Block Talk


Every week, the Vanguard asks people around the PSU Park Blocks a hot-topic question.

How would you feel about campus security carrying guns?

Mechanical engineering sophomore Brandon Navas, 20, is skeptical of campus security using guns. “I’ve heard a lot of news lately about shootings, and they are getting progressively worse because people are getting better with guns. Maybe it would be nice if shooters were a little more hesitant for the reason that security are also using guns,” Navas said. “But then again, I wouldn’t want to have to go to a school where there are guns, so I’m a little conflicted.”

Reshell Smith, 24, a senior human resources and management student, feels it’s necessary for campus security to have guns for certain situations. “I think that they need to be protected and be able to protect others,” Smith said. “If having a gun is going to help alleviate some situation or stop some kind of crime, it doesn’t mean they have to use it, but the thought that it would be there and accessible if needed would be a good thing.”

Freshman Russian major Huell White, 20, has lived in the United Kingdom, where police don’t carry firearms. White believes firearms are unnecessary on a safe campus like PSU. “Especially in Portland, I don’t know if it’s entirely necessary. It seems like a bit of an overkill. Especially since we have trained personnel to use the weapons, and I keep hearing about people being shot because some cop drew his gun too early. It’s hard to tell. From what I’ve heard from my friends, it’s a pretty campus, so I don’t see why they would need to take an extra step,” White said.

Sophomore theater arts student Bryan Kinder, 19, is apprehensive about guns. “I personally don’t like guns, nor the use of guns, because if they fall into the wrong hands, they can become dangerous weapons,” Kinder said. “I’m not sure I’m super comfortable with that, but if they’re trained in safety and they’re kept safe, I’m okay with it.”

D’Vaughn McCrae, 19, a sophomore English student, feels that defense weapons are necessary on campus, but finds guns to be an extreme measure. “It seems unnecessary to me because how often would you need it on campus? The couple years, or year I’ve been here, there hasn’t been anything that extreme where you’d need a gun. Okay, a stun gun, sure, that could come in handy, but a gun seems a little extreme,” McCrae said. “I guess that would require more training for campus security, to make sure they know when to use it and how, since they’re easy to mess up with.”

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  1. I find it interesting that some people feel guns are overkill on campus, and state that there has not been a reason for the security staff to have guns at PSU. I remember reading about an armed gunman coming onto campus and pointing a gun in the face of campus security. This happened shortly after PSU adopted a policy directed at unarming CHL holders (Concealed Handgun License). In order for campus security to be armed they will have to go through DPSST training and they will have to become proficient with their issued weapons. One of the DPSST requirements is to qualify (meet a standard of marksmanship) on a regular basis. This isn’t a situation where they will take one class and shoot a gun once and be sent on their way. If we want our campus security to do more than parking enforcement and do things like stop an armed gunman that does come onto campus we might consider giving them the tools to do so. Giving campus security the tools to react and defend the students does not make the campus more violent. Possessing and carrying a firearm does not make a person more likely to draw their weapon, it just gives them the capability to neutralize a situation before it gets out of hand. Often time the presence of a firearm deters criminals to go look for a ‘softer’ target. A great resource to look at gun facts is

  2. As PSU alumni I cannot comment on how the campus has changed since I was there in 05. However, I can tell you as a student with a CHL (Concealed Handgun License) I carried every day I went to campus. In all the days I was on campus I never pulled or brandished my firearm or drew it. I went to classes both in the day and evenings. There was more than one occasion I had female classmates ask me to walk them to their cars. Why? Because they knew me and knew I am a big supporter of the 2nd amendment. Of all the thousands of students on campus only three knew what I had with me. One was my brother and the other two classmates asked me to take them shooting so they could learn the right way to handle a gun. Just for the people that want to know I carried an H&K USP Compact in 9mm.


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