Northern Iowa University Faculty Senate Votes Against Letting Campus Police Carry Guns

At a special meeting on Friday, the University of Northern Iowa Faculty Senate voted overwhelmingly against arming campus police.

The senate debated the issue for nearly an hour late in the afternoon as the campus emptied for the long holiday weekend. Ultimately, it decided the university would be safer if campus police did not carry guns. The final vote was 11 in favor of a motion to oppose arming campus police, with three voting against and one abstention. . . .

Professor Jerry Smith makes a strong point about police not being able to respond to an attack. Yet, I think that there is a further point. Not only will unarmed police be unable to respond, but if one believes in deterrence, unarmed police will actually make the attack more likely. The killers engaged in these multiple victim public killings have the warped objective to try to kill or wound as many people as possible and how successful they are is related to the amount of time that elapses between when the attack starts and when someone else with a gun is able to arrive on the scene. To the extent to which one can reduce these killers return to harming others, you can deter some attacks from occurring. Basically, some simple economics.

I find it amazing that even professors really believe that campus police, with the same training as other officers, carrying guns will make the campus less safe. The discussion about officers shooting African-Americans as a reason not to arm campus police is truly remarkable.

Thanks to Richard Featherstone for sending me this link.

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Defending Oneself in England can lead to fines or prison

This ought to really dissuade criminals from attacking people. Here is a guy who gets in trouble even though he was already being physically attacked. Even more bizarre is that he apparently faced prison if he hadn't pleaded guilty.

A shopkeeper has been fined £250 and given a criminal record because he fought back when he was attacked by shoplifters.

Jacob Smyth chased three youths out of his hardware shop in Penzance, Cornwall, when he was set upon. When he was kicked in the groin by one of the hooded youths who had stolen cans of spray paint Mr Smyth hit back.

Police issued fixed penalty tickets to the shoplifters but charged Mr Smyth and a colleague with assault.

Yesterday he pleaded guilty to assault at Truro Magistrates’ Court. He claimed after the hearing that he had been advised to plead guilty because otherwise he could have faced a six month prison sentence.

The court was told that Mr Smyth, a father of three, caught the youths stealing the spray cans in October last year. Two of them turned on him and he was kicked in his groin just weeks after a vasectomy operation. He retaliated and punched 18-year-old Craig Spiller to the ground.

Paul Gallagher, defending, said: “The court can only imagine what they intended to do with that spray paint. He could see the cans poking out of their pockets. He leant forward to get them and at that stage he was set upon.

“He did punch one of them to get him off. In the heat of the moment he kicked him once or twice. Initially he was acting in self defence. Frustration at the situation took over. The lads were interviewed and given fixed penalty notices by police but unfortunately for Mr Smyth ended up in court today.

“He was the one who was trying to do the right thing and get his stolen property back.”

Julian Herbert, prosecuting, said the “aggravating factor” of the case was shop staff “taking the law into their own hands”. Fining Mr Smyth £250 and ordering him to pay £43 costs, Angy Haslam, chairman of the magistrates, said: “The act was aggravated by the fact you kicked the victim on the ground. We feel it has been mitigated because you acted in self defence.”

Speaking outside court, Mr Smyth said: “I did nothing wrong. I was getting a good beating from this lad. I had no choice but to defend myself. . . . .

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Who says that criminals don't care about getting the death penalty