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The Best Defense Against School Shootings Is... Canned Foods?

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School shootings are a very real and very serious danger. The last few years have seen an alarming number of deranged individuals — some of them students — march into their local school and open fire with powerful weapons.

Schools around the nation are coming up with preparedness plans like safety drills and procedures, many of them consulting with local law enforcement to educate students on what to do in the event of an attack. This is a good thing (albeit a sad commentary on our times). It's smart. Necessary.

But when most of us think of ways our kids can be protected or even defend themselves, I don't think this is what springs to mind.

That's right: a handful of schools across the nation are instituting a new policy that requires students to come to school with a can of food to use to defend themselves. Canned foods. As self defense. Against someone with a gun or a knife.

It's not a joke. This is really happening.

Apparently, the thinking is that if an attacker appears and a kid has no other option but to fight back, they can grab their handy can of food and chuck it at 'em. Depending on what's inside, some of those cans can be sorta heavy, so if your kid's got skills they might do some damage. If a shooter bursts into a classroom full of can-wielders, then being pelted by a can barrage could conceivably make a real difference.

But... It's just... Well...

Okay. Pummeling bad guys by hurling cans of food at them gets points for originality. And those cans never really crack open, so the janitor will thank them. Plus, the schools that are implementing this policy say they'll be donating the canned foods to a worthy cause at the end of the school year, which is great.

But come on.

Cans of food? As much as I applaud schools for wanting to keep our kids safe... This is just goofy.

If our kids are to be prepared no matter where they are, they'll have to carry their cans in their backpacks. Which means adding more heft to a bag that's probably full of heavy books already. But hey: exercise, am I right?

I mean, I get it. It's not like we want our kids roaming the halls carrying tasers or mace. They'd end up using those things on each other, because duh. Of course they would.

But here's a thought: If you want to give students something to lob at an intruder, why not have them use something that's made to be thrown?

Forget the cans and have every kid carry a baseball. Baseballs are smaller, lighter and almost as hard as a can, yet they're much easier to throw.

Do it for the cans, people. They just want to hold food. Leave 'em be.

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