Wednesday 18 September 2019

American university arming students with hockey pucks to combat gun attacks

The university says the pucks are only there as a ‘last resort’.

Around 2,500 pucks have been distributed among staff and students (troyerimages/Getty)
Around 2,500 pucks have been distributed among staff and students (troyerimages/Getty)

By Alistair Mason, Press Association

A university in the United States has come up with an unusual plan to combat the threat of gun attacks on campus: arming students with ice hockey pucks.

Police and staff at Oakland University in Michigan came up with the idea to use pucks following a training session on being prepared for an emergency situation.

Oakland University police Chief Mark Gordon told CNN: “They have enough mass to cause injury, small enough to be thrown, (are) portable and they’re not considered a weapon.”

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Members of the American Association of University Professors at the school have since bought 2,500 pucks which have been distributed among staff and students.

Mr Gordon said confronting a shooter should only ever be a last resort, and the idea of hockey pucks was thrown out only as an example of a hard, blunt object which could be thrown to deter an attacker.

“It was a spur-of-the-moment-thing that had merit to it and kind of caught on,” he told the Detroit News.

In a statement, the university stressed students are told the “primary defences for individuals in active shooter situations are running from harm’s way and sheltering in place” and confronting an attacker is “a last-resort, self-defence option”.

The university said funds were also being raised to put interior locks on classroom doors.

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