Monday, December 17, 2012

The President's Speech Last Night

... made me want to go out and buy a gun.

I'm not a particularly strong second amendment supporter and assault rifles or whatever you want to call them make me squeamish. But when President Obama described how teachers hunkered down in their classrooms, completely unarmed, waiting for the cops to show up while a heavily armed lunatic roamed the halls, my first thought was, "Forget waiting for the cops. I want to be able to defend myself."

In the past when I read folks like W C Varones advocate for concealed carry and talk about how armed citizens could stop a shooting like the one in Connecticut, I've always partially scoffed at the idea, picturing the school or mall turning into a shooting gallery where barely-trained goofs with guns tried to out-macho each other, killing as many innocents as they did perpetrators. After last night's speech I wasn't worried about that. Helplessly waiting for the police seems like suicide.


tim eisele said...

Personally, I'm bothered by the unspoken assumption that "the only way to stop a person with a gun, is another person with a gun".

But consider this: say that the gunman bursts into the room, and immediately gets bombarded by people using desks and tables as shields, and heaving every heavy object in the room at him. Finishing with a chair or broom handle to the back of the head. He might shoot one or two people in the process, but he for damn sure isn't going to be able to aim, and he most likely isn't getting out of it with his skull intact.

Blunt objects are horribly underrated as defensive weapons[1]. A solid blow to the head is even more reliably lethal. These "cower and wait for the police" drills should really be replaced by drills in "this is how you use superior numbers to counter superior firepower when the alternative is getting killed".

[1] I once knocked a half-grown bull unconscious with a two-foot length of 2x4, and a bull's head is pretty impressively armored. Don't knock the effectiveness of a good club in close-quarters combat.

K T Cat said...

I practiced Choi Li Fut Kung Fu for a long time. I learned how to use all kinds of weapons including dagger, club, cane, staff and Chinese broadsword.

At the school, we learned how to deal with opponents who had guns. The goal was to get as close as possible to them so things got too bound up for them to aim and fire. Having said that, unless you were already on top of them, you were screwed.

Thinking about it now, I'd say your chances of survival drop with the cube of the distance. Throwing things sounds like a good idea, but at my age, I'm not going to be throwing anything of any consequence unless I happen to get my hands on a supply of baseballs. Dittos for kids in classrooms. In the case of this slaughter, there was only one adult in each classroom. They pick up a textbook to heave and BAM! Gone. On to the kids.

Me, I'd much rather have a gun.

Jeff Burton said...

Can't wait for your comment section to descend into a testosterone-fueled shouting match over which is the best kind of gun to buy.

(Spoken as someone probably in the 95th - 98th percentile of gun ownership by quantity).

tom said...

Different tools for different tasks... a number of years ago the president of Glock firearms getting mugged in his own parking garage. Sometimes people can sneak up on you and there's nothing you can do.

I wonder why the kids are taught to cower and hide rather than swarm the bad guy. The accounts I've read suggest the shooter had to reload at some point in classrooms. How quickly we forget the lessons of Flight 77.

Gun, book, broadsword, 2x4, pen. Don't limit my choice of weapons because different circumstances require different responses.

ps -- "black rifles" aren't particularly scary. They're actually quite comfortable to shoot, but a bear to maintain.

Mostly Nothing said...

My wife is a preschool teacher. And they have intruder alert drills.

You can't even explain what the drill is much less teach them to attach the lunatic.

This case is about 6 year olds. Not much older than the preschoolers.

And after sitting next to a bunch of high school girls at last Friday's basketball game. Their not going to attack, no chance.

Unknown said...

Like KT, I practiced martial arts for a good amount of time. The drawback to encountering an armed assailant is getting close enough for your skills to overcome the weapon. In the case of a firearm, most martial artists will never get close enough to be effective in a situation like school shootings.

I do think Tim's idea has a lot of merit though. Given the right circumstances and participants, it has a good chance of being effective.

Wollf Howlsatmoon said...

The "best" gun to have with you in case of an emergency is the same as KT's camera.... The one you have with you.