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A Good Librarian with a Gun

It was only a matter of time before the other AL’s weekly update included something about arming librarians, because like me the other AL can’t resist a controversy, even if it’s a fake controversy like arming teachers.

The article in question asks in the headline, “So, are we now supposed to arm librarians, too?” As we know from Betteridge’s Law of Headlines, the answer is always “no.”

The author also doesn’t think so. He compares the latest school shooting (what a sad phrase) in Florida with a stabbing death in a Massachusetts public library, notes that both attackers were mentally ill, and then claims that the difference between one death and 17 deaths is that the Florida attacker had “an AR-15 instead of a 10-inch hunting knife.”

I’m pretty sure, based upon my incessant viewing of paranoid lunatic television, that claims like that are just a liberal conspiracy to take away all of our high powered assault rifles and replace them with 10-inch hunting knives, or worse, 5-inch hunting knives.

And how, pray tell, would we engage in mass slaughter of innocent people without access to high powered assault rifles? I didn’t think you had an answer to that one, liberal.

When libraries are under assault by dangerous crazy people with weapons, it’s important to arm ourselves. I’ve already recommended arming librarians with wood rod newspaper sticks and steel shelving shields to fight off Nazis with tiki torches, but Nazis with tiki torches rank pretty low on the dangerous crazy people scale.

AR-15s are another matter, though, and it’s important to be ready.

Arming individual librarians with guns is obviously a ridiculously stupid idea. Most of them would need to learn how to shoot properly, hit what they aim at, and deaden or overcome the natural human instinct not to kill people, plus keep in continuous practice like police officers are supposed to.

That’s expensive, time-consuming, and probably a waste of everyone’s time, like librarian staff meetings but more dangerous.

Some gun nuts have suggested just arming a few people, but what if those few people don’t happen to be handy when a shooter starts killing people? Another waste of time.

Instead, libraries can take advantage of typical service locations within the library.

Most libraries have a reference desk and a circulation desk within view of the front door. Those would be perfect places to place an M240 machine gun.

Based on my extensive research of Googling “machine gun” and following the links, the M240 is the medium machine gun of choice of the U.S. Military, NATO troops, and others.

According to the Wikipedia article, the “rate of fire may be controlled by three different gas regulator settings. The first setting allows the weapon to cycle at 650–750 rounds per minute, the second setting being 750–850 rounds per minute, and the third setting being 850–950 rounds per minute.”

650 rounds per minute ought to be enough for any mass shooters in libraries, so the library can save on ammunition by using the lowest rate of fire, because librarians should always be frugal with the public’s money.

M240s are also supposed to be easy to take care of with few problems, which makes them a great investment of library dollars. Libraries need things that can withstand rough treatment and still work. This gun sounds like the library furniture of machine guns.

One M240 would probably be enough to stop a single attacker, but a machine gun mounted at the reference desk and another at the circulation desk would allow librarians to both to fight off multiple attackers or to triangulate fire against a single attacker to make sure he’s shredded by gunfire.

At that rate of fire, you don’t even need to aim well. It’s possible that firing 650 rounds per minute at a shooter might wound or kill people in the vicinity, but that’s the price one pays for a free society.

This isn’t the kind of thing that would work in schools because there aren’t clear places to place the guns, unless you wanted machine guns at the entrance to every hallway, then I guess there are clear places, but that would take a lot of guns.

Two guns max would protect most libraries, so it wouldn’t involve a great expense.

I know what you’re thinking, though. There’s a glaringly obvious objection to this plan: what if the shooter starts shooting in a place that isn’t viewable from the service desks?

That question was nagging at me as well, especially because my first idea was to have the machine guns mounted, to prevent theft if anything else.

But the M240 is portable, so librarians could just pick it up and move to another part of the library. Any library table would provide support for it.

To prevent theft, libraries could just add tattle tape to the guns in some discreet place, just like they do with books.

Thus, problem solved! There really isn’t any problem that can’t be solved with a machine gun and librarian ingenuity.

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Comments

  1. Library Observer says:

    I got into an arguement over 20 years ago about gun control with a colleague.

    He was against it, and I was for it. I thought he was an NRA “gun nut” who had seen waaaay too many westerns and had a John Wayne complex for coming out with some of the ideas.

    He then told me about Kennesaw, Georgia — that since 1982? had a law on the books REQUIRING every resident to have a firearm in their home ( and possibly business ). I checked it out when passing by thereand to my shock, found out that crime DROPPED by nearly ninety, yes 90 percent within a few years of putting through this law.

    The Police Chief told me that criminals don’t like to be in a town where ciizen’s can fight back, and just because you pass a law for gun control, do you really expect a criminal to follow it ?

    I’m still for the idea of gun control — but it’s kind of hard to argue with the results!

  2. Ummm …. actually it appears to be very easy to argue with the results. https://www.snopes.com/kennesaw-gun-law/.

    “The graphic is correct in that Kennesaw, Georgia, passed a law in 1982 mandating all residents own a gun. But it neglected to mention that officials (who incidentally strongly supported the law) said repeatedly over the years that the law was symbolic and unenforceable, openly admitting that there was no information on whether even one additional gun was purchased due to its passage. In 1982, Kennesaw’s mayor and chief of police told the New York Times that their crime rate had always been low, and the entire state of Georgia experienced a drop in all crimes cited (burglary, property crime, and murder) in the years immediately following the law. So while the law remained on the books, there was functionally no “requirement” anyone own a gun, the already low crime rate of Kennesaw didn’t “plummet,” and the absence of the law’s enforcement rendered it virtually meaningless.”

  3. Frumious Bandersnatch says:

    Just FYI… from Snopes.com: (full text at: https://www.snopes.com/kennesaw-gun-law/)

    “[Kennesaw Georgia]… passed a law in 1982 mandating all residents own a gun. But it neglected to mention that officials (who incidentally strongly supported the law) said repeatedly over the years that the law was symbolic and unenforceable, openly admitting that there was no information on whether even one additional gun was purchased due to its passage. In 1982, Kennesaw’s mayor and chief of police told the New York Times that their crime rate had always been low, and the entire state of Georgia experienced a drop in all crimes cited (burglary, property crime, and murder) in the years immediately following the law. So while the law remained on the books, there was functionally no “requirement” anyone own a gun, the already low crime rate of Kennesaw didn’t “plummet,” and the absence of the law’s enforcement rendered it virtually meaningless.”

  4. Frumious Bandersnatch says:

    Beat me to the “post comment” button… :-)

  5. anonymous coward says:

    What doesn’t change is that there is no direct correlation with gun ownership and gun violence. We own guns at a rate far surpassing any other nation, but our gun violence is not in proportion to ownership rates- nor has it increased with ownership increases.

    It is a massively complex subject that is not as simple most would have you believe.

  6. FinallyaLibrarian says:

    You missed the obvious difference between teachers carrying guns and librarians. The guns librarians would carry will have a silencer!

  7. anonymous coward says:

    clever is as clever does.

  8. Frumious Bandersnatch says:

    Except for the fact that studies show there is definitely a direct correlation with gun ownership and gun violence…

    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3828709/

    “We observed a robust correlation between higher levels of gun ownership and higher firearm homicide rates. Although we could not determine causation, we found that states with higher rates of gun ownership had disproportionately large numbers of deaths from firearm-related homicides.”

    https://www.hsph.harvard.edu/hicrc/firearms-research/guns-and-death/

    “Our review of the academic literature found that a broad array of evidence indicates that gun availability is a risk factor for homicide, both in the United States and across high-income countries. Case-control studies, ecological time-series and cross-sectional studies indicate that in homes, cities, states and regions in the U.S., where there are more guns, both men and women are at a higher risk for homicide, particularly firearm homicide.”

  9. anonymous coward says:

    Yes, I’ve seen those studies. I should not have said correlation, but causal link. That is my, stupid, mistake. However, please note the first study does say when addressing it’s limitations that “A reverse causal association was also possible. For example, increases in firearm homicide rates could have led to efforts by state residents to acquire guns, thus increasing gun ownership levels.”

  10. Lady of the Library says:

    Actually, it would have a shusher, not a silencer.

  11. Paul Wexler says:
  12. Libertarian Librarian says:

    I’m going to be pedantic and point out that AR-15 does not stand for Assault Rifle. It stands for Armalite Rifle-15.

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