Being a prior service college student is a strange experience sometimes. In some respects it’s like being a character on the Twilight Zone: you see things others do not. I had the occasion to visit a university office which shared its building with a four-story dormitory. As I waited in the office, a cable installer visited the twenty-something receptionist. She handed over the log, let the guy sign the binder and gave him a master key without verifying a single piece of ID. Sure he was wearing a company jacket with the company logo, but that didn’t mean squat . . .
A bad guy with planning skills, a credit card and time could gain access to any building on campus they wish with only a cable company blazer and a smile. That’s just one security hole I noticed, but hardly the only one.
This university makes a big deal about key card access and locked doors at their residence halls. Unfortunately, smokers and good samaritans routinely prop the side doors open for strangers. Friends let other friends into their buildings routinely as well, so a social group with people living in different buildings conceivably has free reign to enter and exit any dorm building they have collective access to.
Another weakness: law enforcement’s physical location. Due to an intentionally convoluted road system, driving to a crisis scene isn’t an option. A LEO answering a call would have to zig zag all over the campus before reaching any specific building. It doesn’t help that the police station is on the far north end of the campus, so may God have mercy on anyone in need of police assistance on the south side of campus.
Lastly, we come to the classrooms themselves. Said rooms are laid out with the intent to facilitate learning. Unfortunately this also means the rooms are deathtraps. There’s no other way to put it.
One entry or exit, no cover, barely any concealment worth the term and the exit is secured by a cheap door which is easily kicked in. Once an attacker has gained entry, literally the only option left to a classroom full of people is to shoot back. Escape is not an option.
Except guns are banned at most universities. Why? Mostly because university staffers know as much about site security as Marines know about interior decorating. Their worldview just doesn’t encompass reacting to human violence, so a great many of them genuinely think it doesn’t exist. It’s one thing to see an 18-year-old freshman act like human beings don’t routinely assault each other. It’s another to see grey-haired men and women twice my age hold the same attitude. It wouldn’t be so bad if these people weren’t responsible for the college and the welfare of factuality, staff and students.
Thus firearms on campus isn’t a security issue for them because remember, the administrators and staff don’t believe in violence or the need for force no matter how it’s delivered. It’s a ideological challenge to their core belief system because they’ve built their careers on educating people to reject violence. Campus carry, to them, is like ordering a mosque to accept Jewish rabbis as honored guests. The act of carry is a challenge to their very worldview, which is why college administrators would rather your son, daughter, niece sister or brother be assaulted or shot to death than take concrete steps to secure the learning environment.
On the flip side, parents, please take the time to educate your kids about making good choices. No, I don’t mean booze or weed. If I had a dollar for every time I’ve seen a young woman jogging around this urban campus at zero dark thirty, I’d buy out Micheal Bloomberg’s corporate empire. I’m a 6′ 1″ military vet and I do my late night running at the gym.
Teach your kids about mindset and knowing how to avoid selecting yourself for a bad time of things. They’ll be on their own in a far away place, probably for the first time, forced by law or policy to delegate their personal security to an uncaring bureaucracy. Failing a math test may hurt their grade point average, but failing at situational awareness can be life or death.