Unarmed police aren’t much different than security guards at a mall. Sure, they might have arrest powers, but if the suspects don’t feel like being arrested, things can go sideways very quickly.
But unarmed cops aren’t really a thing most of us will run into outside of a university.
They still have arrest powers, and most of their jurisdiction deals with pretty minor things like underage drinking or thefts.
Yet they might also have to deal with something like a mass shooting.
Despite this, at some universities, there’s strong opposition to arming campus police. At George Washington University, though, that didn’t matter all that much.
George Washington University will begin arming some of its police officers this fall amid objections by some students and faculty that the move will “harm” the campus community.
But citing “rising gun violence,” administrators stated giving their police officers firearms is the only way to effectively protect the campus.
On Monday, the university said two executive supervisory officers from the GWU Police Department will be armed, and more will join them in the future if all goes well, according to a campus news release.
The ultimate plan, administrators said, is to arm about 20 of the 50 campus officers, The College Fix reported in April. Each armed officer will receive extensive training, including in implicit bias.
“This is an attack on black and brown students,” the progressive campus group Students Against Imperialism wrote on Instagram in a post announcing the protest. “This is an attack on the poor and the working class. This is an attack on DC residents, who will almost certainly be brutalized by an armed GWPD.”
Of course, there’s no evidence presented to defend this argument. It’s a typical anti-cop smear, and while there are problems in any department, the idea that the university police will universally be bad doesn’t seem to be supported by any facts.
Plus, at least one law professor there has his head screwed on straight.
Responding to the announcement, GWU Law School Professor John Banzhaf said in a news release most universities arm all their campus police, and “deranged-shooter-on-campus situations elsewhere have had to be resolved by the use of deadly force.”
Banzhaf said there is no evidence protesters’ “naïve,” “Kumbaya” suggested responses to violence – such as “nonviolent communication” and “bystander intervention skills” – will protect students.
Banzhaf is absolutely correct.
It’s funny because so many of the people who are opposing this will also scream to the top of their lungs about school shootings; about how they’re scared they’ll be gunned down on their way to class. Meanwhile, they want the people who can respond fastest to a shooting on their campus to be disarmed.
Right. Because mass shooters are notorious for putting down their firearms when spoken to in a stern voice or something.
Give me a break.
The university is right to arm its cops. It’s right to take the necessary steps to keep its students and faculty safe, even if the idiots on campus don’t see it that way.