In the near future, Carl Bosch imagines one rural Pennsylvania school district instituting gun training for its teachers. What’s next?
It’s 2018 in a small, rural elementary school in the middle of Pennsylvania. When it comes to gun control laws, some states have stringent laws on the books, some not. Pennsylvania falls somewhere in the middle. A state with many deer hunters and gun collectors there’s still a strong bastion of gun rights advocates. Following the lead of states like Florida, Utah, Ohio and a host of others, some school districts have decided to equip their teachers with gun training.
Experts have been brought in. Rubber guns have been passed around the room. Teachers have been fingerprinted and offered identity checks. They’ve enrolled in training sessions, told how to stand, shown the proper grip and stance, how to level the gun and prepare for the recoil. The teachers are apt pupils, they listen intently, sign up for practice at a local firing range. Some want their guns sooner, rather than later. Some don’t want a gun anywhere near their students.
Mrs. Smith is a warm, affectionate teacher to her current crop of second graders as she has been for the last fifteen years of her career. She teaches them how to read and write, to learn the basics of math, and to think for themselves and be responsible. In addition, she hugs them when they fall on the playground, she celebrates their birthdays and encourages their unique differences. She’s a career teacher, here for the long run. Her students are much the better for her presence in their lives.
“This a lockdown,” is announced over the loudspeaker. The students all move quietly and quickly to the corner of the room and huddle, closely together, on the floor. Mrs. Smith’s heart does a little flip since no lockdown was planned. She herds her students together and begins to read them a story when she hears a series of noises not unlike whip cracks or of firecrackers going off, somewhere down the hall.
She gets up and moves a few feet away to a low cabinet. She takes the key on its chain, which she always wears around her neck, opens the cabinet, unlocks the safe and retrieves her handgun. She checks the chamber, inserts the clip, returns to her seat on the little chair near her students, and places the Sig Sauer in her lap. She picks up the book, but first looks carefully into the faces of the seven-year olds watching her carefully.
“Don’t worry,” she says calmly, “we’re all safe.”
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