Bourjaily: Gun Hysteria in the Classroom

The all-time highlight of grade-school Show and Tell was the day my friend Matt showed the class the Nazi sword his father brought back from WWII. The sword was about as tall as Matt was, and it had a big swastika on the pommel.

Since many school districts won't even allow toy weapons as part of Halloween costumes, I'm pretty sure you can't bring real swords to show and tell anymore.

I'm not going to argue that letting kids bring swords to school is a necessarily a good idea, but some educators have become completely irrational about weapons. For instance, check out the following news story, which combines gun phobia with an anti-hunting axe to grind. And it comes from Texas, of all places, speficically the Kelly Lane Middle School in Pflugerville, a suburb of Austin.

Don't worry about those shotgun blasts, kids.

It's just hunting season.

This morning, Devin Padavil, principal of Kelly Lane Middle School in Pflugerville, sent out a message to parents letting them know that the gunfire echoing though the Kelly Lane neighborhood was due to hunting taking place in a tree line several miles away.

"Apparently today is the beginning of dove season, a day when folks can hunt down and destroy the international symbol of peace," Padivail said in an e-mail sent to parents. "There are either a lot of doves or someone that isn't a very good hunter."

Padavil added, "Pflugerville PD has been called and are working to assure that the hunters are well out of range. Please know your kids are perfectly safe and I will continue to follow up with the Pflugerville PD."

While there are idiots like that principal teaching our kids, I like to think they are not yet in the majority. I live in a left-leaning college town not unlike a colder version of Austin, and never have I encountered any anti-hunting/anti-gun hysteria on the part of either of my two son's teachers.

In fact, my older son, Gordon, got high marks both for his poem "Flight of the Pellets" and for his chemistry class presentation on the composition of Hevi Shot (he brought Hevi Shot pellets and a military-grade tungsten armor piercing bullet in to pass around). My younger son, John, recently received an A for his report on the pros of concealed carry laws. Were their teachers anti-gun and anti-hunting? Who knows? They were professional, and they kept whatever personal agendas they may or may not have had to themselves. That's what matters.

If my kids went to Kelly Lane Middle School, that principal would have some retracting to do.