By Harold Pease, Ph.D.
The Bakersfield Californian
Monday, Jun 06 2011 11:00 PM
In 2007, a student attending the University of Nevada, Reno, was raped on campus and is now suing the university for not protecting her, yet barring her from carrying a handgun on campus. She had a concealed handgun permit. The myth that police can protect her, or anyone else, at the moment of violence has been well-established by the laws of physics. Police, as good as they can be, cannot be in two places at once. For them to be on the scene, after knowledge of the need, will still take several minutes. Meanwhile, the university has left her a victim, she contends, and in so doing bears some responsibility for the crime.
As a faculty member of a sister institution of higher learning, I, too, am troubled by what I call a “protection vacuum” problem. If the institution can’t or won’t protect me, do I have the right to defend myself on campus as anywhere else? After Virginia Tech, why shouldn’t I have this right? Most classrooms have but one door and often windows are not designed for easy escape. This leaves everyone in the room in a potential hostage setting because no one is supposed to have a firearm — even those who have a concealed weapons permit, as did Amanda Collins, the woman who is suing the Reno school. I do have a black belt in karate — even a second degree — but I missed the part where you catch bullets with your teeth.