The Pacific Index

Student discusses CPS’s current non-use of firearms

Erika Vives

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On an average day, 93 people in the United States are killed by guns. In one year, there are nearly 12,000 homicides involving them. 62 percent of suicides in the United States are caused by them. Guns. They are talked about frequently but not frequently enough. These statistics accounted for by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) as well as FBI collection data are not the only numbers, either.

Around seven children and teens under the age of 19 are killed per day by firearm related incidents and 50 women are killed monthly. Black men are 14 times more likely than white men to be shot and killed by guns. America’s gun homicide rate is more than 25 times the average of other developed countries.

These numbers are clearly alarming but the United States continues to let such incidents happen on a daily basis. America has a clear obsession with fi rearms. What are the rights of gun owners? Who should and should not own them? What should concealed carry laws entail? Should concealed carry exist? More importantly, what lines of employment should be able to carry firearms on the job?

All across college campuses public safety officers patrol University’s big and small to ensure that the campus is safe and operations are running smoothly. Currently, most United States campuses are gun-free zones. There are 9 states, however, that do permit concealed carry which includes the state of Oregon. Of those states that allow concealed carry, its not uncommon to see officers bearing arms. In fact, according to the Bureau of Justice, in the 2011-12 school year more than two-thirds of over 900 universities with a population of more than 2,500 students had sworn police offi cers to provide services on campus.

At Pacific, Campus Public Safety (CPS) does not carry firearms. With the current standards CPS has to uphold, allowing officers to carry them would not be entirely beneficial. In a recent study conducted by Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, 85 shootings on U.S. college campuses from January 2013 to June 2016 were identified. Of those shootings, only two involved a rampage shooter and the majority of firearm related incidents were caused by disputes between individuals that escalated to gun violence.

Suicides were also a common gun related issue when firearms were brought onto a campus setting. Allowing campus safety to carry guns would be an unnecessary precaution and has the potential to do more harm. In fact, there are many isolated instances in the United States that end in unnecessary deaths on or near college campuses. With the majority of violence and gun related issues on campus having to do with individual disputes and self harm, there are better ways to deescalate situations without the use of a firearm.

Pacific is unique in that it lies directly across the street from the Forest Grove Police Department (FGPD). Being that it is extremely close to campus is all the more reason guns for CPS would not be a necessity. In cases of emergency, FGPD can be on campus in a matter of minutes. Although the use of firearms in some situations continue to cause problems, Universities can work together to patrol campuses successfully without bearing arms.

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Student discusses CPS’s current non-use of firearms