In light of recent violent attacks against public schools and college settings, lawmakers have questioned whether having designated officials carry guns on campus would help reduce violence.
In an informal survey of 20 students, 14 said they do not believe campus security at the University of La Verne should carry guns, while six agreed that they should.
“This isn’t a prison,” Greg Amaya, freshman movement and sports science major, said. “I think we’re pretty safe here.”
The majority of students surveyed felt ULV is a safe place and providing guns to campus security would be unnecessary.
“I think it’s dangerous,” Marie Renteria, senior behavioral science major, said. “People who have guns can have aggressions and carry that aggression to someone.”
Another reason why students deem guns on campus unnecessary is because the police department is across the street.
Eric Espinoza, junior movement and sports science major, finds armed security would be needless measure towards recent high-profile gun violence cases.
“It’s an overreaction. It’s been happening for years,” Espinoza said. “It’s pretty ludicrous to have guns in general in any public and private place.”
Daniel Aguaye, junior movement and sports science major, said that instead of investing in guns, tasers should be used because they are less dangerous.
Students shared a similar opinion in regards to armed weapons in public schools such as elementary schools and high schools.
“If you want to protect your kids from guns, you shouldn’t have guards with armed guns in front of them,” said Tori Moreno, senior anthropology major.
Stricter screenings on who they let inside was a suggested alternative to having armed weapons in public schools.
“I know things happen but they should have better security in front,” Diana Pena, freshman biology major, said.
On the other hand, a couple of other students surveyed believe that ULV and public schools should have armed security to increase safety.
“If the whole country has the right to bear arms they (security) should have the right to prevent anything,” said Cody Yeo, junior movement and sports science major.
Holding a job as a security guard should not be a guarantee to be allowed to carry a gun, freshman biology major Marina Youngblood said.
“Each individual should have a license,” Youngblood said.
Security guards should go through psychological evaluations before they are given an armed weapon to prevent another Chris Dorner situation, she said.
Others were against the idea of guns in ULV, but believed they are necessary in some public schools.
“I think it depends where the school is,” freshman business major David Betancourt said.
Betancourt and two others that were surveyed said only areas with high crime rates, such as Los Angeles, should be allowed to have guns in public schools. Something both sides agree on is that guns on campus would change the school setting either to a hostile or safer environment.
“It wouldn’t create a real impact, that’s my opinion,” professor of sociology Ernie Thomson said.
Thomson believes that armed weapons on campus would not provoke anybody to respond in a violent attack.
“They’re not a response to anything immediate,” he said.
If security would carry armed weapons the students would not even be aware of it, Thomson said.
In Thomson’s opinion, if campus security began carrying guns neither an increase in violence or security would be promoted.
Mariela Patron can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.