Best Campus Security Looks Past Mental Health

    Dear Editor,

    Regarding the Feb. 24 opinion piece titled, “Student Should
    Say Farewell, Not Hello, to Arms,” I certainly applaud the article’s focus on
    improving mental health services for students. It is correct that for some the
    transition to a college environment is emotionally and mentally stressful. But
    proposing improved mental health services as a be-all, end-all solution to the
    problem of campus violence isn’t the way to go.

    Improved campus security requires a holistic approach that
    addresses both the root causes and the actual actions of campus shooters.
    Mental health services are an important part of students’ well-being, but the
    fact remains that in the case of all too many shooters — Seung-Hui Cho at
    Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State
    , Eric Harris and Dylan
    Klebold from Columbine High
    , among others — thought that it was the
    rest of the world that had a problem. Improving the counseling services
    available to them wouldn’t have helped anyone.

    I’m not sure I understand why the article has such a strong
    stance against lawful firearms on campus. Why are Utah
    and Colorado schools “scary”? None of the things the
    article warns about — the gun misuse and abuse, theft, violence or suicides —
    have occurred at any of those schools.

    Mental health services, campus alert systems, more security
    guards — none of these things will help a student trapped in a room with an
    active shooter. But firearms in the hands of licensed, trained individuals
    could make a difference.

    — CDT Samuel Keane-Rudolph


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