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Grand Valley State University's Beacon Since 1963, Allendale, MI
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To carry or not to carry

Apparently someone was stabbed back in September at Robinson. Apparently. See, my source is anything but reliable, and after calling the Allendale Campus Dispatch to ask about both this mysterious shanking and the sirens that had been going off all day, I was told that the first incident probably didn’t happen, and even if it did, “I cannot give you that information at this time.” As for the cause of the sirens, I “cannot get that information at this time.”

Feeling like a master of trickery, I asked my criminal justice teacher if she knew anything about a stabbing, or why police cars were speeding around in every which way near the Lake buildings.

All of this got me thinking about threats on campus.

In high school, there were always lockdown drills and although everyone was in a contained area, people were prepared, knowing to go into the nearest classroom and to hide under desks, away from windows. How would we react at Grand Valley?

There was a terrorism drill on Oct. 28 in 2004, but that was eight and a half years ago. After doing some research, I found that there is actually an organization on campus called SCCC, Students for Concealed Carry on Campus, dedicated to “changing the law and university policy with the goal of increasing campus security and returning the right of students to self-defense.”

More than a year ago, on Thursday, Jan. 19, 2012, there was a meeting involving the Grand Valley Student Senate, where they brought up the topic of students being able to carry concealed weapons on campus. After the discussion, Vice President Girminot (the first name I couldn’t find) called for a straw poll of people who were interested in making resolution of the issue: the majority was against.

As a freshman in college, I am not well versed in the subject, but as a student, I definitely have an opinion. Hell, everyone knows about the Virginia Tech shooting, so everyone should have somewhat of an opinion about it.

I can see why people would want to carry around a concealed weapon: it is an “in case of emergency” type thing. And in order to get a license to do so, a class has to be taken, so these students who would potentially have a weapon would obviously know what they are doing. But on the other hand, what would happen if someone decided not to be a good citizen, or even a decent human being? That thought scares me, and it should scare you too.

Common sense and knowledge are our biggest defenses; the issue is something that needs to be addressed and not pushed off to the side. Seeing the ample amount of security around, at first, was a little bit unnerving, but on the university’s part, it is a smart idea. Hopefully I’ve given you some food for thought. If not, sorry, try calling the campus police.

sschoch@lanthorn.com



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