Yesterday a Newtown Middle School teacher was arrested for having a loaded hand gun in school. It was under his shirt but someone spotted it and reported him. He had a carry permit but in the State of Connecticut it is illegal to bring hand guns to school. It is also a Newtown Public Schools policy that no teacher shall be in possession of a hand gun at school. The teacher is on paid leave of absence until his arraignment later this month.
Aside from the legalities of the situation which only an attorney can really understand, one would logically ask what in God's name was he thinking? To bring a gun to school in Newtown of all places where we're still dealing with a horrific tragedy is enough to question this guy's sanity. Was he making a point? Is he just plain stupid? Did he forget he had it strapped to his waist? Was he trying to be 'cool'? No matter what explanation he ultimately offers, he's done teaching-as he should be-unless maybe some lunatic state like Texas welcomes him with open arms. In that case good bye and good riddance. Seriously, I can't wait to hear his defense.
Anyway, here's the kicker....he was a former student of mine. In fact he lived not far from where we lived and I believe my son may have known him. Thinking back to when he was in my class, nothing particular comes to mind. He was just an ordinary kid. And it should be noted that in regard to this particular situation he didn't do anything violent or threatening. He just made a monumentally stupid decision. The wrong place at the wrong time type of thing.
The deeper issue here of course is guns in general. The NRA and its legions of admirers supports this kind of thing. Guns are so deeply ingrained in American culture as to be pretty much inseparable.
What's it going to take to get people to realize that the United States of America numbers among the most violent nations in the world and this needs to change? Maybe one of my children or grand children will lead the charge (unarmed of course).