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 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 School, Appalachian School of Law, Sullivan 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.