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The latest defense against school shooters: Chuck hockey pucks at ‘em

It may seem ridiculous, but it's a marked step up from the "thoughts and prayers" strategy.

It may seem ridiculous, but it's a marked step up from the "thoughts and prayers" strategy. Presidio of Monterey

During the last session of the Minnesota Legislature, Republican leaders barred any gun control bill from receiving a vote. They did, however, allocate money for schools to do things like “harden” classrooms and pay for security cameras.

While this may make for slightly less blood, thus saving janitorial overtime costs, it will do nothing to stop the next school shooter.

Still, it marked an improvement over Republicans’ previous plan, which involved having an intern revise a prepared statement of “thoughts and prayers,” lest they be accused of just copying and pasting from the last shooting. God can only tolerate so much insincerity. 

Now, our northerly neighbors in Michigan have come up with a new plan. Though it may be just as ineffectual, it certainly gets points for inventiveness.

Oakland University in suburban Detroit doesn’t allow guns on campus. This is a wise decision born from research, since more guns simply create more crime.

Yet earlier this year, school Police Chief Mark Gordon was conducting another round of active shooter training, which threatens to surpass the study of geology on most campuses.

Someone asked what they might do to defend themselves from the coming slaughter. Gordon, a former youth hockey coach, recalled once taking a puck to the head. The idea of puck as defensive weapon bloomed from there.

The teacher’s union has already distributed them to 800 faculty members, with another few thousand headed to students. At 94 cents a piece, they make for an inexpensive instrument of combat. And if you’ve ever taken a slapshot at close range, you know they hurt. Really hurt.

Still, professors are better known for their cerebral gifts, not their athletic. The chances of a well-placed hurl with sufficient heat are slim. But the attention gained from the giveaway has allowed them to raise money for a more practical defense: locks on classroom doors.

Minnesota could learn a thing or two from Oakland University. With the DFL retaking our state House, and the GOP with but a one-vote majority in the Senate, hope is high that meaningful gun control can finally pass this year.

If not, pucks are among our more abundant natural resources. Start stretching those arms, professors.