Sunday, April 07, 2013

Should Teachers Pack?

To: National Rifle Association and Others Who Believe the Best Defense Is a Good Offense

From:  Anne Johnson, Public School Teacher

Re: Carrying a weapon in order to protect my students

Considering the fact that my classroom is the very first door on the front center hallway, literally the first door any visitor to the school sees, I can rather confidently predict that I would be directly in the line of fire if an insane gunman came into the school building. I might have time to lock myself and my students into the classroom whilst said insane gunman blasted his way into the door (which is usually locked). But after that, where would he go? Straight to Room 105. That's me.

In theory I agree with you that it would be wonderful for me to have a loaded gun of my own that I could unsheathe, aim, and fire with deadly precision.

In fact, the only weapon I've ever used effectively is a fly swatter. Even then I am only partially proficient.

Back in the 1960s when I attended day camp, I shot BB guns at targets. I missed. Every time. I have hit the sides of barns with Super Soakers, but never a moving human being.

Therefore, even though I would love to be part of your happy solution to random gun violence in public places, I fear that by the current tools of evaluation, I would not satisfy the requirements of the position; namely, public school teacher.

This is not to say that I could never be trained to wield a firearm effectively. I'll bet after 100 hours of professional development on the community firing range I could perhaps pull a trigger without knocking myself down. From there, considering the intelligence of many gun owners, I ought to be able to figure the weapon out. But if there's some assembly required, all bets are off. I'm an English teacher. Assembling things happens in math and science classes. I can hardly assemble a peanut butter sandwich. (I can understand Shakespeare, though. Everyone is skilled at something.)

See this fine female? She's not me. I'm not her.

I brake for squirrels. When I play Monopoly, I let people stay in my hotels for free. Back in the day, I hid from the food fight in the middle school cafeteria. Once my grandfather asked me to bring him his squirrel gun. I had to drag it across the floor, because I couldn't lift it.

So if some assailant tries to shoot my students, the best I can hope for is to be a meat shield while they scramble under the desks. I have given this long, hard thought, and that's pretty much the sum total of my capacity to protect anyone.

Sorry to disappoint you. The militia will have to be well regulated without me.

Anne Johnson


Lori F - said...

If a school wants guns within it's walls, then they need to hire security

Anonymous said...

I have heard a rumor that the NRA is volunteering to pay for all of the things it recommends -- the guns, the guards, the training....
Maybe they will go broke doing it?