket line at the next teachers’ strike a lot more interesting.

Carrying a gun generally makes people feel more confident and assertive. How is that going to play out for school administrators? Teacher passivity has always been the school administration’s ace in the hole. Next time a teachers’ meeting is called to announce layoffs and class size increases, the superintendent may want to send some assistant principal to break the news.

And how about those conservative governors and legislators who slash away at school budgets? Would they like to confront an armed and angry teachery?

Has Trump really thought this through? Maybe arming teachers would do something good for the country. But maybe it’s not the something he has in mind. There’s no way carrying a gun is going to turn teachers into revolutionaries, but it might give them more backbone in confronting local and national politicians.

Hey, Betsy DeVos, a few million teachers would like to speak to you outside.


Dad with Other Shop Teachers in Hobart, Indiana

Dad (upper right) with Other Shop Teachers in Hobart, Indiana

Being Ready for the Bad Guys

December 19, 2017

I know a gun advocate I’ll call Bob who carries a handgun in a small camera bag wherever he goes. He wants to be ready to deal with the bad guys. I’ve known him casually for several years. He knows I don’t carry but he also knows I’m OK that he does. The other day Bob asked me if my parents had a gun when I was growing up. I started to say “no.” Then I stopped.

Of course we had guns. We had five of them. We had a family-heirloom muzzle loader that went out to the California gold rush and back. It still worked and Dad sometimes fired it, although the rest of us kept well back. Mom had a .410 that I used to hunt rabbits. I had a single-shot .22 for squirrels. Dad had a pump-action .22 with a scope for squirrels and varmints. And he had a double-barreled 12 gauge for rabbits and birds.

I almost said “no” to the Bob’s question because we didn’t think of these guns as something for shooting people. Obviously we could have defended ourselves. A 12-gauge shotgun is very persuasive. But we had guns in the house for hunting. A handgun or an assault rifle for killing people was never something we considered.

I think of my uncles who fought in WWII and I don’t believe any of them kept handguns or military weapons. They just didn’t seem necessary.

Maybe Bob will someday drop a bad guy. More likely he’ll pull out his .32 and the bad guy will drop Bob. I do understand his anxiety about the world around us. I also understand that Bob feels confident when he carries a gun. But I wish he would put his camera back in his camera bag so we could go birding.


Mike in the Woods, Photo by Vera Smetzer

Mike in the Woods, Photo by Vera Smetzer