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$5 Peephole Might Have Prevented UA Campus Shooting Death
Universities Still Not Taking Threats of Campus Shooters Seriously
This demonstrates that many if not most universities have failed to take even the simplest and least expensive precautions against the ever-growing number of murderous campus shooters, says Banzhaf.
Last week an Arizona professor was shot to death by a former student who had worked in his department and made threats against those in the building. Yet, despite this ample warning, reports that he had harassed several students on campus, and an earlier case of domestic violence - all of which led to him being barred from the campus - it appears that the simple step of installing a $5 peephole in the professor's office door was never taken.
If a peephole had been installed, the professor probably would have recognized the shooter -and/or seen the gun - and not opened the office door.
A report in the Washington Post says that "students fled classrooms and tried to barricade themselves into rooms when the university sent alerts." This suggests that UA also did not take the simple and inexpensive precaution - recommended by dozens of campus safety organizations, and costing less than $10 per door - of insuring that every classroom can be locked in the event that an active shooter comes to campus.
Banzhaf persuaded his own university to not only install locks on every classroom doors, but to insure that each could be locked from the inside; since few professors would be willing to venture into a hall, once an active shooter alert is sent out, to lock his classroom from the outside - the way it used to work at Banzhaf's law school.
The professor is hardly an alarmist. In reporting on a recent Oakland school shooting which left six seriously injured, the New York Times noted that "the shooting was among more than 130 that have occurred this year at schools across the nation, including more than 30 that have resulted in injuries or deaths."
So it's long past time for universities to spend a very tiny amount from their huge tuition revenues to take a few simple and inexpensive measures to prevent - or at least reduce - the deaths, injuries, and huge legal liability judgments sure to occur as the number of school shootings continues to escalate.