Guns On Campus?

Right now, there’s about 9 guns for every 10 Americans. With the recent mass shootings across the country, the Oregon University System is moving to preemptively transform campus security officers into full-blown “sworn police”—and that means they’ll be armed with handguns.

I’m not sure how I feel about this. Having guns on a college campus doesn’t seem safe to me, no matter who has them. Last October, a kid at the University of Southern Alabama was shot dead on campus by a public safety officer. (The student was undoubtedly unarmed, considering that his crime was running completely naked around the campus police station.) When deadly weapons are involved, accidents on the part of safety officers can cost lives.


On the other hand, we need to remember that PSU is an urban campus, right in the heart of a city. 87.2% of the suspects that CPSO apprehends are prior arrestees, and 41% of those have a history of violent offending. If one of these thugs brings a gun on campus, I would want my university’s security to be equally armed and ready.


What do you think about our security officers carrying firearms?

5 thoughts on “Guns On Campus?

  1. I’m a student at the UO and we are facing a similar push to arm our campus “safety” officers. I don’t know our stats, but they can’t be anywhere as high for reoffenders and violent offenders. I don’t support our officers with guns, but I see the argument for PSU.

  2. These young men and women serving as campus security do not have the capacity nor training to be trusted with firearms – especially around teenage students who are bound to make mistakes.

    Additionally, there are no situations on campus that can be resolved by a campus safety officer’s firearm. If this issue arises, the Portland police department should be brought in to handle the situation.

    Did we also take into consideration the tuition increase it would take to arm campus safety? It’s very, very expensive. In a progressive-liberal university, this is going in the opposite direction. This is fear mongering. If a massive shooting were to happen, campus security would arrive the same time (or after) as the REAL police.

    Put on your ‘critical thinking’ caps, Portland State. There are many factors to this situation, as well as many solutions; none of them point to giving rent-a-cops firearms.

    1. That’s a pretty naive statement… look at the average response time for Portland Police and look at the rigorous training and hiring process that Campus Security must adhere to. Are you saying that Campus Police at other institutions around the world do not “have the capacity” that a city police officer does? So you trust the city of Portland to hire people, but you don’t trust the university to hire intelligent people that could responsibly use a firearm? Plus, why would there be a tuition increase for guns? The training is paid for by the state… research your laws on police training… (DPPST trains all police).

      Your statements and theories are the reason Portland is 10 steps behind the rest of the country and why PSU is not as safe as it should be…. wake up! So tell me how there are “no situations that can be resolved by a campus safety officer’s firearm? What about an armed gunman? Or an armed career criminal? Tell me why it takes 6-10 mins for the “real police” to arrive at a scene of a major even and why you ASSUME it would take campus security just as long?

      You are making a bunch of assumptions, and not looking at the real stats… your statements are based on emotion, and not on fact/stats…. Bottom line… and the stats PROVE this: An armed community is a safer community….

      Just because you go to/went to PSU… don’t mean you know the first thing about police work. What police academy did you graduate from? How many years of law enforcement do you have?

  3. Why would anyone assume that campus cops wouldn’t be trained. If you do a little research you will see that these guys/gals are already given police authority and go through a police academy just like Portland Police. Look at your average police response times to school shootings. It takes 4-8 minutes on the low end for armed officers to arrive. Why wouldn’t you want the campus officers who are already on site and who know each building layout, room numbers, parking lots, and the campus to be able to respond to help you? Right now, campus officers can do nothing but wait while a potential armed suspect is loose in a building. Portland Police could be miles away when that call for help comes out. Campus Police would always be on campus and always have a better knowledge of the campus, the community that a random city cop would.

    Plus, the campus cops know the students, know the staff/faculty, and know who belongs and who doesn’t. A city cop is going to treat everyone like a suspect since he does’t regularly work in that community. There is a reason why almost all other states have their community colleges and public universities protected by an armed police presence.

    Why doesn’t Oregon feel the need to protect it’s college communities the way other states do? Oregon colleges are a vulnerable target for any bad guy who wants to do as much damage as possible before the police arrive to confront him.

    Wake up Oregon! Let’s armed the good guys so they can protect us from the bad guys!

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