One day last year on Texas A&M’s campus, I was going about my business posting fliers, when one of my friends told me there was someone with a gun on campus. I of course had not gotten the code maroon warning since code maroon seems to be extremely unreliable and sporadic (though I did get the text 30 minutes later—I later found that everyone I talked to got the message at 4PM like myself). I asked for details and was told a bus driver had reported someone with an AK-47 in their backpack. Automatically I thought to myself that this had to of simply been someone in the corps with a decommissioned M-16 or M-1A (as they are commonly seen training with them) and some ignorant person who knew nothing about guns or our corps here must have reported them. Regardless of what I thought or felt though, this was a very serious situation. I have to admit that, at this point, I’ve been pretty desensitized by all the false reports of a guy with a gun on campus, so I would really only be worried if there were reports of shots fired. My friends and myself continued posting fliers, heading to HECC where things seemed normal besides a professor coming out and asking what was going on with the reports. We then went to the academic building, where it was quite a different scene.
When we walked in, there were dozens of students sitting on the floor—it seemed as though everyone was packed into this one room, who knows for how long. A lot of them seemed, understandably, terrified. Instead of going home or being disbursed across campus, they were stuffed in the room like sardines. If someone were to walk into the building wishing to do harm, it would have been like shooting fish in a barrel. Even worse than this concentration of students was the fact that if someone did come in that building wishing to kill them, they wouldn’t have even half a chance to stop the psycho. There was no police officer to guard them and there was not a single student or faculty member who could have taken down an attacker. You just can’t expect an unarmed person to go against an armed subject and win.
We walked out and decided to all go home. I passed Rudder on the way, which seemed to be surrounded by police officers. When I got home, my (now ex) girlfriend was there waiting for me. She was pretty shaken up and scared. I assured her that everything was ok, but it didn’t help much after what she had been through. She had been in the Whener building when they locked it down, coming over the loud speakers to say to barricade the doors and hide under the desks. I couldn’t help but think of Virginia Tech and how crazy it was for the administration to basically tell the students to stay in their one entrance, one exit rooms, where someone could just walk in, start executing people, and there being no escape. She said the girl next to her was crying and praying as though she was going to die. I could see why she was pretty shaken up!
This whole situation was bad from the start with an ignorant person who couldn’t identify an M-16 that our corps uses all the time from an AK-47, which I have yet to see on this campus and which our corps would not use to train with seeing as how this is not an American military weapon. What made it worse was the policy to hide and wait instead of evacuating campus. The administrations’ number one priority should be to evacuate students, not stuff them in death traps, AKA one entrance, one exit rooms, and tell them to hide, hoping the psycho going on a shooting spree doesn’t select their room.
The absolute worst part of this event was that only the police had the guns/means to defend students and faculty and there wasn’t a police officer in every room in every building in every place on this campus. The police could not protect everyone; they actually could protect very few people.
I strongly support our officers and appreciate everything they do; however, I realize that they cannot be everywhere at once and when seconds count, they take minutes to get there. They’re not superhuman, they have to get in a car and drive to campus like everyone else and then get out and walk or run to the reported area—it takes time, very precious time.
People who are opposed to concealed carry on campus often say that it would make them feel unsafe. Well what is worse? Having trained, licensed students and faculty with effective means of defense? Or waiting helplessly in a room, waiting to be executed by some psychopath? I would much rather have some good guys in that room with the means to defend themselves and myself. I would much rather have the much less likely chance of being accidently shot by a concealed carry holder than the much more likely chance of being in a school shooting. With concealed carry on campus, students and faculty would have a fighting chance; as it is, we remain as helpless targets huddled under desks hoping not to be executed by the next psychopathic killer.
Originally posted by Chase Jennings on March 5th, 2012