September 01, 2007

Vote Yes for Armed Campus Security

In the aftermath of the Virginia Tech shootings the Iowa legislature ordered a feasability study of arming campus security at the states university's. The Dean of the University of Iowa like the other university's in the state is asking for feedback from campus leaders. At UNI Public Safety Director Dave Zarifis recommended that officers be armed but Friday night the faculty spiked his recommendation 11-3. From the Waterloo Courier:

The senate debated the issue for nearly an hour late in the afternoon as the campus emptied for the long holiday weekend. Ultimately, it decided the university would be safer if campus police did not carry guns....Several professors spoke against arming police, citing a low violent crime rate on campus, the Cedar Falls Police Department's ability to quickly respond to the campus and concerns over the impact of putting more guns on campus.

You mean there are already guns on campus? As a security officer I would feel a little naked knowing that I would be unable to defend myself or others in the event I encountered the working end of a S&W. They should have at least suggested they can have a gun but they have to keep the bullet in their pocket. It gets better, as we hear from the touchy feely wing of the faculty senate.
"This proposal is a knee jerk reaction to what happened at Virginia Tech," said religion and philosophy professor Jerry Soneson, referring to a recommendation by UNI's director of public safety to arm campus police. "We ought to be a model in how to react to social crises in a thoughtful manner." (I just get all tingly when they talk that way.) ...Social work professor Katherine van Wormer said UNI regularly rates as one of the safest campuses in the country, and murders at colleges nationwide are extremely rare. She added that (Insert Race Card Here) national statistics show African Americans are more likely to be shot by police than a white suspect. "It explains why people from the black community are very concerned about this," she said.
This is not about reacting to a "social crisis" its about the ability to react to the next mental crisis of some emotional cripple that got razzed during 9th grade dodge ball and has promised revenge on the bullies of the world ever since. There were a couple voices from the right wing radicals on the panel however.

Jerry Smith, a professor at the business school, spoke forcefully in favor of arming campus police."To me, we're more likely to have lives lost as a result of campus police not being armed, than we are if they are," (Amen professor) ... Political science professor Michael Licari didn't cast a vote as chairman of the Faculty Senate, but spoke in favor giving guns to campus police because they do the same work as municipal officers."We ask them to do the same police work as any officer in Iowa without the same tools," he said.

Under normal circumstances this issue would probably have glanced off the radar screen, but since I am now a part of the college "community" I would urge the University of Iowa to take a stronger stand on this issue than their counterparts in Cedar Falls. I have been witness to a shooting spree and there is no more helpless feeling than waiting to hear the sirens of your saviours as gunshots are filling the air. Arming security will not put students in danger and may someday save innumerable lives. Who will be the one to answer to my wife or to the parents of some slain teenager if the day comes that security does not have the means to save them. If for nothing else we need to "do this for the children"! Or better yet enact CCW in Iowa and I can have the means of protecting of myself.

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