Here in Michigan, students are not allowed to carry weapons onto college campuses. Of course, this brings up many arguments and hypothetical situations that could require firearms to be allowed by students. So what do the campus police forces think about allowing guns on campuses?
Chief Leo Mioduszewski of Saginaw Valley State University is against having guns allowed on colleges. There are places where weapons won’t be at all productive and that includes schools and universities. Whether it’s staff members or students who are carrying, Chief Mioduszewski says that guns are best when left to law enforcement.
“They [students and staff] are not trained to take somebody’s life,” Chief Mioduszewski states. In Michigan, only one form of training class is required for citizens to carry concealed weapons, in the chief’s opinion, that is not enough. Taking someone else’s life is mentally draining and sticks with a person forever.
While school shootings definitely do still happen, even at the collegiate level, they don’t happen very often. Most of the time they get a lot of press and that’s why it seems like we hear about these horrific events so much. Chief Leo mentions that the chances of these shootings happening are very slim and that is not a reason to allow firearms to be allowed on college campuses.
“The chances of a university having something like that [active shooter] are pretty slim. But the chances of somebody having an accidental discharge and hurting somebody are much higher,” Chief Mioduszewski says. The negative outcomes of having firearms allowed on campuses outweigh the positive outcomes that could go hand-in-hand with guns on campuses.
Allowing guns in colleges, either carried by students or staff, also puts campus police forces in a tough position. Should someone come onto a college campus with intent to do harm, the officers are trained to handle these sorts of situations. Students and staff are not. In addition, if an officer responds to an active shooter situation, they can’t fully depend on eyewitness descriptions to be accurate. The officers will have to make that split second decision when they get to the locations of the situation and see more than one person with a gun. If an officer were to take down the wrong person he or she could be sued or even worse, in addition to the actual active shooter getting away.
Police Chief Robert Heighes Jr. of Eastern Michigan University feels the same way as Chief Mioduszewski.
“We have a full time police force who are trained with firearms and therefore it is not necessary for students to carry their own,” Chief Heighes states. He also agrees that staff members wouldn’t be able to mentally handle taking someone’s life. In addition, Chief Heighes agrees that situations involving guns should be left to the campus police forces, as they have gone through extensive training in that sort of thing.
It’s clear that firearms won’t benefit universities in the eyes of trained professionals. If there’s an active police force on college campuses, there is no reason for students to carry their own weapons. If a situation should call for firearms, it should be left up to the police officers who are trained more than any average citizen. When wondering why students/staff are not allowed to carry on campuses in Michigan, take into consideration the position police forces are put in when guns are brought to places where they are not productive.