No Firearms Allowed

By Jiesi Zhao

Last week, I labeled Princeton University as one of the most biased campuses in our nation – one that proudly welcomes and supports some of the most radical leftist professors and their ideologies. This week, Princeton strikes again. And it’s not that I have something against Princeton, it’s just that the endless display and flaunting of their abilities to champion liberal ideologies never cease to astonish me. Princeton University has shown this week that its officials are also part of the anti-guns and anti-freedom gang – at the expense of their students’ safety. Now, campuses across the nation are not unfamiliar with the debate of whether or not students should be allowed to carry firearms for self defense. At Princeton, not only is concealed-carry out of the question for students, but they’ve also gone a step further to ensure that no guns are allowed on campus at all. Specifically, what I mean is that Princeton refuses to have any public safety officers on campus carry guns.

University officials have defended their position, according to The Daily Princetonian, by claiming that armed officers would “hurt student-officer relationships,” and that allowing them to carry guns come with the risk of a “potential change in the culture of the campus” while the probability of a shooting on campus is very low. They also claim that nearby local police would be able to respond to emergencies should the need for armed officials arise. However, local police say that likely first responders (on campus public safety) would be powerless and the precious seconds wasted on waiting for backup to arrive could be the difference between life and death. Instead of heeding the advice of trained and experienced officers, Princeton officials arrogantly responded to their concerns by citing that public safety leaders “don’t make policy at this University”.

Currently, Princeton’s policy is a joke – or what they like to call – a perimeter plan. If a shooting were to occur, public safety officers have only the authority to set up a perimeter around the incident to make sure no one gets near the area and wait for further assistance from local police and other off-campus help. Meanwhile, public safety officers on site are powerless to intervene, allowing a possible shooter to use deadly force on students within the perimeter, who would have no means of defending themselves until the police arrive.     

The safety of students should be the number one priority of any campus. Princeton, however, believes that their duty to maintain a no-guns-on-campus culture supersedes the need to do everything in their power to keep students safe. Moreover, Princeton proudly and overconfidently promotes the fact that they are a guns-free zone while simple logic would indicate that potential shooters would be more likely to target campuses where it is known that no armed protection exists. For years, liberals have made sure that guns are banned on college campuses – for students and administrators. But to ban arms for trained public safety officials in order to maintain a gun-less “culture” against the recommendation of experts in the field is going too far, and more importantly, it is reckless and without reason. Shooting incidents at schools, though rare, are unforeseeable, and campuses have an obligation to provide necessary armed officials for its students especially because they are forbidden from protecting themselves with firearms.

Jiesi Zhao is a Sarah T. Hermann Intern Scholar for Young America’s Foundation

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