As a life long Illinois resident, I was shocked and saddened by the NIU shootings yesterday in Dekalb, IL.
Realizing that this is a delicate subject, I hope that the responses are kept in the spirit of my concerns.
I searched several university websites to see what was offered in terms of campus safety and what I found was that there was no mention of what student/faculty should do if confronted with an armed assailant in the classroom.
Then I got to wondering about intel in terms of; if you publish what to do, then a potential assailant would know what to do. In other words, you basically provide a blueprint for an incident.
So, how do you send the message to those wishing to be safe? How can we make our campuses safer without interfering with the college experience and creating a "how to" for someone wishing to exact harm?
I have read so much in the past 24 hours. Some of it is emotionally charged reactions such as arming professors to arming students who have gun permits. It has been mentioned that colleges with ROTC programs could arm ROTC candidates. To me, that sounds like "wild west" thinking.
This is another situation where pre-screening will likely "miss" potential threats. It is truly a conundrum.
There is quite a bit of literature on increasing safety for responders, but as I said, there is little more than nothing for the safety of students and faculty who are confronted with an armed assailant.
Is there anyone out there who has experience with this that could offer insight?
It is a national dilemma that must be addressed.
A very dear friend of mine responded to NIU yesterday and what he described to me was bone chilling and mind boggling. To hear how he was affected by it in the aftermath; I can't imagine what it was like for the innocent young adults who were ambushed during what was suppose to be the best years of their lives.
And I will leave it at that.
Mandating a yearly proficiency test will only do 1 thing. It will make people a better shot with their firearms. Plan and simple people will find firearms to commit crimes with.
However I do think they need to review and consolidate the gun control laws. I own 3 firearms, all for hunting purposes. There would be an immense amount of issues with yearly testing. First, who pays for it? Second, whats the policy for those who fail to qualify? Take their guns away? Make them take an education class? Again my mind goes to financing.
I have just skimmed throught the posts here but I have to weigh in. I work as the Electrician for the Hospital in Dekalb. My department also performs security duties. If you have seen any of the news conferences from the NIU incident you would know that a large number of armed officers including NIU security, Dekalb city, Dekalb County, and Sycamore city were on scene in 2 to 5 minutes. The entire shooting incident took less than 2 minutes. Another point I will make . The media, I prefer to call them parasites, over glamorize incidents such as this. They were on scene within 30 minutes. This is a trick since the nearest TV station is 45 minutes away. They hounded the arriving families until they were quarantined to one section of the parking lot. They then attempted to enter the building posing as pizza delivery people, and (lowest of low)grieving family. All in the name of a story. They did not leave for the next 36 hours continuing to attempt to gain access to the hospital and the patients from the shooting. The sickness is a problem throughout our society. It occasionally rises to the top in the form of a gun incident. It scares the hell out of me , I have 3 kids at or near college age.
Unfortunately, registering gun owners isnt the answer. The killer at NIU had a valid FOID card issued to him by the Illinois State Police. I spent a year as a student at NIU in 1993-1994 before transferring to another college. Like most schools, even with electronic card locks and armed security/university police, its still pretty easy to slip into a dorm. One thing that I do think would help is to start putting these electronic locks, opened with a registered student's ID card would help. These could also be issued to faculty, staff, etc. I know that these are state schools and as such are seen as an asset to the entire state and rightly so. But lets face it. If you arent taking a class in a given building, you have absolutely no need to be there. Lets start using key cards that dont allow universal access to all buildings on campus. Sure, all students should be allowed in dining halls, student centers, sports/rec facilities. But lets link these cards to the students schedule so that it allows them into the buildings they need to be in. I ended up at a small private college in Wisconsin, but their dorms now have key cards that dont allow you in if you dont live there.
I also know the feeling of being on a campus and feeling that you are isolated from the outside world and gaining a false sense of security. In the 1950's, putting the boys and girls in separate dorms was about as secure as we needed to get as a rule. Unfortunately, those days are gone. I dont know that arming students is the way to go. Having been in college classrooms and having seen some pretty heated debates where mentally stable people do some odd things, Im not sure that CCW is the way to go.
I share your horror and sadness at this event at NIU and hope that we can start to find solutions so that college students who are in this great time in their lives where they will learn and make friends and forge lifelong relationships like no other time in their lives dont have to be afraid to leave their rooms.
Im curious. If gun ownership and possession is the key, why do you keep your firearm in someone else's home. Im not trying to start an argument or drag us off topic, but what good does a personal protection firearm do if you have to go somewhere else to get it. Im just confused by your position here so i wonder if you could clarify it for me.
There is a huge logical and legal difference between forcible entry for EMS or firefighting than breaking and entering. I think there is a pretty fundamental disconnect in that argument as in: we are forcing our way in to save lives, not to take them.
As for requisite hand gun training, Im all for it. But that does not prevent the "snap factor." People who legally own guns and are trained in their proper use also develop mental illness after obtaining the firearm and do harm to others. Training is a good part of a possible solution, but its not foolproof and training does not prevent someone in a rage or who has developed a mental illness from improperly using that firearm with devastating consequences.
I had hoped that someone would not slap up a severely truncated version of the second amendment. That is where every single discussion on gun violence and ownership derails. What you have omitted as does the NRA is that the amendment reads "a well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed." The framers of the Constitution envisioned it being necessary to fend of those who would do harm to the state. A simple read of the ENTIRE amendment demonstrates that the authors of the Constitution were not referring to personal protection. All 50 states have National Guard and/or Air National Guard Units. Less than half the States have state militias or state guard units which are intended to serve as a "reserve reserve" in times when the initial reserve has been federalized. The 2d Amendment can be stood on its head as many ways as possible, but a read of it with a knowledge of legal language demonstrates quite clearly that it had nothing to do with individuals protecting their homes or property. That is an invention of the descendants of the framers. I have no problem with individuals legally owning firearms, but let's not use a misinterpretation let alone a fragment of the governing document of our country to justify is because if we do, that justification simply does not exist.
First of all, Indians (assuming you are referring to residents of the Indian sub-continent) are Asian. Secondly, how did this become a racial/racist argument? Im going to leave my feelings about people with obvious rage issues owning firearms to myself since this discussion deserves better. But human beings as disposable? I suppose that's what some campus shooters think, too.
You've missed my point. I was drawing a line from saving life, (the fire), to saving life, (shooting in defence) within the scope of the law and carrying a licensed weapon. We can never mitigate the "snap" factor. People will be people. The human race is a fickle thing that will never be, (nor should it), controlled in total.
I was reading a related article to this that said that the FBI database has tripled with reports of persons with mental problems who should not own firearms.
Ironically, Illinois just passed a law due to go into effect in June that tightened a person's ability to purchase firearms.
AND I read that the girlfriend didn't find it unusual that the gunman called her at midnight on Valentine's Day to say good bye and to tell her to "never forget" him. He also called later in the day to say the same thing.
Details are emerging, but they have yet to find any clear motive. Hopefully, soon.