“Stupidity is a talent for misconception.” – Edgar Allan Poe
I’ve read a lot of stupid stuff in my day, but not much more stupid than the news coming out of Ohio that elementary school children are being told to throw books at possible gunmen in the event of a school shooting. No joke. Should a man enter your classroom with a semi-automatic rifle, or handguns, children are being told to toss a few Penguin Classics his way—or maybe those ones with the golden spines? Nah, those are too thin to be effective.
Another program in Ohio is telling some middle-schoolers to bring canned food to school. Same theory, just harder objects. They say it could “catch an intruder off guard,” if after entering the classroom with multiple firearms, he has a bunch of cans thrown at him. They claim it may “stun the intruder or even knock him out until the police arrive.” Wow, those middle-schoolers must have dedicated classes teaching them fantastic aim.
Hello children, welcome to can-tossing class. Hey! Cunningham! You know what kind of cans I mean! Did everyone bring their diced tomatoes? No, little Jimmy? Why? Oh, no, we’ve graduated from small books to small cans this year. Well, lucky for you, we have some extra. Would you like creamed corn or pinto beans?
In the off chance that a classroom of middle-schoolers can manage to grab their backpacks, open them up, find a can of garbanzo beans, and lob it at a gunman before he’s able to open fire on them in a bloody massacre, how likely is it that a kid’s gonna have the perfect aim to “knock out” his or her attacker?
If only there were some kind of projectile-based weapon in which teachers could be trained. If only teachers were allowed to arm themselves with something akin to what a shooter might use in a deadly assault in which he’s intent on slaughtering dozens of children, they might be able to disable the attacker immediately and with extreme prejudice.
Or perhaps schools could employ armed security guards, so that in the event of a shooting, instead of hundreds of children and teachers cowering in fear because they lack an adequate defense against a barrage of bullets, someone could take out the shooter with precision.
But I’m just thinking out loud, because alas, schools are “Gun Free Zones,” which means teachers and administrators—the law-abiding people who spend eight hours a day, five days a week, several hundred days a year, with your kids—are not allowed to have a firearm on their person. Even trained security guards, whose living depends of their ability to act in times of extreme duress, cannot possess firearms on school property.
Of course, “Gun Free Zones” don’t seem to stop mass-shooters. As of yet, we’re unable to determine the exact means by which school shooters circumvent the “Gun Free Zone” signs, and enter school property with firearms, but it’s being looked into. It could be the fact that signs, no matter how beautifully laminated at Staples, are in fact just pieces of paper. Or it could be that those intent on committing a massacre don’t really care for the law.
Either way, it’s nice to know our kids are safe because they have books and cans to save the day.