UCC Mainstream Online

Administration Actively Seeking Feedback From the UCC Community Over Potential Armed Security Guard

RJ Harris / Mainstream
President Joe Olson took time out of his busy schedule to meet with the UCC community to get their opinions about the idea of having an armed security guard on campus.

A very timely discussion of having an armed security is moving through campus right now. With the accidental shooting in Myrtle Creek hitting very close the home, the discussion is more important than ever before. Should UCC have an armed security guard?
President Joe Olson reached out to a group of students who discussed their thoughts over lunch. College Council has also been discussing the issue. Olson held two open forums Friday, Oct. 31 to allow folks to share their opinions directly with him. Olson reported in a campus wide email the issue is very much split 50-50.
This split is a national trend on the gun control debate. On a debate.org survey, 55 percent are in favor of guns in public school while 45 percent oppose. Debate.org is a nonprofit organization that allows people to debate hot topics covered behind their computers with people from across the nation.
Human Recourses recently opened the application process for a Chief of Security as a long term guard, Danny McCall, will be retiring in December. Since Jess Miller has taken over as Director of Facilities and Security this year, I see an opportunity for change looming on the horizon.
In the discussion I have been exposed to, the original idea is to arm one security guard, with an extensive law enforcement background. In my opinion, that scenario will do more harm than good because it creates a very powerful position for one guard, while other guards lack the same protection should they be presented with the same situation.
It is a very drastic change to go from having no weapon to carrying a loaded gun, a change that one can argue is unnecessary. We have a very large campus; were there to be an active shooter at the Technology Building, it would take at least two to three minutes for the armed security guard to race up the hill to the scene from almost any point on campus. In this highly unlikely scenario, that would allow time for the perpetrator to race into the woods or head off down College Road.
On the other hand, in my time at UCC, I have been aware of several instances within 15 minutes of campus where there was a casualty due to gun violence. Just last year, there was a shooting near the Del Ray Cafe.
One student who spoke with me following one of the discussions said she suggested the idea of tasers, or stun guns for all of the guards, as opposed to one gun for one guard. According to Medical News Today, tasers can cause cardiac arrest in those with pre-existing medical conditions. Extremely elevated heart rates caused by fight or flight responses and/or intoxication can also increase chances of cardiac arrest. The author suggested that tasers “should be used judiciously, and an unconscious individual should be monitored closely and resuscitated, if necessary.”
I firmly believe that a gun does not kill someone; the person who pulls the trigger does. With a taser, the guards will not shoot to intentionally kill; they will shoot to gain control in a hostile, desperate situation.
Guns are very dangerous, even with users who have years of experience and training; misfires happen or guns end up in the wrong hands. These risks are very real and are heavy on the hearts of our community right now.