We have a LEO in the family. He's got kids in the local schools, and he's often called in to do "Meet Office Joe" duty. Show and tell, "don't take candy or rides from strangers" lecture, etc. Let's the elementary school kids hit the sirens and lights on the cruiser during annual outdoor picnic events at the schools, let's them sit in the back of the cruiser. I'm sure many of you Americans reading this had a local cop come to your school each year for something similar. I know I did.
So last week, he's headed to the middle school his daughter attends at the request of one of the teachers. Gets to the school (he's in full uniform), checks in at the front desk to let them know he's in the building. He brings in a lot of gear for show and tell (riot gear, shotgun, first aid bag). I know he hates unpacking all that shit from his cruiser's trunk, but he's a softie when it comes to kids so he does it.
The assistant at the front desk sees the shotgun case and says she thinks the principal might object to the shotgun. He tells her he's done this presentaton before, the shotgun is unloaded, he doesn't hand it to the kids. She still hesitates. He tells her "You realize I'm carrying my duty sidearm, right?" She still hesitates and says she thinks the principal should weigh in on it. A few minutes later, the principal meets him at the classroom door and says she isn't comfortable with the shotgun, and would prefer he put it back in the cruiser.
Of course the principal is the head honcho of a school, and what he or she says, goes. But really, now we can't trust a state certified law enforcement officer with an unloaded shotgun as part of a presentation to a bunch of adolescents? Their young eyes have to be shielded from the evil images of a police shotgun, lest they get the wrong impression?
Is the shotgun necessary for show and tell? No. It's just a part of his presentation explaining what a police officer carries in the cruiser for crime fighting, life saving, civil emergencies, etc.
Guns exist. Hiding them from kids in a hope that they'll somehow magically forget they exist is a foolish attempt at alternate reality.