Good Security vs. Bad Police Work Apr 18, 2007 4:29:37 GMT -5
Post by tcrashfx on Apr 18, 2007 4:29:37 GMT -5
Avoiding wrong conclusions after the Virginia Tech massacre.
By Eli Lehrer
By Eli Lehrer
The tragic mass shootings that killed over 30 and wounded at least as many at Virginia Tech earlier today will doubtless shine a bright light on university campus security around the country. More likely than not, groups will make predictable calls for things they support anyway: Colleges will demand more money to subsidize campus security, gun-control proponents will jump at an excuse to grab firearms, and gun-control opponents will call for stronger measures to let people defend themselves. Although the gun-rights advocates have an important point, the real tragedy at Virginia Tech appears to have stemmed from bad police work. Avoiding it will require a reassessment of the role campus police play.
Campuses don’t need more security. Although simply reassuring the student body probably will require some beefed up security in the short run, neither Virginia Tech nor any other college campus needs to make any long term commitment on the basis of this shooting. Like most college campuses, Virginia Tech is safe. In 2005, the last year for which data are available, the campus had no murders, forcible thefts, or aggravated assaults. Almost no cities of 25,000, Virginia Tech’s student enrollment, ever have had a year that safe. Despite a single horrific day nothing fundamental has changed.
Virginia Tech already has ample gun control and it didn’t stop the shooting. Although the State of Virginia itself has rather liberal concealed firearms laws, Virginia Tech’s Campus Code of Conduct (See section V.W.) already bans all real firearms, BB guns, and even fencing foils. Other than police and members of the University’s ROTC program, nobody can even possess any weapons on the Virginia Tech campus already. No free country has weapons laws as severe as Virginia Tech’s.