Saturday, November 17, 2007

librarians are sheeple too!

I had an interesting conversation with another librarian yesterday. She was joking around about how if a "crazy person with a gun" (as opposed to us non-crazies, huh?) came into the building we should tell them to take it up with the director and point them toward her office.

I said, seriously, "If a gunman comes into the library, I am gone. I already have a plan to get out of the building. I'm running for it." The reference desk is nowhere near the front door, so I like to tell myself I'd have a chance. On the other hand, someone with a grudge against "that mean little librarian" might save his rage until he got up to my desk. (try not to dwell on that one...I do.)

She seemed shocked. She was surprised that I'd have that reaction, that I wouldn't stay and assist the patrons in their escape. I laughed. When I am legally allowed to carry a concealed weapon (soon!), I will not be allowed to do so at work. My only defense is running. They don't pay me nearly enough to stick around.


Sebastian said...

My plan is to seek cover and return fire.

comatus said...

Good plan, unless you're forbidden by law to have anything to return fire with.

There cannot be a hard and fast rule on what to do. Cover has worked for me before in the wide open, but cover inside a building often means "hiding," and in a nut-case scenario, that's surrender. Making an armed stand looks better on paper, too, unless you make yourself a moving target, or really trust that stack of books you're carrying.

Roberta X said...

I'm good with running away, but it hasn't worked well for me in the past. The goblins can run, too.

From time to time, one might make arrangements for one's own security about which one does not speak; things ranging from finding and keeping clear a good path or arranging actual bullet-stopping cover (as opposed to concealment) to whatever. "Those who know, do not say; those who say, do not know," as the old saw has it.

Now, if I was working in a library, I might wonder if the fellows ot Box'o'Truth had done any experments on the bullet-proofing capabilities of books.

Sebastian said...

In most cases a workplace isn't going to be forbidden by law. Most are by policy, but I've never felt any obligation to pay attention to policy. A library is in Ohio because Ohio's carry law is ridiculous, unfortunately. But I can't say I've always honored the carry restrictions that are prevalent in many states either.

Sevesteen said...

CCW isn't a legal option in an Ohio public library. Chances are my reaction would be the same as yours, Breda. Under some circumstances, I might use my 250 lbs to advantage to tackle the gunman, but I don't know ahead of time what those circumstances are.

comatus said...

Roberta, there was a big news splash (for about 20 minutes) last year when a school administrator (ISTR Oklahoma) stated that there had, in fact, been studies done on the bullet-stopping ability of books ("Pen Still Mightier, Board Prez Sez"), and that he believed school children should be trained to use them as a last resort. The minions, of course, were scandalized. You're supposed to beg. Hard-bounds make an imposing weapon in themselves--but I'll bet I don't have to tell you that. I can see Breda inviting us pistoleros to her Book Range and getting Bonus Points for that too.

Sevesteen, I reckon it a good thing that people with some bulk see it as a calling. It's complicated, though and I'm sure you've thought this through before. Mind & body have conditions One, Two and Three just as firearms do, and to count on being either useful or alive in a physical confrontation, you have to train even harder than you do with a pistol. Cocked and locked, you're not as much fun to be around: one reason why people in the professions of protection are usually under stress, and always under suspicion. And need to be, I suppose.