Police in Georgia say officers have responded to reports of shots fired at a Dalton high school and a teacher is now in custody
Saddened to hear about this school shooting incident at the neighboring high school just 23 miles from Calhoun High School, which I attended in Georgia. I remember driving to Dalton High School to take my S.A.T.s and frequently attend football and soccer games.
It’s potentially proof that arming teachers isn’t the great idea many thought it might have been just a week ago.
This now makes three school shootings in communities that I’ve either been directly touched by or been in close proximity to following two others: a shooting at Johns Hopkins in April 1996 involving a friend who was staying in my apartment at the time and the Heath High School Shooting in Paducah, KY in 1997 in the town where I’d lived briefly in 1996.
This has long since ceased to be a political issue and is a pressing public health issue that needs to be addressed on multiple levels.
The Guadalupe River that flows through Texas used to be known as The River of Nuts, a fact that Wikipedia does not confirm. The nut in question is the pecan, Carya illinoinensis, and the pecan tree is the state tree of Texas. The groves of wild pecans that lined the rivers of Texas are, however, threatened by the very popularity of the nuts they bear, and in particular by the fickle global nut market. The Chinese, you see, have gone nuts for pecans, increasing their purchase of American pecans from 3–4% in 2006 to 30–40% today. And if they abandon the pecan as quickly as they took it up, the wild pecan groves might be abandoned too. All this, and much more, I learned from James McWilliams, professor of history at Texas State University. His new book is one of those delights that looks at the global sweep of human endeavour through a little lens, in this case the pecan.
Why it was the Chinese, rather than the French, the English or some other country, that chose to absorb the pecan surplus, I guess we’ll never know. McWilliams told me that Chinese people he spoke to believe the nuts prolong life; irrational as that may seem, no American grower is going to say they don’t. And while the high prices are good news for growers, they’re not so good for people who want pecan-containing industrial food.