Saturday, October 21, 2006

A Textbook Case

[Posted by reader_iam]

A candidate for Oklahoma's state superintendent of education proposes a way for students to fight back should armed intruders invade a school.
Bill Crozier, a Union City Republican going against incumbent Democrat Sandy Garrett, said he believes old textbooks could be used to stop bullets shot from weapons wielded by school intruders.

If elected, he said he would put thick used textbooks under every desk for students to use in self-defense.

Ah, yes: Reduce, Reuse, Recyle--with a twist!
He had a videotape showing him and others shooting weapons, such as an AK-47 and a 9 mm pistol, at books in a field. They conducted the experiment to see how far bullets would penetrate the books.

"We are doing this as an experiment because at Fort Gibson, many young people were shot in the back," Crozier said in the videotape, referencing a December 1999 middle school shooting in eastern Oklahoma, in which a student wounded four students with a 9 mm semiautomatic handgun.

Not only does the guy admit to doing this, but he's actually preserved it on tape, for posterity. I am agog.
Crozier's experiment began with shots fired at a calculus textbook from an AK-47 Russian-style assault rifle. The shot penetrated two textbooks at once.

Well, then perhaps each desk should be equipped with a set of old encylopedias, or maybe of the OED (Cal, would you be willing to donate yours for a test of efficacy?).
"We need to look at protection of young people that sometimes people may think you are a little smarter than everybody else or a higher IQ or whatever. They need to look at what the end result would be," Crozier said.

Wha-a-a? Can't make heads or talestails of this one. [Added: I'm amused by that particular mistake of mine.] Hmmm...might there be a clue to Crozier's thinking processes buried there, somewhere?
However, when the shooters took aim at textbooks with handguns, the books stopped bullets. Crozier said he acknowledges his idea might seem a bit unusual, but he's sticking with it.
"Not everybody would be saved in that situation, of course. But many of them would, and instead of running away or being lined up ... this is a way for the children to fight back," he said.

Um... Mr. Crozier? Your experiments notwithstanding, I don't think we want kids to literally believe that the penbook is mightier than the swordbullet and thus stand firm behind their texts rather than run or hide.

Now, Icepick is trying to decide whether Crozier is an idiot or a member of the "Wack-job Party."

For my part, here's what I'd say to Crozier: You're one scary dude, man.

Then I'd run away from his candidacy as fast as I could.

Update: Math teacher Zeno analyzes the video, questions Crozier's "experimental protocols," talks math books (ooh, baby) and decides to build a fort, all of which adds up to a good read. Check it out.