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Michigan College Hands Out Hockey Pucks To Students And Faculty As Defense Against Active Shooters

The faculty union at Oakland University has already purchased more than 2,000 hockey pucks for faculty and students.

By Sharon Lynn Pruitt

Nevermind the "good guy with a gun" argument — A university in Michigan is banking on good guys, and girls, with pucks to protect themselves and others against potential active shooter threats.  

Oakland University in Rochester Hills is hoping hockey pucks can cultivate a feeling of safety among students and staff members in a time when mass shootings are an almost daily occurrence all across the United States.

The school purchased more than 2,000 hockey pucks and started distributing them earlier this month as a potential method of defense against active shooters, according to the Detroit Free Press. The outlet credits the university’s chief of police, Mark Gordon, with the idea, which he says he came up with during an active shooter training session for university faculty.

Because the school doesn’t allow weapons on campus, one of the attendees asked what else they could use to defend themselves in the event they are face to face with a gunman.

“The first thing that came to my mind was a hockey puck. I was a hockey coach for my kids growing up. I remember getting hit in the head with a hockey puck once and it hurt,” Gordon told Detroit’s Fox 2.

Led by Oakland University professor Tom Discenna, the faculty union bought 800 hockey pucks for union members and another 1,700 for students, according to the Free Press. The student congress has reportedly ordered an additional 1,000 pucks for the student body.

“It was just kind of a spur-of-the-moment idea that seemed to have some merit to it and it kind of caught on,” Gordon told the outlet.

The pucks aren’t just for self-defense, however; they’re also being used to raise funds for other causes.

To help the university outfit more classrooms with interior locks — some classroom doors that can only be locked from the outside — each puck has a number printed on it that can be used on the school’s website to donate money toward the appropriate fund, according to the Free Press.

While the pucks seem to be catching on around campus, Gordon reiterated that they should not be anyone’s first line of defense. Fleeing or hiding should be the average citizen’s first resort during an active shooter situation, he told the Free Press. While the pucks or any other type of offensive maneuver should be “an absolute last strategy,” he does suggest throwing things in cases where running or hiding isn’t an option.

“Anything that you can throw that’s heavy and will cause damage, cause injury is the bottom line of what you’re trying to do,” he said, according to the Free Press. “[A hockey puck] was just a thing that was suggested that could possibly work, especially when you have 20 or 30 people in a classroom and they all throw hockey pucks at the same time, it would be quite the distraction.” 

Hockey pucks may seem like an unorthodox (and ineffective) method of self-protection against a person wielding something like an AR-15. But considering the other ideas some Americans have come up with, ranging from baseball bats to buckets of rocks, they don’t seem that far-fetched.

[Photo Credit: Getty Images]

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