I am going to probably draw a lot of ire for this opinion, but I believe Police and Safety should be able to carry firearms. Not just Tasers, but actual, lethal force firearms. My reason: I prefer low body counts. Let’s use the real-world example of someone trying to come on to the campus to inflict harm to members of the student body, like some of the instances that have occurred in the past. Now, let’s say that members of Police and Safety come across this incident and that the offender is harmed with a firearm. Two ways this occurrence can end:
1: Police and Safety is unarmed. The offender sees Police and Safety officers and chooses to fire upon them. The batons they currently wield are useless and they are left with the option to either wait until he runs out of ammunition to respond, during which time he could kill multiple people, or run out into the line of fire and risk getting themselves killed in addition to whomever the offender came to harm. Either way, the body count is unacceptable.
2: Police and Safety is armed. The offender sees Police and Safety officers with their weapons drawn and aimed at him. He is left with the option of surrender before harming anyone, or trying to fire upon them and having them shoot him. Either way, he is neutralized with minimal injury and/or loss of life.
I don’t know if the readers have noticed that Mercyhurst isn’t exactly closed off from the rest of the world. There are threats which can, and have come onto this campus in recent years.
Since members of the student body cannot carry firearms, I’d prefer that the men who are paid to protect us from these threats should be able to use deadly force if needed. It would be a deterrent for anyone who thinks they can just walk on campus and harm the student population. It does us no good to pretend that there are none who wish to harm us. “It does the sheep no good to agree on a policy of vegetarianism when the wolf disagrees.”