By Noahlani Siaosi
Ka La staff writer
With all the recent school shootings, students and teachers alike are questioning the safety of their campuses. National legislators are arguing whether or not to arm teachers, and lawmakers in Missouri are putting higher taxes on “violent” video games.
While doing all of this may lower the mass shooting rate, would doing that make our school campuses safe? And should guards at HonCC be armed?
“I feel safe here. Security guards shouldn’t be armed. Everyone is a responsible adult and should know right from wrong, ” said Joel Santiago, an Early Childhood student.
Max Kanahele, a liberal arts major, agrees with Santiago, adding that “security guards shouldn’t be armed but should carry some type of non-lethal weapon.”
Most students agree with security guards carrying only non-lethal weapons.
Campus Security Jay Saribay said, “I feel that we should carry non-lethal weapons, not guns and things of that sort. Being armed makes you more liable for what happens on campus and then you will need extensive training to carry a weapon.”
Although many students here at HCC feel guards should carry non-lethal weapons, there are some who strongly voice their opinion against that view.
Misty Chiechi, an administration of kustice student, says “Guards should be armed. We shouldn’t wait until something happens to arm guards; by then it’s too late already. Look at all the recent shootings, this is a sign for us to take a step and heighten our level of security here at HCC.”
Hawaii’s crime rate is relatively low compared to the Mainland, and HonCC is a relatively safe area, according to police and federal statistics. School officials say they have no reports of major violent crimes on campus in recent years. And statistics from the Honolulu Police Department show that areas surrounding the HonCC campus actually have more crimes than campus and adjacent areas.
In the month, between Dec. 15, 2012 and Jan. 15, 2013, for instance, police records show only four crimes reported on or near the HonCC Campus. They included one burglary, one drug use, and one case of graffiti.
So, no matter how people feel about campus crime, the facts show we’re fairly safe.