Michigan university issues hockey pucks to defend against active shooters

A Michigan university is training students and faculty to defend themselves against an active shooter -- by using hockey pucks.

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When hit by a hockey player, the hard black disk is potentially a lethal missile. That gave Oakland University police Chief Mark Gordon the idea for using pucks as a self-defense tool against an active shooter, the Detroit Free Press reported.

Gordon was conducting a training session in March when he was asked about objects of self-defense, particularly since the university has a no-weapons policy, the newspaper reported..

:"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 Free Press.

Tom Discenna, a professor of communication and president of the faculty union at Oakland University, convinced the union to buy 2,500 pucks at 94 cents apiece, the newspaper reported. Eight hundred were earmarked for union members, while 1,700 were allocated to students.

"It's just the idea of having something, a reminder that you're not powerless and you're not helpless in the classroom," Discenna told the Free Press.

Gordon said there are no studies or research on using pucks in active shooter situations, but he added that throwing anything with weight could hurt or distract the shooter and lead to disarming the attacker.

“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. "(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."

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