There is a plethora of articles, discussion threads and other resources that presume to give advice on the issue of floor loading with heavy gun safes. Some of them even provide professional engineering counsel, even if they don’t say so. For instance, some articles I have seen mention the typical and customary floor design loading limit of 40 pounds per square foot (PSF) and then opine something like “but even though the load for a safe is concentrated in a small space, since the total [read more]
According to one of the “experts.” Here is his brief resume.
Thomas Nolan, a lecturer at Tufts, spent 27 years as a Boston police officer before earning an Ed.D. from Boston University. When he was with the Boston Police Department, Nolan was a member of the elite mobile operations patrol unit and worked in the Youth Violence Strike Force. He ended his law enforcement career as a lieutenant and shift commander in the patrol division. He taught criminal justice at Boston University from 2004 to 2011, and then was a senior policy and program analyst at the Department of Homeland Security’s Office for Civil Rights and Civil Liberties in Washington, D.C. This fall he taught a course in the Experimental College called Forensic Behavioral Analysis.
Ooooo . He’s an expert, so let’s hear him in his own words, inteview format.
Tufts Now: What was your experience with guns as a police officer?
Thomas Nolan: If you are hired as a police officer in Massachusetts, you cannot carry a gun until you have at least 80 hours of training and have fired 1,000 rounds, so you have become intimately acquainted with that weapon. But for the general public in most of the country, no training is required. I can sell you a gun at a gun shop, and I have no idea if you can shoot it or what you want to do with it. It’s like selling someone an iPod.
[ … ]
What about the rest of the country?
When I worked for the Department of Homeland Security and traveled to many places around the country, when the topic of guns came up, I would ask trainees how many did not have a gun and no hands went up. In many places, people seem to feel there is an obligation that you have to protect yourself against some kind of attack from intruders, whoever they think that might be. And some people who are extremists have the mindset that this is the only way we have to protect ourselves from the federal government coming into our lives and communities and taking over everything, including their guns. Of course, that’s a crazy, irrational thought. But don’t be surprised to see a rush on buying weapons soon, because the topic will come up in Congress and people fear there will be a ban.
Some say if more people had guns, they could prevent such mass murders as occurred in Newtown or in the Aurora movie theater shootings, because an armed person could kill the murderer.
If we armed people, the carnage would increase exponentially. Take the Aurora movie theater shootings, for example. If we had people in the audience who were armed, it’s safe to assume there would be an exchange of gunfire, but it would not necessarily result in the death of the shooter, who in this case had on body armor.
So let’s stop and examine what he has said. First of all, the shooter in Colorado was not wearing body armor. Period. He is communicating myth that he has heard over news networks. The shooter was wearing a tactical vest, but it didn’t include soft armor or hard plates. And if he had been, how does it make the police more qualified to deal with it anyway?
Oh yea. There’s the issue of training. You know, only the police are qualified enough with their firearm to be competent to carry one. They have fired 1000 rounds with their issued weapon. Except that I have fired many more than 1000 rounds with every one of my weapons. So according to Nolan, it’s better if a moviegoer simply sits in his chair and hopes that he isn’t shot! Literally, it’s better to allow a shooter to pick off people like ducks in a shooting gallery than it is to attempt to stop him by an armed citizen. Leave the shooter alone, says he.
But we’ve dealt with this before, although with statistics.
I am not willing to concede at all that a concealed carrier would be so ineffective against someone trying to take his life. But for the sake of argument, let’s stipulate his case, or worse. Let’s assume that a law enforcement officer would be 30% effective against a shooter, that a shooter in a crowded place would be no more than 25% effective with his shot placement, and worst of all, that a concealed carrier would be no more than 20% effective.
Terry’s argument is this: I am willing to subject my family to a shooter at 25% effectiveness for the duration of time it takes a LEO (at 30% effectiveness) to arrive on the scene, usually 10 – 15 minutes, rather than have a concealed carrier attempt to deal with the shooter at 20% effectiveness, because of the fact that a concealed carrier might also harm me or my family just like the police might harm me or my family.
It’s worse than nonsense. It’s irresponsible nonsense. But hey, whoever said that I am not easy to get along with. If I’m ever in this situation with Terry’s family and I have gotten my own out of harm’s way, I will oblige Terry’s edict. I’ll leave the shooter alone for Terry to deal with unarmed. As they say … as you wish.
Finally, Mr. Nolan is only saying that the threat of home invasions is crazy and irrational because it’s never happened to him or his family. And because he hasn’t read my articles, where I detailed some six and then nineteen home invasions that were easily found over the course of several minutes of searching. And … Mr. Nolan is only saying what he is about home invasions because he doesn’t care about the safety of you or your family, caring more about his own ideological and political views. That’s how the entire article should be studied, if you study it at all. In fact, that’s the way you should treat all such diatribes. These guys aren’t experts. They’re just political hacks masquerading as researchers, and so are the people who print this piffle.