A Journal of the Plague Year 2022–chapter 267

Bring on those pistol-packin’ pedagogues!

Friday, June 17

Think back about your high-school teachers. Can you imagine any one of them wielding a Glock 9mm handgun?

It has been decades ago, I admit. But most of my high-school teachers were overweight and ungainly, nearsighted and middle-aged. One English teacher spoke of herself in the third person, in the mode of Ricky Henderson—so perhaps she wasn’t especially empathetic towards other people. 

There were a half-dozen football coaches—but that skill alone wasn’t enough to justify a job, so for some reason they were all given the extra task of teaching history. One such coach couldn’t be bothered to prepare lectures, so he simply read the textbook out loud to us in class. Meanwhile, the students daydreamed or misbehaved, throwing chewing gum or paper airplanes at one another. 

Imagine if this 300-pound-plus embodiment of distraction were confronted by a AR-15 toting miscreant. A catlike, Jason Bourne-esque first response? No, ‘fraid not.

The GOP governor of Ohio, Mike DeWine thinks such pedagogues would do just fine with weapons, so long as they had 24 hours of training. He has just signed a state law that empowers school districts to arm teachers as a preventive against Uvalde-like massacres. Vanity Fair writer Bess Levin—is she privy to some inside information?—writes in her Levin Report that Ohio “school districts could have armed art, history, and math teachers starting this fall.” Is this to be taken literally? Is there something about these disciplines that singles their teachers out as the best likely marksmen? Math-teacher-like precision? The longue durée perspective of history scholars? Or maybe the enhanced sensibility of would-be art appreciators? Go figure.

I just Googled “Glock handguns” and immediately was referred to several websites that will ship an automatic handgun to you overnight. The cheapest model was a mere $499. The same website also trades in a variety of Bushmaster long guns—the XM-15 Quick Response Carbine will set you back a mere $599. Hmmm—maybe a scope to go with that?

Emily and I are back in Manhattan, and so far in my rambles, I have not seen any heat-packing tourists. Maybe they’re all in line, buying up the last tickets to the soon-to-close Broadway crowd-pleaser “Come From Away.” I myself have had my eyes examined and met with a neurologist, and next week I’m due for a dental checkup. The handgun training will have to wait.

Dinner: the ever-agreeable pasta bolognese.

Entertainment: The Netflix courtroom drama You Don’t Know Me.