Oakland University, a Gun-Free Zone, Is Giving Students Hockey Pucks to Defend Themselves from Mass Shooters

Police chief calls it a "spur-of-the-moment idea that seemed to have some merit to it."


Irina Volkova / Dreamstime

A college in Michigan thinks the best way for students and professors to defend themselves in the event of a mass shooting might be to throw hockey pucks at the gunman.

To that end, Oakland University's faculty union purchased 800 pucks for professors and 1,700 for students, according to NPR. Oakland Police Chief Mark Gordon described the hockey pucks as a "spur-of-the-moment idea that seemed to have some merit to it."

I am skeptical that anyone could effectively wield a hockey puck against a heavily armed intruder, but you never know. Ideally, people who are concerned about gun-wielding maniacs would be able to defend themselves with, well, guns—but Oakland is a gun-free zone. In the event that an armed maniac decided to target the university, he probably would not be deterred by the revelation that he's technically prohibited from bringing weapons onto the campus, which is why the logic of gun-free zones doesn't make a lot of sense. Maybe knowing he'd be pelted with hockey pucks is a minor disincentive, though.

In truth, neither students nor their professors should be unreasonably fearful about a mass shooting taking place on their campus. Despite all the media attention paid to the issue, schools are not especially dangerous places, and mass-casualty events are extremely, blessedly rare. In all likelihood, Oakland students will have to find other uses for their new pucks.