My name is Krystal, and I’m a brand-new and enthusiastic elementary school teacher. My uncle Chuck, who is a great fan of Australian rhyming slang (he calls his wife “trouble and strife”), started calling me “pistol.” That name has stuck. Even the kids in my school sometimes call me Miss Pistol.

When our Dear Leader declared that “gun-free” schools are not safe for students and teachers (and helicopter parents who hover around their kids), our principal immediately called a staff meeting and asked for volunteers to be trained to become “gun-adept” teachers. I was the only one to raise my hand. “Chickens,” I muttered as I waved my hand fiercely.

In our small town, there is only one “tactical training academy,” and I enrolled in a two-day tactical pistol course. All expenses paid by the school and two days away from screaming, little bastards. Every teacher’s dream school is a school without kids.

The tactical training academy, in reality, a euphuism for a crappy shooting range, is run by uncle Chuck. Mr. Chuck Gunn is a victim of some dangerous affliction. It’s called nominative determinism, and people suffering from it are inexorably drawn to their profession by their name. Whether they are suited to their chosen profession is a question no one has bothered to research and answer. 

No worries, uncle Chuck is an NRA Certified Instructor, and I was in safe hands to master how to effectively engage multiple targets at distances from 7 to 100 yards. A desirable “distance and multiple-targets” training for a school teacher – when a group of gunslingers appears right at the classroom door or at the end of the long hallway. One has to be prepared for the future when school shootings aren’t the acts of deranged individuals but maybe social-media collaborative acts of many wackos.

My two training days overlapped the visit of a bus-load of Japanese tourists fascinated by teachers learning the use of firearms to save their students. Smooth-talking uncle Chuck made them believe that everyone at his academy on that day was apparently a schoolteacher. Were the Japanese visitors wondering: why is their great country missing out on this unique phenomenon – shooting of innocent kids or gun-wielding teachers? I don’t know.

Uncle Chuck became busy with them and left me to my own devices. I found the pistols too tiny and settled for a respectable AR-15 rifle. Uncle Chuck gave a quick lesson in loading the magazine and pointed me toward the firing range.

After two days of self-training, I was a Certified Gun-Adept Teacher. I borrowed a pistol and holster from my uncle (and stuffed one of his A-15 rifles in my gym bag without telling him). Next day, the pistol holster around my waist was to assure everyone that the school was now safe as a gun-adept teacher staffed it. As I didn’t know how to use the pistol effectively, I also carried AR-15 in a guitar box and left it in the corner of my Grade 1 classroom. Just in case.

I have the vague memory of what happened that afternoon. I heard a few “gunshots”, quickly took out AR-15, loaded it and walked into the hallway. The noise was coming from a classroom at the far end, and the school’s only armed guard was quickly walking out of the hallway. “Coward,” I shouted and started shooting at the classroom windows … (they told me that the noise was from a Grade 6 classroom where the teacher was showing some science experiment involving helium balloons).

© Surendra Verma 2018

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