Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Top Guns

“A State Backs Guns in Class For Teachers,” was the headline on the left side of the front page of the Times last Saturday (NYT, 3/8/13). The article describes how "South Dakota became the first state in the nation to enact a law explicitly authorizing school employees to carry guns on the job.” The idea is pregnant with possibilities for Americans. Imagine your self as a teacher carrying an M-16, an AK 47 or a Kalishnikov. Remember Harry Callahan’s famous quote, “I know what you're thinking. ‘Did he fire six shots or only five?’ Well, to tell you the truth, in all this excitement I kind of lost track myself. But being as this is a .44 Magnum, the most powerful handgun in the world, and would blow your head clean off, you've got to ask yourself one question: Do I feel lucky? Well, do ya, punk?” Can you imagine someone walking into your classroom with one of those babies in your holster? But let’s forget about intruders. Most schools will be turned into the equivalent of maximum security prisons by the end of the decade. They’ll be as hard to get in as they are to get out. Let’s say you have a promising student, who has bad work habits. Put a gun to his or her head and let’s see which way the grade point average goes. Harvard, here we come. Dostoevsky was put before a mock firing squad on suspicion that he was a revolutionary and he went on to write Crime and Punishment. Or let’s say you have one of those cliques of cool kids, bright young men and women who could be our future leaders, if they would give up the pursuit of pleasure. Blindfold them and line them up and you’ll find that the partying will come to a quick end. Top guns lead to top grades. Let’s not beat around the bush, America’s children are its future.

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