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Nonlethal weapons provide protection

Graphic by Christy Walker
Graphic by Christy Walker

»Kimberly Wallace
–Guest Writer
Perhaps you’ve heard, or perhaps you haven’t. A Tennessee state law was recently passed that allows college students with permits to carry concealed guns in their cars on campus.

However, APSU has a conflicting ban, placed by the SGA, on all types of weapons on campus.

I understand SGA’s thinking: No weapons equals no injuries.

But how many Jack the Rippers or Ted Bundys out there are going to listen to the rules?

Plain and simple — students need a way to protect themselves.

Students should be able to protect themselves in a nonlethal way. The best way for this to happen is to use nonlethal weapons such as pepper spray, mace or a taser.

According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, 21 states currently have a ban on carrying a concealed weapon on a college campus, including Tennessee. Even though there is a ban on concealed weapons in Tennessee, and the SGA has banned all weapons, students still won’t abide by them. I personally know plenty of students that carry knives in their pockets or mace on their key chains.

“There is this really scary spot that I have to pass by every night when I go to my dorm, and it would be the perfect spot for an attacker to hide,” said sophomore English major Robyn Weaver. “I always have my mace out when I head to my dorm because it makes me feel safer.” I don’t personally own any knives or mace but I do carry my keys between my fingers when I have to walk alone at night.

I do enjoy our campus, but if you take a look around the outskirts, we’re not located in the safest spot of Montgomery County.

People that aren’t students, staff or faculty are fully capable of walking across campus and going into buildings.

Not being able to carry any weapon, even if they are nonlethal, makes a lot of people sitting ducks.

Statistics from the National Criminal Justice Reference Service shows that since police officers began to use pepper spray, the number of officer injuries has significantly decreased.

There is also the fact that some students want to be able to carry a gun in their cars while on campus.

I’m personally not a fan of guns, but if a nice, law-abiding, mentally-stable person wants to obtain a permit allowing them to carry a gun in their car, I wouldn’t be opposed to it.

People always tend to believe tragedy would never happen in a small military town, but it happens every day.

I, for one, would want to be prepared or at least on a campus where other students are prepared for the worst.

Sophomore psychology major Jordyn Spence said it best when she stated, “I have never once had to hit the button on the blue emergency poles. I’ve never had an incident where I felt in danger. However, I will continue to carry my pepper spray in case a day comes where I might need it.”

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