The disappearance of plastic pails and shovels, rubber sandals and sunscreen from store shelves, and their replacement with pencils, notebooks, rulers and calculators signals the end of summer and the return to school for students and their teachers.
This year there may be different kinds of school supplies that have to be purchased elsewhere – ammunition. Around the world it’s been an exceptionally violent summer, by any measure. It’s becoming harder and harder to distinguish between active war zones and ordinary city streets.
When I meet my new graduate students, I will wonder if any of them will be carrying guns. It is perfectly legal for them to do this, starting with the first day of August. I hope that the people who wrote this legislation were ignorant of the meaning of the date – no one could be that cruel or that insensitive to have picked that day, above all others, for this law to take effect.