Thursday, September 10, 2009

Arming Students with Defense Weapons

- By: ROCK

April 16, 2007 changed the face of the security of our college campuses forever. The terrible tragedy at Virginia Tech

redefined our views of student safety while they are on campus. It has also raised some questions. Could this have been

prevented? Could crimes against students on campus be prevented? What steps can the administration of the universities take

to ensure the safety of their students? Should students be allowed to be proactive and carry pepper spray, stun guns, air

Tasers or Taser guns while on campus? What ramifications could a measure such as this have in the level of violence already

occurring on campus?

While security may not necessarily need to be increased, it definitely does need some modification. Security personnel should

be trained in many different emergency situations. Preparation is the key and if security personnel know how to react to

emergency situations, they are trained to handle an armed intruder on campus, then perhaps some campus violence can be

averted. Students could also be trained to handle some situations. Classes in self defense and crime prevention for students

and professors could also help.

Another measure that should be considered is allowing students to defend themselves with certain types of weapons or devices.

This is not to say that firearms should be allowed on campus, although in some states, such as Louisiana, the only place that

firearms are not allowed is in the dorms. But allowing students to carry pepper spray or stun guns could help in preventing

some of the violent crime that occurs on our college campuses.

At this time, much of campus security is up to the university. The university determines what security measures are allowed

on campus and which are banned. Perhaps placing Taser guns or pepper spray in the hands of students would help. Although

violent crime is minimal on college campuses, according to federal government statistics, there are some burglary, rape, and

assault occurrences on campuses. Allowing students to have some means of protection other than an aluminum bat or club,

pepper spray, or stun guns could be a way for students to stave off violent situations, and it could deter violent crime

making it nearly non existent.

If the security measures are not taken and students take it upon themselves to be armed (other than firearms) and they use

these devices, such as pepper spray, stun gun or air Tasers to defend themselves against an attack on campus, what

consequences, if any, should they face? In the face of many college campuses' stance on zero tolerance, a violation of any

rules that would be in place regarding having such devices on campus could result in expulsion or suspension, regardless of

whether or not the device saved the student's life or averted an attack.

In many states it is illegal to carry firearms on campus and even in those states where the state law to bear arms may

supersede any ban on firearms on campus, the on campus security should still be enhanced. Installing metal detectors could be

an answer on smaller campuses, but on larger campuses with numerous buildings could be costly in both equipment and operation

as well as manpower to operate the detectors. It is simply not cost efficient and is very likely to incur an increase in

tuition in an effort to absorb the costs. Perhaps allowing students to carry pepper spray, stun guns, and Taser guns could be

an answer in at least cutting down campus crime.

April 16, 2007 changed the face of the security of our college campuses forever. The terrible tragedy at Virginia Tech

redefined our views of student safety while they are on campus. It has also raised some questions. Could this have been

prevented? Could crimes against students on campus be prevented? What steps can the administration of the universities take

to ensure the safety of their students? Should students be allowed to be proactive and carry pepper spray, stun guns, air

Tasers or Taser

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