FRIDAY - GWU to Debate Arming Police After Campus Lockdown

Should GWU Use "Deep Empathy" or Guns to Stop a Shooter on Campus?
WASHINGTON - Sept. 8, 2023 - PRLog -- The George Washington University [GWU] Faculty Senate will meet, beginning today [Friday] to discuss concerns some Senate members expressed about arming a few members [only 2 so far] of its police force; more specifically that the decision was made without consulting the body or even its leadership.

Ironically, it comes after the entire university was forced to go on lock down ["Shelter in Place"] on Wednesday because an extremely dangerous alleged murderer  was loose on campus, says GWU public interest law professor John Banzhaf.

But, as the professor had pointedly reminded his august Senate colleagues, the issue of whether to join the overwhelming majority of universities which do arm their police has been discussed on the GWU campus for many years, but the Senate hasn't taken any action, or even expressed an opinion on this issue, so it should not be surprised that it was not consulted before GWU decided in April to arm a few police to deal with the ever increasing number of campus shootings.

That this body, representing the entire faculty, had not previously discussed arming some or its police or other pressing campus security and safety issues previously, despite the mushrooming importance of safety because of the increased frequently with which crazed gunmen have come onto campuses intent on killing students, may help explain why its wisdom was not seen as important.

The advice which many of the senators - virtually all of whom have no relevant education or background in these issues - would provide might not be very useful, since many faculty suggested using "deep empathy," "nonviolent communication," "de-escalation" through "active bystander intervention skills," and "nonviolent self-defense training" as better methods for dealing with a crazed gunman, says Banzhaf, who has background and experience from having served a security officer and as a security consultant.

If GWU's faculty members wish to be consulted about safety measures for their campus, they should not be making suggestions to protect against crazed shooters by using new-age concepts such as deep empathy, dignity illumination and enhancement, intervention skills, nonviolent communication, etc., and not guns as most universities and other institutions employ, nor ignore many other very simple, practical, and non-controversial suggestions for providing more protection for students and faculty, argues Banzhaf.   @profbanzhaf

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