Thursday, September 18, 2008

Oops . . . Spoke Too Soon!

It turns out that I may have given the bureaucracy too much credit. This morning I walked into my classroom and found my "Mr. Gwinn is Currently Reading:" sign on my desk. We put these up outside our doors and post up the books we're reading, preferably by making a copy of the book cover and putting it on the sign. They want the students to know that we read, too.
Now, I usually have at least two books at a time up there, because frankly I spend a lot of time reading when I should be doing other things. Anyway, recently I've had a copy of Practical Shooting: Beyond Fundamentals by Brian Enos on my sign. Does that bother anyone? I don't really know. No one seems to have had a problem with it, and after all, it IS what I'm reading right now. The weird thing, as I noted in my last post on the subject (see link above) is that the guy who loaned me his copy is a college student--and his copy has the word "Shooting" blacked out on the cover and the spine. I've been chuckling about the logic that says the word "Shooting" is verboten but the picture of a guy shooting a .45 is OK. Clearly that tempted fate and I should have known better.
According to my co-teacher, an administrator happened by and told her that the cover had to come down. It seems that blacking out the "Shooting" really wasn't enough; we can't have tiny photographs of handguns where children might see them. Instead, I am to write the title of the book on the sign. So I did:

PRACTICAL SHOOTING: Beyond Fundamentals
by Brian Enos.

The loan of this book had already been touched by tragedy; I left the book in a place I shouldn't have, and it got wet. It's drying out pretty well, actually, but it's obvious that it's been wet. Luckily, Brian Enos still sells this edition new, and he even signs it upon request, so I have a new autographed copy on the way for Tony. I'll keep the water-damaged version; it still reads the same.
In other news, I was teasing a student about being mean to me this morning when a boy piped up.
"I wouldn't be mean to you," he exclaimed, "'cause Mr. Yankee says you shoot guns a lot."
"Really?" I asked. "How did that come up in Mr. Yankee's class?"
"We were talking about the Constitution, and he said the 2nd Amendment is the one that says people can shoot their guns, like Mr. Gwinn does."
If you've never been used as an example to teach children about a civil right, I can just tell you: it's not a bad feeling.


Unknown said...


Find a version of the book with the full title.

Like here...

Then print a photo like this of someone shooting with a camera. And paste it over the guy with a gun.

It would be so great to see the reactions...

Anonymous said...

Yep, you wouldn't want to spook any children. Good on you for capitalizing the important bits.

Yeah, I said spook. What of it?

Jeff Pulice said...

I keep my shooting (and address) on the QT at school. It's a good school, but a lot of not-so-sweet kids go there. Moms line up by the hundreds (literally) to get their lil' gangster into our school, hoping it'll fix what's wrong. Sometimes it works, sometimes it's like letting a shark into the kiddy pool. Not pretty.
These kids know kids who know people who love to steal guns.
Some teachers know, some even get invited to the range, but no kids will ever know about it.

J.R.Shirley said...

Good on you. Oddly enough, my students seem to use me as an example of bad-assitude, with absolutely no information from me that would support that. (?)

KK said...

I think if you're used as a constitutional example of anything that would be a good thing in our fine country.

Too bad they didn't have gun blogs covered in the constitution or you certainly would have at least been a historical footnote.

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