If my high school teacher had been armed, I would be dead

Wayne LaPierre missed his vocation.

The Executive Vice-President of the National Rifle Association would have been a very good teacher.

There he was at his alleged press conference yesterday, teaching us all about the true nature of gun violence.

Essentially, it’s not all those guns that kill people. It’s the lack of even more guns that kills people.

This is a logic with which it is very hard to argue — mostly because the man presenting it is armed.

Which brings me to the true benefit of why it would be wonderful if high school teachers were also armed.

This idea is a logical extension of the NRA’s thought-process, as it wants more guns in the hands and pockets of more “good people.”

Indeed, U.S Rep. Louie Gohmert (from Texas) offered this about the Sandy Hook school principal: “I wish to God (the principal) had had an M4 in her office, locked up, so when she heard gunfire she pulls it out and takes him out, takes his head off before he can kill those precious kids.”

If your high school teacher was armed, there’d be no arguments. Or you’d be dead.

If my own high school teachers had enjoyed the benefits of, say, an AK or a Glock, I would be but powder now. I would be ash beneath the ground, shot in the cheek for my cheek.


Why would this be? Well, several of my high school teachers were wound like a hound in a pound, sensitive to every sound coming from behind their backs as they scrawled on the blackboard.

Mr. Jones, my math teacher, had clearly never had sex, but I fancy he was a willing spankee. I fancy, also, that he had deep feelings of inadequacy that were processed by his mind-body continuum and stored as pent-up rage.

He had surely been bullied at home by his mother, at school by those who were bigger and hairier than he and in the laundry by several recalcitrant washing machines.

He was a man who, I imagine, went home and read everything he could about Genghis Khan, hoping one day to smite just one human being with a pickax in order to present his Khan-do credentials.

Naturally, we who at least knew one end of a woman from another (because we’d seen pictures), teased him mercilessly.

We would sit at the back of the class and shout random words like “tits” and “erection.” No, this wasn’t funny. But to 14-year-olds whose hair was mutating to regions previously pristine, this was hilarious.

Mr. Jones was clearly not good with voices, because every time he turned around he had no idea who had shouted the obscenity. And because he was so deeply gauche, not even the gauchest member of our class felt sufficient sympathy for him to reveal the miscreant’s identity.

So for weeks, months and years, Mr. Jones suffered the stings and harrowings of outrageous jibes from stupid little boys.

The apogee — or, depending on your perspective, the desperate bottom — came when I shouted “wanker.”

Should you not be familiar with this term, it is a not terribly insulting way of calling someone a tosser. Should you not be familiar with that term either, well, it’s roots are in masturbation, but its heart is in relatively good-natured ribbing.

Unless it’s said with a venomous tone. Which, in this case, it wasn’t.

Mr. Jones turned around, showed all the exasperation of a mouse that’s discovered what he thought was cheese was in fact superglue, and screeched: “What is a wanker?!”

At this, snorts were heard as far away as Finland. Which is quite far, given that the action was taking place in the United Kingdom.

There is truly not a doubt in my mind that if Mr. Jones had been packing, we would have been packed off to purgatory. (I want to give us the benefit of some doubt.)

With one hair-trigger reaction, my new home would have been oblivion, which is even uglier than Birmingham, England.

I don’t believe Mr. Jones was an isolated case of pent-up psychological pain. Being a teacher is, in itself, deeply stressful. It’s a job that requires the patience of half the Catholic Church’s panoply of sainthood.

We had other teachers who were clearly in pain. The Rev. Grimsley talked about suicide a lot for a reverend. Mr. Craig was a willfully nasty man whose nasal hair was so long he would prod you with it, if he was unhappy with you. Which was always.

Mr. Hayward had the nonchalant air of a former sportsman, but I saw him a couple of times with his wife and I detected there was severe tension in that connubial paradise.

Mr. Deelman once kicked me in South America. Had his AK been with him, one part of me would have landed in Mexico, another in Antarctica.

I understand that some people may legitimately need guns. But the last people who ought to be armed are those whose life is stressful enough as it is.

A gun doesn’t make people feel more secure. It gives them one more responsibility that they must use wisely. It gives them one more tool in their emotional and physical arsenal that they can misuse when their psychology is weak and their anger is strong. It gives them one more thing to worry about.

And who really needs one more thing to worry about?



(Image credit: WSJ Screenshot by Chris Matyszczyk)