We all have a right to defend ourselves, and our ability to do so effectively is improved when we have access to adequate tools: weapons. However, even though carrying weapons on a school campus isn’t expressly forbidden, it still seems to be a bit of a taboo.
Pierce should not deprive its students of such effective accouterments and allow the possession of weapons on campus.
Now, this isn’t to say that Pierce should become the Wild West and let students walk the campus toting guns and knives out in the open. No. The college could establish reasonable restrictions on what weapons are appropriate to carry on school grounds.
These restrictions can borrow from California’s laws on weapons, and should make limitations more stringent in some cases. The Pierce campus could forbid the carry—concealed or otherwise—of all firearms on campus and possession of non-folding knives. Leave the lethal force to the campus sheriffs.
For students, this would leave non-lethal weapons such as small cans of pepper spray and stun guns available for use in self-defense and personal protection. The fact that these weapons couldn’t be used to kill (without considerable effort) should keep the students who choose not to carry protection at ease—they wouldn’t have to look at their peers sideways, wondering if the privileges given by the college made for dozens of potential active shooters.
Allowing these weapons would lend to the safety of students both on and off campus. Students who travel to school via public transportation, or by foot, through less-than-savory areas, would be able to carry protection during their commute to and from Pierce.
Though the campus isn’t known for being dangerous, no-one can ever be too certain in the evenings.
Whodini said “the freaks come out at night.” Those who go to Pierce for night classes can feel more secure if given the liberty to carry something to defend themselves against said freaks.
These suggestions aren’t forwarded with the thought that the entire Pierce student body should become some sort of vigilante corps looking for trouble to heroically tase and pepper spray. Students who would choose to carry protection should do so responsibly and only with the intention of defending themselves against danger.
To ensure that giving students the liberty to carry protection doesn’t inadvertently (and ironically) create an unsafe environment, Pierce could introduce classes that teach effective methods of self-defense and the proper use of tools such as tasers and pepper spray.
After all, knowledge is power. Weapons are just insurance.