Armed Citizens Can Enhance Campus Security

Yesterday we looked at an article that viewed campus carry as a huge liability. Today I am here to discuss campus carry as an asset. So let’s look at ways armed citizens can enhance Campus security and safety.

Awareness

The majority of people who carry tend to pay attention to their surroundings, they know how to recognize pre-attack indicators, and may (preferably should) even know how to recognize potential threats in the form of mass-shooters or terrorists. They are also more likely to report suspicious activity to the proper authorities. Contrary to popular myth those with permits tend to not view themselves as one man SWAT teams.

Assistance

First I’ll reiterate that armed citizens are not supposed to be SWAT teams. That said they can be a useful resource to Police in numerous instances. If they witness a crime they can use their observation skills to gather information for the Police while alerting them to the issue. Preferably without putting themselves at risk.

If in the rare event there is an attack on Campus, armed citizens can protect those in their immediate area. This means sheltering or evacuating with the rest of the people in their area and only responding to an imminent threat if Law Enforcement is not in a position to immediately handle it. This is similar to the response John Parker Jr. made during the Umpqua attack in Oregon.

Finally armed citizens may be able to provide medical assistance in the case of a mass casualty event. I’ve long been an advocate of armed citizens getting trauma care training in case they or someone with them gets severely injured. Naturally it would be nice if more than armed citizens were able to help, but I feel they in particular have a duty to be willing and able to.

Fostering a Spirit of Cooperation

This is a tough one as armed citizens and some Police don’t always see eye to eye. However, that does not mean that doing community outreach for each other should not be attempted. Fund raisers, BBQs, free training opportunities (remember that Trauma training I mentioned?) and more should be conducted in a effort to get to know each other and build some trust between them.

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Risk; you’re doing it wrong

A while back I saw this article and wanted to post my own take on it. Well life being what it is  (two surgeries in the space of three weeks) I’m just getting to it. I’m not going to quote the whole article, just the pieces that raised my eyebrows both as someone trained in risk management and a person who carries a firearm.

Today in America, Second Amendment rights and university security missions are seemingly at odds.” Yes, but only because we have allowed Universities to become infested with far-left control freaks who dislike America and everything it stands for.

As campuses try to apply Section 5(a)(1) of the Occupational Safety and Health Act…

Here is Section 5(a)(1) which I’ll comment on in a minute:

SEC. 5. Duties

(a) Each employer —

(1) shall furnish to each of his employees employment and a place of employment which are free from recognized hazards that are causing or are likely to cause death or serious physical harm to his employees;

…not to mention legal expectations under the Clery Act…

The Clery Act requires all colleges and universities that participate in federal financial aid programs to keep and disclose information about crime on and near their respective campuses. Compliance is monitored by the United States Department of Education, which can impose civil penalties, up to $54,789[2] per violation, against institutions for each infraction and can suspend institutions from participating in federal student financial aid programs.

How lawfully carried firearms fall under a law requiring disclosure of criminal incidents escapes me. Unless the author considers lawful concealed carry a crime?

College campuses find themselves caught between their moral responsibilities to provide a safe workplace and educational institution while respecting citizens’ right to bear arms.

I guess respecting civil rights is no longer considered a moral position? Here’s a hint: By respecting those civil rights you can actually increase safety.

From a college and workplace security perspective, the essential point of this argument is centered on the ability of colleges, universities and schools to protect students and staff and public from a threat posed by a disgruntled parent, student or employee. Such environments are, by their very nature, difficult to protect without an organizational commitment and investment and community understanding…

Guess what? Campus carry advocates are also very concerned about the safety of people on college campuses.  They can be part of the solution if you let them.

Campus Carry advocates might fail to consider that universities are often emotionally charged places, with a high population of young adults, frequent workplace disputes, high-stress classes and competition for resources – all potential causes of escalating violence, especially when on-campus housing is taken into account.

Here comes the classic “blood in the streets argument” never mind that campus carry has not been an issue where it has been implemented for years.

The state laws assume that the legally authorized licensees are not a threat…

Because they aren’t.

The argument that students or staff carrying a licensed firearm will stop or prevent violence is not true.”

I guess someone failed to do their research? Pearl High School, Parker Middle SchoolAppalachian School of LawSullivan Central High School, College Park, GA. There’s more these are either school settings or ones covered under the Clery act.

This assumption is a false sense of security. Those who cross the line of civility in pursuit of retaliation commit to methodical plans an execution process similar to the planning undertaken by terrorists. We see that methodical planning conceived in the five stages of the active shooter in describing the shooter’s mindset (Fantasy, Planning, Preparation, Approach, Implementation). The shooter does not announce or promote the event; he picks the day, time and location. Many enter the final stage of their attack planning a suicide by police; the presence of more armed civilians may not always be a deterrent to the attack taking place, as the attacker expects to be killed.

OK so if the attacker plans to be killed why would it not decrease the risk to the campus population if an armed citizen took him out sooner than having to wait long minutes or even hours for Police to respond? As we saw with the theater shooting in Colorado with some mass murderer wannabes, the potential of armed citizens can be a factor in their planning.

 

Once the author gets done with his fear mongering we get into some ideas for “dealing” with the situation. Let’s take as look at those.

 

First recommendation; Awareness. Not a bad concept, except the author again starts right in with fear mongering that students with licenses to carry will leave firearms unsecured and lack sound judgement to deal with high stress situations. He completely ignores that students old enough to get a concealed carry license are also old enough to be police officers and that even younger people may be in charge of others on battlefields overseas.

His next concern is that those who are licensed to carry won’t know how to properly interact with police during an active shooter situation. At this point I doubt he’s even bothered to go through the basic training everyone with a permit gets as this subject is at least given cursory attention. More information is freely available and specialized classes are as well, for those who can afford them (remember your ramen cookbook from college?). Note: I am not complaining about the cost of instruction, just pointing out that for most students and underpaid over worked College staff it is financially out of reach.

Second; Training. Talk to anyone with a concealed carry permit and you will find most have gotten additional training either formally or informally. Compare armed citizens to police and you will find the majority of armed citizens spend more time at the range and it shows in the results. That said very few armed citizens will turn down a chance for more training. However it should not be set up as a financial barrier to exercising their rights as is all too often the case and constitutionally dubious (remember poll taxes?).

Third recommendation; Proactive Policies and Procedures. The author’s recommendations here puzzle me. Let’s take a look: “Campus administrators and security management personnel must begin discussions around the need for the development of appropriate policies on the use of force, handling and storage of weapons, police response, personal behavior and training.” Use of force by armed citizens is already covered by law. Handling and storage of weapons is also covered by law, but they may have a little leeway on that. Police response, personal behavior and training should have already be policy if it isn’t there is a big problem.

The article ends with more unnecessary fear mongering that most campus administrators will gobble up as it confirms their own biases.

Tomorrow I’ll share my own thoughts on CWP on College campuses.

 

Saying goodbye to one of our own

While details are not and are unlikely to ever be available we lost the founder of Bearing Arms, Bob Owens yesterday who as of this writing appears to have chosen to end his life. This will have repercussions far beyond those in his immediate circle who are understandably devastated by this. However that is a fight for another day.

For now, if you can, you can help his family by donating here. You can also keep an eye on Bearing Arms as the mantle falls to Jenn Jacques who is determined to keep the lights on to honor all the good Mr. Owens did.

Notorious History Remembered

During the Civil War the South relied on arms imported from England. Among these was the Kerr revolver. This particular example is somewhat notorious because of who its owner was. Owned by none other than Jefferson Davis, he saw fit to give it away shortly before he was captured. Today it rests in the National Firearms Museum where hopefully its history and the history of that period will never be forgotten.

Concealed Carry Choices Part 1b: Hardware

When choosing a gun to protect your life with one of the most important criteria after fit is reliability. I wish I could say just go with one of these brands of guns and you’ll be fine, but the truth is even manufacturers known for producing quality firearms can let a lemon through and sometimes they’ll go through a period where most of their guns are crap.

With that said you still are much better off going with a manufacturer known for quality work. Just before to check it out thoroughly before heading to the range. I once took delivery of a new firearm from a well known manufacturer and discovered the chamber hadn’t been properly finished. Attempting to fire the gun like that would have likely resulted in catastrophic disassembly.

So before choosing a defensive firearm spend some time reading up on people’s experiences. Keep in mind that some people aren’t happy with anything and others are satisfied with a turd sandwich. One of the best places to help you get an idea of what to expect is View From The Porch written by Tamara Keel. Tam will take a firearm and document 2,000 rounds down range with no cleaning. Including stoppages, the causes and parts breakages.

Stuff I found Interesting Last week

The best revolver in the world

You can argue the point, but if you’ve ever fired a 3″ K frame (I’m also a big fan you’d know what he speaks of.

Cross Draw Holsters

Greg Ellifritz has some words to say on this method of carry.

Travis Haley on the AK reload

If you don’t know how, you should.

Myth busting: Home Defense

Ayoob busts some myths regarding home defense

Lightweight AR Build

There are many reasons why you may want lighter rather than heavier in your rifle. This is one way to do it.

Situation: Active Killer 

Things to help the armed citizen not get killed

What not to wear

Via Smallest Minority, Tam has some advice

Keeping stuff where it belongs

SWAT-T Tourniquet

Are you handling your AR rifle wrong?

Some common errors

 

Walther WA-2000 Revealed, I’m not impressed

Recently Forgotten Weapons got the chance to get their hands on the unicorn of the firearms world. The exotic Walther WA-2000. This is a rifle a lot of people would love to own. Like Inara Serra in Firefly it is Exotic, Beautiful and Deadly. However after watching the videos shot by Forgotten Weapons I realized that in spite of it’s exotic beauty this 1980s era Police Sniper Rifle isn’t all that special.

What really drove this point home was when they pitted the WA-2000 against the SVD Dragunov. The two rifles in spite of their huge differences in design, intended mission and quality control ran a much closer comparison than I would have expected. I figured the $9000 (1980s MSRP) Walther would have walked away from a much cheaper to produce (actual cost not available) Dragunov.

Other than its bullpup design the WA-2000 offers nothing to anyone looking for a semi-automatic precision rifle that they couldn’t get for less cost, more accuracy and more flexibility from a system designed by Eugene Stoner. Yes, that does include a rifle that shoots .300 Winchester Magnum if you think you could use it. So even though the WA-2000 is definitely a seductive piece of machinery, there are in my opinion better options.