URI Police Respond to Report Of Gunman Armed With Pepper Spray
On April 4, a lone gunman was reportedly wandering around the University of Rhode Island in Kingston. Of course, campus police responded, but there was a problem. They weren't carrying firearms. No gunman was found, but if this had turned into a violent incident, URI campus police would've been helpless to stop the perpetrator. They were able to secure Chaffee Hall, where the alleged gunman was, from the outside with their arsenal of batons and pepper spray, but had to wait until the arrival of armed state police to conduct a room-by-room search.
This incident shouldn't give any student at the university, or residents in the surrounding community, peace of mind. These are the consequences of Rhode Island trying to "exemplify non-violence." But unfortunately, violent criminals aren't stopped by disarming law-abiding citizens.
A professor at the URI's Center for NonViolence and Peace Studies states:
"There is no clear research evidence or any scientific studies that would support the proposed policies of arming police as a way of increasing security and safety for students at the university of RI. In fact entire countries such as the UK have demonstrated that community policing without weapons of deadly force can be effective in keeping the public safe."
Josiah Ryan of Campus Reform wrote on April 5 that armed police were still arriving up to twenty minutes after the incident was reported. Is URI saying that a would-be attacker should have a twenty minute head start because of the UK's allegedly superior policing methods? I hope they're not talking about the knitted pom-poms UK police hung from trees to "help reduce the fear of crime." Note to liberals, not everything from Europe is a good idea.
The old mindset centered on schools being de facto sanctuaries from the brutal reality from the outside world. With Columbine, West Nickel Mines, and Newtown, that is no longer the case. Schools should have armed guards, campus police should be allowed to carry firearms, and students should be able to do so as well. Furthermore, this isn't a controversial initiative.
Back in February, the Newtown Board of Education approved armed guards in their school district. In other words, they adopted a measure advocated by the National Rifle Association. In January, Chris Cillizza of the Washington Post wrote,
"[A] majority (55 percent) of Americans in the poll support the idea of putting an armed guard in every school in the country, including 65 percent of Republicans, 53 percent of independents and 52 percent of Democrats."
This isn't a partisan issue, and some states have abandoned their policies of disarmament.
Recently, Colorado proposed a ban on concealed carry firearms on their college campuses. It fizzled out after state Sen. Rollie Heath (D-Boulder), the bill's sponsor, decided to kill it. The debate surrounding this legislation came under scrutiny when state Sen. Evie Hudak (D-Westminister) told Amanda Collins, a rape victim, that the "statistics are not on her side even if [she] had a gun." Collins was raped in 2007 at the University of Nevada-Reno, and state law prohibited students from carrying firearms on campus.