I’m trying to imagine Miss Pritchett packing heat. She peeks over the top of the low table we’ve all been standing around that’s covered in various pretend-shoes during a class on how to tie your shoelaces. And then she fires her semi-automatic pistol at the man who’s spraying the room with bullets from the Bushmaster AR-15 that’s in one hand and the Sig Sauer 9 mm that’s in the other.
Miss Pritchett ran Miss Pritchett’s Kindergarten, which I started attending when I was four years old. (Yes, Brits start early.) The school was in the big room overlooking the backyard of a house on Abbey Road in London, just up from where the Beatles would have their studio a few years later.
I don’t recall much about kindergarten. There was tying your shoelaces and tying your tie, along with spelling and counting and so on. And I still remember a couple of lines from the short play we put on in French where I had to say that I’d lost the money my mother had given me to buy a treat at the store. I’m guessing that the story had a happy ending and that the moral was to be careful with money and with French pronunciation.
Miss Pritchett didn’t carry a gun, and no insane young man ever came barreling to mow us all down in The Gunfight at Miss Pritchett’s Corral.
But now we have some of our Congressmen seriously advocating that the way to deter mass murder in classrooms is to arm the teachers. (Great idea, say the gun store owners.) So we can indeed now imagine The Gunfight at the Newtown Corral. The Gunfight at the Aurora Corral. Freaked-out moviegoers in a dark theater firing into the haze of a smoke bomb at an invisible man in body armor … and killing each other.
Really. Don’t rule out the possibility that the Miss Pritchetts of today’s schools will soon be learning to fire a Glock.
Maybe the children, too.