I’m trying, unsuccessfully, to imagine my teachers of yesteryear packing heat at school to protect me from crazy people armed with assault rifles. Not that shootings at schools happened in my youth, a comparatively quaint time of many fewer guns and people who killed with them. Now gun zealots of many stripes want to arm teachers. Some even blame gun-control advocates (“blood on their hands“) for the horror yesterday at the elementary school in Newtown, Connecticut. Why? The’ve pushed to make schools gun-free zones. Meanwhile, prescient Michigan legislators voted a day earlier to allow concealed guns in schools and other places previously off limits, including daycare centers.
Taking another tact was one-time presidential candidate Mike Huckabee. He said the carnage shouldn’t surprise us because God has systematically been pushed out of schools. Huckabee didn’t say whether God upon returning should be armed while patrolling schools, or how God was unable to resist expulsion in the first place.
As for my early yesteryear, I loved black-and-white Westerns. Good guys vs bad guys, gunfire every other minute, happy endings. In all these movies I never saw a schoolmarm with a six-shooter on her hip or a gun slinger open fire in a school. But a lot of sheriffs took guns from bad guys even if they hadn’t committed a crime. The NRA hadn’t yet come to town.