It’s too hard to ban guns, so we should ban doors

There was another school shooting in Texas today; 10 people are dead. The Lieutenant Governor of the state has come up with a novel solution for this ongoing problem.

We may have to look at the design of our schools moving forward, and retrofitting schools that are already built. What I mean by that is that there are too many entrances and too many exits to our 8,000 campuses in Texas. … Now that will take a lot of work and a lot of money, but we have to do the work and do the money to protect our children the best we can.

That’s a new one to me. The problem isn’t that we have too many guns, it’s too many doors.

I think the real problem is that there are too many wingnuts in Texas.


  1. mcfrank0 says

    There’s some tough competition for stupidest Republican politician in Texas — but Dan Patrick wins it hands down.

  2. Pascal's Pager says

    Wouldn’t reducing the number of doors make escaping the building harder in an emergency?

  3. consciousness razor says

    They should get rid of all those meddling doors they set up around black people too. Only have one entrance/exit for the cop who’s going to shot at them for no reason. That sounds like a solid plan. And no, we obviously don’t have a problem with violence here; what gave you that idea? It’s about all the damned doors.

    I can’t wait for the NRA ads showing some good, honest, outside-the-box-thinking Americans, with their MAGA hats and flags and whatnot, shooting down a bunch of school doors, to encourage the others. That’ll show ’em.

  4. mathman85 says

    Wouldn’t reducing the number of doors make escaping the building harder in an emergency?


    Of course it would. That’s doubtless part of the plan. I mean, it’s not as though the Republicans are claiming to be acting in the best interest of schoolchildren, right?

  5. jack lecou says

    No, no. Obviously the problem is not too many guns, it’s just insufficient camouflage. School shooters could walk around all day without spotting any children to murder if only the children would come to school sufficiently disguised. For example, the people behind these videos could probably offer some helpful tips:

    I suppose the problem you’d run into there is the shortage of school supplies. Has that been sorted out yet? I was never able to figure out how a supposedly vibrant and adaptable capitalist economy can’t figure out how to supply sufficient crayons and binders to our educational system…

  6. ridana says

    Do these 8000 entrances have no locks?

    When people are entering with guns, 8000 exits seems insufficient. But with the cutting edge technology we now possess, every exit does not have to be an entrance!

    What we need now is moar keys!!

  7. slithey tove (twas brillig (stevem)) says

    smh, {acronym}
    (1) explain again how “too many doors” caused this shooting, making it so easy for the shooter to kill so many; I don’t understand.
    (2) wouldn’t reducing the number of doors make perfect targets for snipers? I don’t understand how this is a proper solution to mass shootings.
    I don’t think he thought this through.

  8. woozy says

    Oh… that was today?

    You hear about shootings so frequently and they all sound the same I just figured this happened a few weeks ago.

  9. anchor says

    What a fucking idiot. Remember to blame that jackass when a fire (or the next shooter) kills students and teachers because they were trapped for lack of exits.

  10. Saganite, a haunter of demons says

    Yes, create bottlenecks where the killer can use his legally-owned firearm to mow people down more effectively and prevent any escape. Brilliant.

  11. Saganite, a haunter of demons says

    @11 woozy
    Honestly, I was somewhat surprised to see it on a German news-site. It happens so often, you’d think it wouldn’t make international headline anymore: It’s an ongoing crisis and those are rarely of interest to the media.

  12. anchor says

    Retrofitting schools guaranteed to be profitably porky for contractors, though.

  13. microraptor says

    I’m waiting for the Republican politician to takes things to their obvious conclusion and proposes that the only way to stop school shootings is by outlawing schools.

  14. says

    Saganite, the NRA/Republican answer to people being killed by fires would be more fires. If everybody had a fire, then they’d all be safer. It’s logical! as logical as anything else they believe.

  15. says

    They should also consider fewer windows. That way the students won’t have to see the fertilizer plants next door as they enjoy perfect safety.

  16. archangelospumoni says

    All: Never forget that the one and only Louie Gohmert is also from Tejas. Tough call, this, between the “rocks falling into the ocean make sea level rise” guy and Louie.
    I ashamedly admit I am from Tejas, having left there in the ’60s, and I thanked both parents a few dozen times for moving us AWAY from that nasty, filthy, rotten, ugly, horrible, stinky, polluted, pridefully backward, pridefully racist, barren, flat and truly nasty state.
    I was even thanking my Mother during her worst dementia when she might have known me from the custodian.

  17. blf says

    How many school shootings have there been in 2018 so far?:

    Five months into 2018, there have been 16 shootings at US schools that have resulted in injury or death, based on data from campaign group Everytown for Gun Safety.

    This is week 20. Twenty weeks, sixteen school shootings.

    Experts caution that the toll of gun violence on children and teenagers falls heaviest outside of schools. Youngsters are much more likely to be shot in their own homes or neighborhoods than at school, according to research by the school safety expert Dewey Cornell.

    But the emotional impact of school shootings has sparked a booming school safety industry. In 2017, the market for security equipment in the education sector was estimated at $2.68bn, according to industry analysts at IHS Markit. Some companies have capitalized on parents’ fears by selling bulletproof [sic] backpacks or whiteboards, as well as offering ways to fortify school buildings themselves against attack.

    While refusing to pass substantive gun control restrictions, Congress has approved hundreds of millions of dollars in federal spending to help put police officers in public schools […]

  18. Chakat Firepaw says

    @ridana #9

    Do these 8000 entrances have no locks?

    That line of thinking doesn’t really work, especially in cases like this where the shooter is part of the school population. Sure you can lock most of the doors so that people can’t readily come in, but that won’t do anything about a student who hides a gun near an ‘exit only’ door and then wedges the door open when he goes out to retrieve the gun.

    Plus, it wouldn’t take long for a would-be shooter to find the door students use to sneak out for a smoke/joint/whatever. Then he can check it to see if the lock is broken/disabled or simply wait for a student to open it for him.

  19. xmp999 says

    If they shut down all the schools, there wouldn’t be any more school shootings. Problem solved. (also, there would be more uneducated Republican voters, and no more whiny teachers demanding a living wage and other such nonsense – who knew that Betsy Devos was actually a brilliant strategist…)

  20. brucej says

    Why yes we have facilities with just this kind of access control. We call them “prisons”.

  21. FossilFishy (NOBODY, and proud of it!) says

    This is the perfect first step to ensure the NRA’s preferred solution to mass shootings.

    As I understand it the order of operations for surviving are:

    1) Run.
    2) If you can’t run, hide.
    3) If you can’t run or hide, fight.

    1) Remove the exits.
    2) Make schools open plan.
    2) NRA profit!!

    I’d like to think that no one would suggest open plan schools as a solution for shootings. But I can see some fuck head claiming it would make it easier to identify threats or some-such idiocy. At this point I’m not sure it’s possible to be too cynical about gun cultists and their desire for an all OK Corral, all the time, world.

  22. vole says

    Ah, if only we in the UK had all the guns that your President Trump advises would be good for us. Then we too could enjoy regular massacres in our schools.

  23. grumpyoldfart says

    How did the crowd respond to that bit of nonsense? Boos, cheers, or submissive silence?

  24. speedofsound says

    Do we seriously think we can ban shotguns and somehow get rid of them all? I’m appalled that the guy got a shotgun into the school under a trenchcoat. I remember how much work I had to go through just smuggling in pints of booze for the friday dance. Hollowed out encyclopedia did the trick.

    So legitimate question. Are there people here that want to ban all guns? What are the logistics for something like that?

  25. Matrim says

    @34, speedofsound

    You know do there’s a lot of ground between “do nothing” and “ban all guns,” right?

  26. slithey tove (twas brillig (stevem)) says

    re @34 asked:

    legitimate question: Are there people here that want to ban all guns? What are the logistics for something like that?

    legitimate answer:
    not me.
    “banning” is, as I understand it, on essentially no one’s agenda. regulation is what’s being demanded by most.
    SecondAmendnuts are demanding total deregulation, and painting proposed regulation as asking for confiscation.
    And. regulation is not only restricting purchase, it includes training in proper use and storage of the weapon.

  27. blf says

    “banning” is, as I understand it, on essentially no one’s agenda

    Slight correction: An outright (full) ban — which presumably also means either interpreting the 2nd amendment as applying only to “well-regulated militias” or repealing it — is not on most agendas I’ve seen. However, certain partial bans are. For instance, the Parkland students’s Manifesto to fix America’s gun laws (edited for brevity, not all edits marked):

    After the massacre at our high school, our lives have changed forever — so we’re proposing these changes to halt mass shootings
    ● Ban semi-automatic weapons that fire high-velocity rounds
    ● Ban accessories that simulate automatic weapons
    ● Establish a database of gun sales and universal background checks
    ● Change privacy laws to allow mental healthcare providers to communicate with law enforcement
    ● Close gun show and secondhand sales loopholes
    ● Allow the CDC to make recommendations for gun reform
    ● Raise the firearm purchase age to 21
    ● Dedicate more funds to mental health research and professionals
    ● Increase funding for school security

    Fully-automatic weapons, as an example, are already banned (since 1986, with some grandfathered exceptions).

    From memory, the NRA and / or some wingnuts falsely claimed the Parkland students are trying to repeal the 2nd and / or ban all guns. There was even a fake video circulated of Emma González tearing up the constitution; in the real video, what she tore up was a shooting target.

  28. slithey tove (twas brillig (stevem)) says

    re 39:
    “banning” usually is used only to sales, not ownership. A distinction often lost on the gunnuts. Banning sales of AR-15 is not banning the weapon itself, all owners can still keep it. We only want to limit its proliferation.
    — clarifying MY opinion, others my disagree, oh well.

  29. ridana says

    @ Chakat Firepaw #23
    “Caution: Emergency Exit. Alarm will sound if door is opened.” Seems to work ok for stores and such, when you need fire exits but still want to control entry.

    Students being students of course, false alarms (including pulling the fire alarm) to get out of tests are inevitable, though cameras at the restricted exits might curb that. Sure beats removing doors altogether, and is likely cheaper. Not that this is any kind of real solution…

  30. jack16 says

    Guns should be controlled as they are in Canada. Thom Hartmann has suggested liability insurance the same as automobile liability. for our situation this is a relatively quick solution.


  31. ck, the Irate Lump says

    ● Change privacy laws to allow mental healthcare providers to communicate with law enforcement

    This one isn’t a great idea. It’s only going to discourage people suffering from mental health problems from seeking help and victimize those who have already sought help. There are some really good reasons why doctor-patient confidentiality exists and it shouldn’t be removed without a hell of a lot of evidence that it is going to do something useful.

  32. robro says

    I’m going to second ck @ #43’s objection to change HIPA privacy laws for people with mental illness. I know of one case where a person is objecting to a mental illness diagnoses because it might stigmatize him in the future. At this point his doctor can assure him that know one can access that information.

  33. blf says

    ck, robo, I concur the proposal as worded is poor. What they are trying to do is (quoting from the link @39) is “prevent people who are a danger to themselves or to others from purchasing firearms.” That goal seems very sensible.

    I myself would consider requiring a license to purchase a gun (and ideally, to own or use one, but getting there from here is fraught with difficulties). Two of the requirements for getting a license include, but are not limited to, showing up-to-date proficiency in the storage and use of the gun(? type of gun?†) in question, and to have an up-to-date medical “Ok” (which would include a mental assessment, thus preserving the doctor-patient confidentiality). There would be a provisional (learner’s) license to allow the supervised use of a gun in order to obtain the necessarily proficiency. The license should need to be periodically renewed. This is all obviously loosely-based on driver’s licenses. The licensing would require infrastructure, but so would some of the other proposals, suggesting they could be “folded together” so to speak.

    Another criticism of those specific proposals is they are non-specific about what is meant by “ban” (as per @40): Ban on purchase?— Almost certainly yes. On ownership (like full-automatics?)? On (certain?) uses? Again, the thing to do is look at the goals: In the cases of the cited proposed bans, it’s there is no point to having functional war weapons (see † below).

      † Theoretically, this could include full- and (high velocity) semi-automatic guns. However, with a few very rare exceptions, there is no reason for a civilian to have such weapons of war. Hence, maintaining the current ban on full-automatic and instituting some sort of a ban on semi-automatic is another part of the multi-step, multi-part solution.

  34. says

    I’m waiting for the Republican politician to takes things to their obvious conclusion and proposes that the only way to stop school shootings is by outlawing schools.

    Well, they closed quite some of them when SCOTUS told them they had to allow black kids there….

    FFS, don’t even have that discussion. Yes, sometimes and places schools need to lock doors, but usually not for reasons like shootings. The door usually have locks that mean you can open them from the inside without a key but nor from the outside. That is also the standard fit for classroom doors in Germany, which were changed after we had two serious school shootings.
    Safety procedure when there is a shooting: Get inside the room. Teacher locks the door, turns the key sidewise so it cannot be opened with a key from the outside. Everybody hides in the corner the most removed from doors and windows (if ground floor) and shuts the fuck up.
    Now, of course the best prevention is by teaching boys they’re not entitled to the world, especially the female part of it* and making sure they don’t get their hands on weapons of mass murder easily.

    *Yet again it was a guy who’d been turned down by a girl and decided it was right if she and others had to die.

  35. slithey tove (twas brillig (stevem)) says

    re @46:
    my (limited) experience during school was all doors at schools on the exterior walls were only one way, outward and would not open from the outside, all interior doors between hall and classroom would always open into the all to ensure easy escape from classroom fires.
    I still can’t imagine the faintest argument behind “too many doors enables mass shootings”, even superficially the first question is how does…
    oh I see (sorta) –>
    when students can only exit through a single door, the shooter will be blocked when the students keep the door closed and remain inside. Therefore, seal the students in an impenetrable box and no shootings ever, problem solved, the dumbass governummer reasons.

  36. slithey tove (twas brillig (stevem)) says

    addendum to @47:
    -how does that work out when the shooter is INSIDE, as he was in Santa Fe?
    One exit means jam and more targets for slaughter.
    think before speaking gubbinner [sic]

  37. call me mark says

    #34 speedofsound

    So legitimate question. Are there people here that want to ban all guns? What are the logistics for something like that?

    I would if I could. If I ruled the world, you’d have a month or so to handover your firearms voluntarily. After that, we’ll confiscate if necessary. Oh and the “pry them from my cold dead hands” gang? Fine by me, good luck with your AR-15 against Predator drones and Hellfire missiles.

  38. blf says

    Doors, backpacks and Ritalin: what Republicans have blamed school shootings on (edited for brevity, not all edits marked):

    A list of what’s really behind America’s epidemic of gun violence, according to NRA-funded Republicans
    ● Abortions
    ● Backpacks
    ● Decline in family values: In 2013, PoliceOne, a news site aimed at law enforcement officers, conducted a survey about gun control among about 15,000 verified law enforcement professionals. Thirty-eight per cent of respondents believed that a “decline in parenting and family values” was the biggest cause of gun violence in the US. Only 4.4% thought that guns being too prevalent and easy to obtain was the real problem.
    ● Marilyn Manson
    ● Mental health: The argument that mass shootings are caused by mental illness is wheeled out after every attack perpetrated by a white person. (If a brown person is involved then mental illness obviously has nothing to do with it, it’s terrorism.) While mental health probably plays a role in many shootings, it should be said that there is clear evidence that most mentally ill people do not go around shooting other people. […]
    ● People
    ● Ritalin: [… Y]ou can’t shoot people with Ritalin last time I checked.
    ● Schools
    ● Video games
    ● Women: [… T]he Toronto killer used a van, not a gun, but give it time and we’ll see Republicans explain how “the redistribution of sex” is a better way to solve gun violence than doing something about the distribution of guns.

  39. says

    How does he possibly think reducing the options for escape will help? Did he not see the news story about the Siberian shopping mall that ended up killing dozens of people because emergency exits were locked?

  40. What a Maroon, living up to the 'nym says

    I’m waiting for the Republican politician to takes things to their obvious conclusion and proposes that the only way to stop school shootings is by outlawing schools.

    Well, they closed quite some of them when SCOTUS told them they had to allow black kids there….

    In fairness, it was mostly Democrats doing it back then. Of course their ideological descendants have mostly joined the gop.