Public safety shouldn’t carry arms

Bryan Lipiner

I don’t like guns.

I don’t believe that any person at any time should be able to purchase a gun. I don’t go for the saying “Guns don’t kill people. People kill people.”

While school shootings have been on the rise over the past few years, putting more firearms into play is not the answer. Many school shootings have started with guns being misplaced, and later falling into the wrong hands. The last thing we need is more guns.

When the university announced that it would be arming Public Safety officers last semester, I felt uneasy. I’ve always hated guns, and struggle to find any positives in owning or possessing one. At the same time, I understood that the university decision was precautionary; especially after the Sandy Hook shootings and various others school shootings that have taken place since that December day.

The number of guns owned by American civilians is staggering. According to, it is estimated that Americans own between 270,000,000 and 310,000,000 total firearms. It’s also noted in a 2012 survey that approximately 34 percent of American households owned one or more guns.

The thought of having firearms on campus nauseates me, especially when there are safer, yet efficient, options available for Public Safety.

Rather than arming officers with guns, why not instead use electroshock weapons? Such weapons are non-lethal, and would not pose a serious threat if they were to fall into the wrong hands. Stun guns, such as the brand name Taser, can fire charges from up to 35 feet away. Electroshock weapons can be just as beneficial as firearms, yet are far safer and carry fewer risks.

Although they can only be used at closer ranges, options such as tear gas and pepper spray are also safer alternatives to firearms. Such weapons are also non-lethal, yet can be effective in the right situation.

The military should own guns, as it is constantly fighting around the world to protect our country. Police officers as well, as they serve to protect our community. But campus police officers? That feels like a push.