EDITORIAL: Concealed carry fight distracts from common sense policy reform
The topic of carrying concealed firearms at public universities is loaded, but self defense extends beyond handguns.
While groups such as Students for Concealed Carry hold symbolic empty holster displays on campus to protest a perceived lack of firearm rights, under the current university weapons policy the possession of pepper spray constitutes an identical offense to the possession of a gun.
The consequences for possession of the vaguely termed “dangerous chemicals” by students are grave, according to the current University Weapons Policy, “Any student violating this rule shall be subject to suspension or dismissal.”
The policy is not limited to students. It goes on to state “Employees are subject to discipline up to and including discharge. Others may be subject to banning from campus and arrest for trespass.”
While the fight over concealed carry, especially on the grounds of a public institution, is fraught with legal and moral complications on both sides, there seems to be no justifying a ban on the non-lethal pepper spray available “over the counter” to consumers.
The work done by Sexual Aggression Peer Advocates and other students to create a zero-tolerance atmosphere when it comes to any kind of sexual assault should and has been widely applauded, but assaults and robberies are not unknown on our campus despite the best efforts of students, administrators and the Central Michigan University Police Department.
The potential harm of allowing students to carry pepper spray on campus is more than outweighed by its potential to even the fight between an assailant and an unsuspecting victim.
The worst that is likely to happen from the misuse of pepper spray would be pranks gone awry or accidental discharge. And while these experiences would be extremely painful, they would be much less so than the violent crime pepper spray and other less-than-lethal forms of self defense could prevent.
Should CMU be more concerned with protecting students from themselves than from attackers?
The fact of the matter is many students already carry pepper spray on themselves, despite regulations otherwise. It’s not surprising — the potential benefits far outweigh risk of suspension.
While guns and other lethal weaponry are a matter all their own, allowing students to carry self-defense items such as pepper spray is an opportunity for common sense to reign at CMU.
Leave a Comment
Like us on Facebook
- : no, this girl is insane. i went to high school with her. she…
- irish8517: While rate my professors is a valuable tool it should be tak…
- michmediaperson: Shapiro is wrong. Isn't RateMyProfessor, the report card st…
- Kellie: We miss miss you Carolyn. You still are remember on the socc…
- anonymous: I know this girl was in the wrong, but, put yourself in her …
• Is your baby graduating CMU? Place a personal greeting and photo in CM Life's Baby Graduates special pages. Download the form here
• Contact local movers in Mount Pleasant to help with all of your moving needs.
• Download Campus Cash Coupons!
• Search for local apartments
• Add your link here