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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."

PuckIrina Volkova / DreamstimeA 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.

Photo Credit: Irina Volkova / Dreamstime

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  • Red Tony||

    So, Rufus, will this work? I assume you, as a Canadian, can tell us the likelihood of a hockey puck fending off a polar bear attack.

  • ||

    Hey, a puck to the face is no joke.

    Ask Cam Fowler.

    http://www.sportingnews.com/ca.....a68pd0ddgs

  • Diane Reynolds (Paul.)||

    Are they issuing hockey sticks too, and putting the whole campus on ice?

  • Remember to keep it all polit||

    I want to see this in a movie, a shooter on ice being zinged all over the rink, backwards.

  • SQRLSY One||

    I see a new market opportunity here! Make yourselves some hand grenades, but package them to make them look like hockey pucks! Now sell them to the students and professors, and THEN they might have a fighting chance!

  • ||

    Isn't every 6th Canadian a goalie and issued a complete set of puck-proof armor by the Canadian government? I can only assume that such weaponry would have to be regulated lest it fall into the hands of a mad man.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    It's Michigan, so as long as students aren't prohibited from wielding hockey sticks they might have a chance. A well-placed slap shot could do make a gunman drop his gun while searching for his teeth. (Or maybe a backhander, if your birthday is 8/7/87.)

  • Tom Bombadil||

    Why not just paint a blue line around the campus?

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    TWO LINE OFFSIDE PASS!

  • Uncle Jay||

    Throwing hockey pucks at a shooter is not the way to stop him.
    The best way to stop a shooter is through love, toleration and understanding.
    Instead of throwing something that is hard, dangerous and unwelcoming, people should welcome the shooter with flowers, a card from Hallmark, a box of chocolates a hug. This way the shooter is shamed and will recognize his actions are a vain attempt to express himself verbally and will put down his gun, take up macrame and start to sing folk songs by Joan Baez.
    Violence is not the answer when confronting a deranged and dangerous mass murderer with a gun.
    Love is the answer.
    Just make sure you have a will made out to tell the inept authorities where you want to be buried.

  • Unicorn Abattoir||

    This makes me want to pick up a gun.

  • newlife3.0||

    !!! :))

  • ||

    As a Canadian let me be the first to say....

    CULTUAL APPROPRIATION!

    DON'T USE MY CULTURE TO PROTECT YOURSELVES!

    Now I'm all triggered.

  • DamnDirtyApe||

    Couldn't the hockey pucks be used by angry students or faculty to injure or kill others? Aren't you just giving people another, albeit less effective, alternative to a gun or a knife?

  • ||

    "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"

    That's because it's not effective and it's a stupid fucken idea dreamed up by naifs, knaves and fools.

    There's only ONE way to effectively use a puck and that's to slap the shit out of it. So unless these jokers get a sheet of ice and begin to slap at an intruder, they may want to rethink this 'idea'.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JWnEmDeKqSg

  • Mr. JD||

    "There's only ONE way to effectively use a puck and that's to slap the shit out of it"

    That's also the only way to effectively...

    I'ma stop right here.

  • ||

    lol.

  • Red Tony||

    The only way to effectively use MY ASS!

  • BestUsedCarSales||

    So what you're saying is we should coat the entire university grounds, inside and out, with ice?

  • ||

    Yes. If you want this idea to work.

    /everyone in boardroom looks on stupefied.

  • Mickey Rat||

    It is just north of Detroit. That is true for most of the school year.

  • Nerþuz||

    Most libtards are whiny, weak, little pansies. I doubt they could throw a puck hard enough to do any damage, or even reach the target.

    But at least shooters now know Oakland Uni is easy pickings, so ... congrats?

  • CDRSchafer||

    "HEY HEY HO HO MASS SHOOTERS GOT TO GO! RACIST SEXIST ANTI-GAY . . . !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • ||

    HEY HO YOUR ATTITUDE HAS GOT TO GO!

  • Red Tony||

    HEY! HO! LET'S GO!
    HEY! HO! LET'S GO!

  • Deconstructed Potato||

    Where are we going?

  • OpenBordersLiberal-tarian||

    It's unfortunate that the NRA and its bought-and-paid-for Republican allies have reduced schools to the hockey puck defense strategy. But until Democrats control the entire federal government, common sense gun safety legislation faces an uphill battle.

    By 2021 when a Democrat is back in the White House we'll get a nationwide ban on deadly assault weapons, which have no legitimate civilian use and are intended for the military and police. And as Reason commenter Michael Hihn has repeatedly shown, an assault weapon ban does not violate the Constitution in any way. In fact this country had such a ban a couple decades ago that research proves worked amazingly well. (Predictably, the NRA and Republicans prevented it from being renewed.)

  • Enjoy Every Sandwich||

    And as Reason commenter Michael Hihn has repeatedly shown

    LOL you had to go there, didn't you?

  • blitzstrasse||

    OBL is possibly the finest troll it has ever been my privilege to witness. Truly the TrollGawd.

  • Last of the Shitlords||

    Its just diabolical, isn't it?

  • Rev. Arthur L. Kirkland||

    Diabolical? Far from it. Making the vanquished feel better about losing America's culture war, even temporarily, can be seen as providing humanitarian aid to the hopeless and lost among us.

  • CDRSchafer||

    "Vanquished" LOL. Yeah I wish I was a big winner like inner city Democrats, stuck in poverty for forever.

  • Dillinger||

    >>>And as Reason commenter Michael Hihn has repeatedly shown

    you fucking slay me dude.

  • Unicorn Abattoir||

    This is a gross misrepresentation of Michael Hihn. As hockey pucks did not exist in 1789, clearly they cannot be used in self defense.

  • OneSimpleLesson||

    IN COMMON USE AT THE TIME!!!!!!1

  • Arizona_Guy||

    slow clap

  • Hooha||

    joins slow clap

    rises to feet

  • Sometimes a Great Notion||

    Obviously Big Hockey got to the Oakland University purchasing dept.

    alternative - Trumps tariffs on Canada included sports equipment because National Defense and to get around this the cleaver free marketers just reclassified hockey pucks as an anti-terror devices.

  • blitzstrasse||

    The whole thing sounds like a goatfuck of the Mongolian persuasion, but the bit that has me most skeptical is how the faculty got half the number of pucks given to the students. This implies that either there is one faculty member for every two students or they armed the faculty more heavily than the general population. Each of those conclusions is ludicrous in its own special way and NONE of it encourages me to want to visit Michigan or send anyone I give a damn about to visit what is obviously a hive of scum and stupidity.

    Seriously, what the actual fuck?

  • SRoach||

    Well, if it's a STATE school, there're the teachers, the administrators, the secretaries, the various maintenance crew, the ...
    I can believe there is one school employee for every two students.
    When you don't have to compete, it's simple to throw on the overhead until it would crush any private enterprise.
    Sometimes it even becomes necessary, as you scramble for time to satisfy some higher authority's demand for paperwork, (to justify its own existence and staffing levels.)

  • Rubbish!||

    Think of the innocent bystanders drilled by poorly aimed pucks. Worse than a Stooges pie throwing scene.

    For puck's sake. Dumb pucks.

  • ||

  • Dillinger||

    Onion?

  • Quo Usque Tandem||

    You wish. I honestly cannot tell the difference any more, which sort of make the Onion no longer relevant [as they cannot be discerned from actual "news"].

  • Dillinger||

    >>>You wish.

    I do. story is fubar.

  • Quo Usque Tandem||

    Prior article says college costs, in terms of real dollars, has increased by more than 50% since the 1960s.

    So let's add defensive hockey pucks to diversity and inclusion, and putting a stop to rape culture.

  • Unicorn Abattoir||

    Throwing an object at someone is still offensive. The real intent is for students to fashion their own hockey puck - based body armor.

  • Longtobefree||

    This shows why e-books are a bad idea. A nice four pound textbook would be more effective than a hockey puck.
    The tactical theory is that a hail of any object thrown at a shooter as soon as she enters the classroom will distract long enough to tackle and disarm the evil one.
    In reality, only ROTC students will go to the sound of the guns. The best tactic is to unholster your semi-automatic pistol and put two in the chest and one in the head. Next best, if you were silly enough to enroll in an allegedly gun free institution, is to grab one of the more obnoxious snowflakes and us them as a shield to get out of a back door or a window if on a low floor.

  • Enjoy Every Sandwich||

    It's funny that they expect the students to able to fight effectively with an improvised weapon, while the typical university works 24/7 to remove the mindset required to even give it a good try. Somebody who has to run to a "safe space" due to being addressed by the "wrong" pronoun doesn't strike me as likely to be successful in this endeavor.

  • Longtobefree||

    But they do make good shields - - - - - -
    They will not resist, and scream loud enough to be an excellent distraction.

  • Rock Lobster||

    Quick, Sidney, stab him with a crayon! Stab him with a crayon!

  • Longtobefree||

    But not a crayon that is of an offensive color?

  • ||

    In reality, only ROTC students will go to the sound of the guns.

    The whole notion relies on an element of surprise which is often held/controlled by the shooter. After he/she fires the first shot, they're likely going to expect violence, carnage, and flying debris.

  • SRoach||

    Not at all. A Kindle is MUCH cheaper than a college textbook. If you trash your kindle, by throwing it at your attacker, you can just log on to Amazon, buy a new one, (for ONLY a couple hundred, or less, depending on features,) and transfer all your EXPEN$IVE textbooks from your trashed unit to your new one.

    The only real problem here is Amazon makes Kindles that aren't heavy enough for this sort of alternate use.

  • CDRSchafer||

    This is obviously sexist because women, gays and trans throw like girls.

  • Rat on a train||

    Wearing hockey masks or pads during the commission of a crime is now a felony?

  • Wil||

    If administrators believe hockey pucks are effective against active shooters, why don't they consider them threatening to students and faculty?

    Sensible hockey puck control now!

  • Enjoy Every Sandwich||

    I could seriously see them requiring the pucks to be kept locked up in a special locker. That's what they did in that school district (don't remember which ones) that equipped classrooms with those little novelty baseball bats typically handed out as souvenirs.

  • Dillinger||

    >>>Sensible hockey puck control now!

    Ron Hextall on line 2.
    Joel Quenville on line 3.
    Todd McClellan on line 4.

  • Ron||

    conceal carry hockey puck permit, or is that a hockey puck in your pocket or a can of tobacco, or how about this where did i put that hockey puck i was supposed to save to defend my self with or ................

  • Enjoy Every Sandwich||

    Count on a university professor to come up with something this stupid. Only someone with no experience in the real world could think of such a thing. I swear, the scene in Back To School where Rodney Dangerfield corrects the stuffy business professor is practically a documentary, rather than humorous fiction.

  • CDRSchafer||

    Academics are almost as stupid and clueless as Hollywood celebrities. That's why they're all progressives.

  • Mickey Rat||

    We can deter mass shooters by arming the students and faculty...with something ridiculous.

  • Naaman Brown||

    Locally.

    Deter mass shooters by being on the lookout for persons expressing intent or motive.

    A parent and a mental health adviser identified two boys who admitted at trial that they were planning to out do the Columbine bodycount by studying the mistakes of Klebold and Harris. Just after Parkland, a guy who had graduated school threatened to come back and shoot it up. Someone who heard the threat reported it.

    Deter mass shooters by denying them the opportunity to act.

    One our post-Parkland walkouts told the paper he was concerned that while only students and teachers with swipe cards could get past the secure doors, some doors were being left unsecured for convenience of outside contractors.

    Deter mass shooters by providing armed security (police or trained faculty).

    We put School Resource Officers in the high schools in 1997. Caroline Gudger stopped an armed man holding a pistol on a principal. Our SROs are not just armed guards; they conduct public safety programs. When Sean Cornett passed away on vacation the staff and students were devastated.

    But hockey pucks? That's about as useful in actually deterring bad or crazy acts by bad or crazy people as a piece of paper in Washington saying ArmaLite Model 15 ist verboten.

  • Echospinner||

    At least they could have given the students something useful. Hard to make a beer bong out of a hockey puck.

  • crufus||

    Wouldn't Shuriken throwing stars be more effective?

  • Unicorn Abattoir||

    Throw a hockey puck at a mass shooter? Definite game misconduct, probably fined by the league, suspended...

  • Curly4||

    In hockey puck vs gun I will bet on the gun every time. And I will be the winner most of the times.

  • Ecoli||

    A hockey puck?

    Does nobody else here see the blatant racism of this? An apparatus from a game played by frozen white people won't work for people of color. They will just be confused and think it is an echo dot, but the bitch won't talk.

    Very sad.

  • CDRSchafer||

    POC may throw yo-yos or boomerangs or spears.

  • ArgentAegis||

    Don't bring a hockey puck to a gun fight.

  • Sevo||

    "Don't bring a hockey puck to a gun fight."

    Damn! I searched the entire thread, and you are the only one to beat me to it!

  • ||

    If hockey pucks are sufficiently dangerous that they make a good counter to a crazy person with a gun, then existing weapons laws for school campuses and school events would ban pucks as well -- including from school hockey games.

  • Robert||

    If the idea of gun-free zones is to exclude weapons, then why provide weapons?

    At what point of effectiveness of weapons would they draw the line? Swords? Flechettes? Mauls?

  • Longtobefree||

    "If the idea of gun-free zones is to exclude weapons . . . . "
    Not weapons, just guns. Guns are the only weapon capable of climbing out of a holster on its own and mowing down an entire campus.

    To quote Heinlein, "there is no such thing as a dangerous weapon, there are only dangerous men."

  • Rock Lobster||

    Way to let the cat out of the bag, Oakland U.

    Thanks to you, it just became illegal to possess hockey pucks in London. "No one has any reason to carry a hockey puck." — Mayor Sadiq Khan

  • Jimothy||

    This reminds me of the old Canadian proverb: "They only thing that stops a bad gun with a gun is a good guy with 800 hockey pucks...eh?"

  • loki||

    A hockey puck is no match for a man wielding a goalie mask...and a machete!

  • Jerry B.||

    When hockey pucks are outlawed, only outlaws will have hockey pucks.

  • Hattori Hanzo||

    But are the pucks make from imperialist rubber plantations in South America?

  • NSK||

    My son plays hockey. Any student not needing the pucks can send them to me for his teams practices.

  • OneSimpleLesson||

    Why not staplers?
    Why not Golf balls?
    Why not 30 round magazines?
    Why not straws?
    Why not poptarts?

  • SRoach||

    Hmm. Two posts up, but the third not. Repeating.
    I predict that these things will be used, not to stop an attacker with a gun, but to stone some outed conservative who dared to step foot within pitching distance of campus.
    I also predict many broken windows on cars with Trump bumper stickers.

  • Naaman Brown||

    Given the actual rarity of school shootings, the proliferation of hockey pucks carried on the person as weapons may be a bad idea..

  • Olderthandirt-stillkickin||

    I don't know what hockey puck thought THAT idea up, but while you guys are puckin' around, I think I'd rather remove my .308 from under my shirt and see if I couldn't maybe contribute to your tomorrows......

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