Yeah, I know: I, too, was shocked when the head of the N.C. Association of Educators told me that the state's teachers should be armed.
Randolph County Republican Rep. Jerry Tillman was deservedly excoriated, talked about, laughed at when he put forth a bill that would allow some teachers to bring guns into the classroom in case a gunman attacked.
But when Mark Jewell, head of NCAE, said he, too, thought legislators should arm teachers, that was a head-scratcher.
Of course, Jewell quickly clarified that he didn't think teachers should be bringing Glocks and Gats and .357s into the classroom.
"We urge the General Assembly to arm us," Jewell told me recently, "with school counselors, nurses and social workers.
"Arm us with psychologists to help address the health needs of our kids," he continued. "Arm us with pencils and paper and supplies and textbooks and technology.
"We say 'If you want to pay us an extra five percent' - (Tillman's bill would pay a bonus to teachers who tote) - 'pay us for the Masters degree that you took away from us in 2013.'
"It's really disappointing, Jewell said, "that this came from Tillman, who is a retired principal. It's a really bad, dangerous piece of legislation. Guns don't belong in schools. Period."
Jewell is, of course, correct. Teachers need, want and deserve more money and respect, but - hear me out now - I think Tillman's "School Self-Defense Act" could provide both.<