College campuses around the country have been wrestling with what to do with regard to allowing firearms on their campus. Some have taken a strong stance against while others want more protection for their students and allowing both open carry and concealed carry. But now there is a new middle option many are calling “Campus Carry Lite.”
Campus Carry Lite is allowing students to carry concealed Stun Guns on campus for protection. This allows students to have more protection than they would with pepper spray or a knife or some other device than a firearm since it gives them some distance away from the attacker. It is also generally non-lethal so that the attacker is disabled for a period of time while the victim can escape.
There was a good article on this reported by FOX NEWS, “New stun gun law in Georgia electrifies concealed-carry debate.” They talked about some of the controversy schools face in making decisions about protection of their students and some of the discussions campuses have had to come up with the decision to allow students additional levels of protection that aren’t firearm related. Their hope is to have a “middle ground” for everyone involved. It will be interesting to see how this works for the schools in Georgia when the fall sessions start.
But even with this being a new approach to safety on campuses, there are still some basic tenants that don’t change whether you are using stun guns, firearms, or even pepper spray. There are ways to help students (and everyone) be safer in general. It’s called “Situational Awareness” and is something that should be a mandatory class for all students on campuses across the country. Students and others can be much safer if they were more aware of their surroundings and the situations they find themselves in regardless of where they are.
For example, teaching students to plan their route to classes and events that kept them in highly congested areas is a much safer strategy than taking the shortcuts through the alley ways to save the extra 5 minutes. Having the students form groups when they are in classes so they can walk with others around campus, especially when it is dark or inclement weather. Or teaching students to constantly be aware of their surroundings, who is within a certain distance, and what their escape route would be at all times is of critical importance for anyone’s safety.
Having a weapon of any kind can give someone a “false sense of security” when they have it available…stun guns are no different. Just having a stun gun in one’s possession but ignoring their surroundings may not give them any additional protection, even if they have the weapon. Being “Situationally Aware” can help them be safer in many cases than carrying some type of tool to be used against an attacker. Helping students realize it is a “combination” of the two helps them move from this false sense of security to one of being more prepared and planning ahead should something happen.
I would encourage all my readers to incorporate both some tools for protection that fit within the state and campus laws AND get trained on situational awareness techniques. This is a powerful combination and one I feel significantly increases an individual’s odds of staying safe. Now someone can be prepared both physically and mentally. And when this is the case, you will…Be Prepared. Be Smart. Be Safe.