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War Photographer Doesn’t Carry a Gun

An eager reader sends me this CNN photo-story of Ohio teachers posing with their guns. (For the benefit of South Dakota's legislators, shall I emphasize the word posing?)

After I got past the silly comment from firearms instructor Alan Wheeler that we teachers need to take basic gun safety courses so we know how to handle the guns we find on the playground, I found the most important comment from the photographer himself, Sebastiano Tomada Piccolomini:

He’s a conflict photographer who just returned from Afghanistan. He said he’s fascinated by guns, but “no way” he’d carry a gun while working.

“It’s not what I’m there for,” he said, and it would be even more dangerous for him to have a gun because he could be viewed as a threat. He’s not trained and he said it wouldn’t make a difference if he were cornered by a fighter [Laura Russell, "Teachers Pose with Their Guns," CNN, 2013.06.09].

Piccolomini works in Afghanistan, Libya, Syria, and other places much more violent than America's public schools. Yet he doesn't carry a gun in the middle of wars because carrying a weapon would distract from his work. My sensible educator friends don't have to think too hard about that; many of my legislator friends do.