School district gives students buckets of rocks to fend off shooters

Other | Wednesday 28th March 2018 | David

The US gun control debate’s descent into self-parody continues with the revelation that a school district in Pennsylvania is equipping each classroom with a 5-gallon bucket of river stones that students can throw in the event of a school shooting.

"If an armed intruder attempts to gain entrance to any of our classrooms, they will face a classroom full of students armed with rocks,” Blue Mountain School District Superintendent David Helsel said in a state House Education Committee hearing earlier this month, “And they will be stoned.”

“We have some people who have some pretty good arms,” he later elaborated, “They can chuck some rocks pretty fast.”

According to Helsel, mastermind of the bucket-of-rocks plan, the defensive measure has already been in place for two years but has only recently gained wider exposure due to his statements at the hearing, accusing news outlets in a statement to BuzzFeed last week of “taking it out of context to make it look silly.” He stressed that the river stones were simply a last resort should an intruder manage to get into a classroom.

Indeed, as mockable as Helsel’s idea is, it’s far from the most heinous or harmful response to America’s mass shooting problem. Just take former senator and gun lobby mouthpiece Rick Santorum, who suggested on CNN last Sunday that the teenage survivors of the recent Stoneman Douglas High School shooting should take CPR classes “instead of looking to someone else to solve their problem.”

When influential figures take such appalling stances, it could be argued that Helsel’s idea is no more absurd than the reality he lives in. By refusing to support the necessary gun control measures, NRA-funded politicians are creating a desperate situation that will have people grasping at whatever solution they can get – even if that solution is a bucket full of rocks.