We need to rethink allowing stun guns on campus

Recently, an Iowa law made it legal for students to carry stun guns on campus.

As Rep. Matt Windschitl  told The Des Moines Register in June, “The law would help prevent sexual violence.”

However, did they stop to think about what would happen if a stun gun fell into the wrong hands, that of the predator?

Back in May, Iowa State University student Lydia Dingeman shared her thoughts with WHO 13 News: “It’s a security blanket to have handy, while walking home alone on those late nights from studying at the library…”

While thinking about her reply, I cannot help but worry how an encounter with a stun gun could go wrong. The potential victim could freeze or panic in the moment of fear, and lose the weapon to the attacker.

Regardless, the stun gun law has passed.  Some now feel protected, but does this promote a sense of security overall?

Being a woman, I fear more now than I did before.  This is not a law I could personally agree on.  I do not feel safer. Stun guns are supposed to make iowans feel more secure, but we might get more than what we bargained for.

I feel the law gave the attackers more leverage.  Think about it this way: what would happen in a situation where you find yourself in a struggle?  You lose your device, and now the attacker has it.  Your safety device is now a weapon being used against you.

Another example is a trained professional  who had to take courses and proper training in order to carry a stun gun. But now anyone can carry a stun gun. How does this not worry someone?

On Sept. 3, 2019, A Knoxville, Tenn. police officer reported to a hit and run. When searching a suspect that matched the description, the alleged robber got a handle on the officer’s stun gun and used it against him.  According to KWWL 7 news, the officer shot the suspect in order to protect himself.

Personally, I would have tried to find a different solution; one where the stun gun couldn’t be used against me.

For example, taking a self-defense course. This would be beneficial for years to come. Also, the satisfaction in knowing this couldn’t be used against me.

I feel if college students are scared to be out and about late at night, equipping themselves with self-defense techniques is a better option.  Making it a requirement with the College Experience course would be ideal—however, this is only my opinion.

Not only am I a woman, but I am also a concerned parent as well.  I think by allowing yourself to prepare for certain situations, you don’t have to worry about losing a weapon that could  be used against you.

Learning self-defense helps create independence—day or night—rather than relying on a device.

A self-defense course comes in many forms. For more information, speak to Terry Harrison, head of security, or Jay Tiefenthaler for up-and-coming self defense courses.

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