LETTER: Arming students, faculty would improve ISU campus security

Much press has been devoted to the question of arming campus police, most recently in the Oct. 1 Daily article, “ISU Police get same training as city officers.”

Arming campus police is a no-brainer. Let’s get it done. Ideas such as using cell phones, text messages, e-mail and other technologies to alert students are also good.

But a key problem is that police, armed or not, may be unable to provide a timely response to halt such a rampage as occurred at Virginia Tech. Indeed, in the Sept. 6 Daily, Corey Aldritt quoted state Sen. Herman Quirmbach’s conclusion, “Arming the cops at Virginia Tech wouldn’t have helped.”

I hope we are also considering faculty, staff and even students holding state-issued concealed weapon permits as part of our campus security plan.

At Virginia Tech, only one or two individuals in either Norris or West Ambler Johnston Hall with concealed firearms, where Seung-Hui Cho murdered 32 people and wounded 17 others, may have been able to avert the tragedy long before it reached the horrific extent that it did.

The right to arm oneself for any lawful purpose, including self-defense, is foundational in the United States. The grievous error committed by the governance of Virginia Tech was in its infringement on the very means by which those students might have defended themselves.

Let us not perpetuate that error here.

Bob Farnham

Graduate student

Electrical and computer engineering