At approximately 10 a.m. Monday, Ohio State University’s emergency management department tweeted, “Buckeye Alert: Active Shooter on Campus. Run Hide Fight. Watts Hall. 19th and College.” The tweet went out to 60,000 students attending OSU.
Updated information indicated that the attacker hadn't used a gun but had used an automobile and a butcher knife to inflict serious injuries on the eight individuals.
It’s standard protocol in gun-free zones to tell potential victims of an attack to "Run Hide Fight," in that order. According to the Associated Press, which is covering the incident, “Run” means to evacuate the target area immediately; “Hide” means to “get silently out of view” of the attacker; while “Fight” means to “as a last resort, take action to disrupt or incapacitate the attacker if your life is in imminent danger.”
The fastest human in the world is the Jamaican reigning world and Olympic champion Usain Bolt, world record holder in both the 100-meter and 200-meter events. Mathematicians have calculated his top speed at 27.55 miles per hour.
The speed of a 165-grain bullet exiting a Glock Model 19 is between 800 and 1,000 feet per second.
Running away appears to be only a marginal option when faced with a shooter.
Where would students under attack “hide” themselves? Watts Hall is a classroom building on the OSU campus. Classroom 379 has 24 seats with notebook armrests; Classroom 389 has 23 seats while Classroom 395 is more than twice as large, with 57 seats. In a typical classroom setting, there are two doors at the rear and two at the front. There may be broom or supply closets along the sides.
Just exactly where would 23 students hide themselves in the event of an attack?
The third option, “Fight,” prompts the question: with what? Pencils? Coffee cups? Water bottles? Notebooks? Those chairs with notebook armrests?
Concealed firearms aren't available, at least at OSU. From Ohio Rev. Code Ann. § 2923.126(B)(5):
Ohio state law prohibits the carrying of concealed firearms on any premises owned or leased by any public or private college, university, or other institution of higher education, unless the handgun is in a locked motor vehicle or the licensee is in the immediate process of placing the handgun in a locked motor vehicle.
A firearm, under Ohio state law, is safer than a student.
Just a month ago Johns Hopkins' Bloomberg [yes, that Michael Bloomberg, who has endowed the school over the years with enough money to result in OSU renaming the school in his honor in 2001] School of Public Health, with help from researchers from Stanford University and the University of Massachusetts, relieved themselves of a “study” showing that, according to their “research,” proponents of concealed carry for students are wrong to think that that would reduce instances of violence on college campuses such as the one that just occurred at OSU:
Proponents of right-to-carry laws that make it legal for individuals to carry firearms, both on and off college campuses, often blame mass shootings on “gun-free zones” and argue that arming more civilians can deter or stop mass shootings.
The best available evidence, however, does not support these claims.
Michael Newbern, the legislative affairs committee chair of the Republican Party and Ohio director and national spokesman for Students for Concealed Carry, took the time not only to read the entire report but to respond to it. He was blunt in his condemnation of it:
At best, the report is a pedantic, overly verbose op-ed that attempts to couch the usual arguments against campus carry in academic language. At worst, it is an attempt to portray the work of two of Dr. Webster’s coauthors — John Donohue and Louis Klarevas — as “the best available research” on the subject of licensed concealed carry.
Propaganda doesn’t become research just because it’s written on letterhead from a prestigious university. If these ten professors genuinely wanted to study the issue, they could have conducted a peer-reviewed meta-analysis of the existing literature. Instead, they chose to phone it in with an editorial touting only those outlier studies that reinforce their personal prejudices.
Just because Newbern is an undergraduate doesn’t mean he isn’t equipped to smell a lie and smoke out factual errors, flawed logic, and straw-man arguments. He takes 10 pages to do just that here.
On Monday, in Columbus, Ohio, on the campus of Ohio State University, eight people were attacked. Gun control laws didn’t keep the attacker from using his vehicle and a butcher knife to inflict grievous injuries. What is known for sure (as the investigation is ongoing at this time) is that one single individual, carrying a firearm and trained to use it in a situation of the gravest extreme, might have been able to slow down or even stop the criminal from harming eight people who were unable either to RUN HIDE or FIGHT. What is also known is that the attacker inflicted this carnage in about a minute's time, before a university police officer arrived and used a gun to shoot him dead.