Old Snark's Guide to Practical Academic Barricades
It occurred to me that whilst the More Gun Control!/Less Gun Control! debate rages, and the copycat campus threats proliferate, perhaps a more immediate, completely legal in all states for all ages option would be nice to improve one's chances for survival should one of the threats prove to be both words *and* action. Hacking through the media verbiage with the machete of Truth, we find that there was a much higher survival rate among the VT students that were able to successfully blockade their classroom doors while the nutcase rampaged. Thus, the ability to do the same, should the need arise, is a Good Thing.
OK, kids! All we need for this exercise is one (1) standard academic doorway, and a slender, solid object (several sheets of paper, hardbound book binding, iPod Shuffle, a few credit/library cards ... you get the idea). Now, your standard academic doorway is a) usually built to a standard suitable for bull elephant pens, since your standard academic student can cause just about as much damage over the years, and b) opens *inward*, because your standard academic student is usually so eager to escape the confines of the classroom that they tend not to check that the hallway is clear first.
Stand inside the classroom, facing the door. Have a buddy stand outside with a water pistol. (NOTE! Get permission from your parents first! ALL guns are dangerous, m'kay?) Close the door. Observe the gap between the very sturdy door (see point a. above) and the door frame (usually metal, see point a. above) along the side with the hinges. Stuff the gap as full as you can with the paper/iPod Shuffle/library cards. One location will do; you don't need to fill the entire hinge length for this to work. Now, have your buddy try and open the door and squirt you with the water pistol. Hurray! No squirting! (And it doesn't matter how much the nutcase shoots at the lock, since you didn't lock it.) Note that this technique is quite suitable for the those physically or morally incapable of moving a heavy desk, and is quick. All you need is paper and if you can't find any in a classroom, you are doing something wrong. Or attending Evergreen. (But I repeat myself ...)
Snarkatron is not responsible for any damage to iPod Shuffles.
Update: Oh look. Another gun-free zone in action.
Yet Another Update: After reading Kat's comment I tried this trick at home (remember, kids, trust but verify!) and I could not get it to work. Apparently there is enough difference in home vs. academic door design -- but this opens the possibility there is variation in academic door design that might cause acute disappointment in a crucial time. I'd check wherever possible -- and if that trick doesn't work, go for the old sneaker jammed under the door. *Somebody* in the room will be wearing shoes, and the sole will grip on slick surfaces like linoleum. Anyway, major point being you have more defensive options than you might think.