MOODY — Trying to get my mind around the notion of guns in elementary schools, I joined a group of teachers taking a concealed-handgun course last week.
Sharing the firing line with a 20-something third-grade teacher sporting pink ear protectors and a Glock was a bit strange for me.
I’m old school.
I remember when the only magazine on a teacher’s desk was “Weekly Reader,” when a SWAT team was a principal or burly coach delivering justice to an offender’s backside with a wooden paddle. (Boy, do I remember that.)
Sadly, old-school ways died with the 26 victims at Sandy Hook.
School boards are now talking about putting armed teachers in classrooms.
My friend Gwen thinks arming some teachers is a good idea. Gwen put two sons and a daughter through the Gatesville school system and has three grandchildren working their way through now.
“I don’t agree that every teacher should be armed,” she said, “but some should, and the superintendent knows who is responsible.”
My friend Katie, on the other hand, finds the idea of armed teachers “outrageous and horrifying.”
Katie taught second grade for several years and now teaches aspiring teachers as a professor of education at a small private college in Virginia.
A single mom, she put her daughter through the Virginia public school system.
“Teachers are not cut out to be gun-wielding vigilantes,” Katie said. “A gun in the wrong hands, a teacher at the breaking point or a disruptive student could lead to unnecessary tragedy.”
Gwen is licensed to carry and is comfortable with a pistol at home or at church. Retired after 26 years as a correctional officer, she knows there are bad guys in the world.
Active in her church, Katie has made missionary trips to Central America and knows there are good guys in the world.
“There is no place for guns in schools,” Katie said.
Bad guys broke that rule at Sandy Hook, Columbine and Virginia Tech. No good guys returned fire.
“Why not make it a fair fight?” Gwen said.