Photos by Jenna Ali

Many people are turning to self defense gadgets, such as knives disguised as lipsticks, for protection against gun violence. Is that the right choice?

Pros and cons: should students be allowed to bring self defense weapons to school?

April 18, 2023

A need for protection: schools should focus on self-defense for students

In the United States, it has been proven that a child or teen is abducted or goes missing every 40 seconds; each year, there are about 840,000 children that go missing, according to the FBI. 

Statistics also show that every 68 seconds, an American becomes a victim of sexual assault, with a majority of victims being between the ages of 12-17. Evidence has been provided by Child Protective Services that shows 63,000 children become victims of sexual abuse or assault.  

55% of victims get assaulted near or at their own homes. Having self-defense weapons would be a major plus for the students who walk to school in the morning, in the dark, and for those who walk home after school. 15% get assaulted in a public area and many cannot defend themselves, especially females, despite their strength. 8% get assaulted on school property, and even though this number is smaller compared to the others it is still a high percentage for somewhere that is meant to be safe and for education. Even though parents take on the responsiblity of teaching their kid about stranger danger and sexual assault, it is not always a stranger committing this crime. It could be family or friends. 

Students walk great distances to get somewhere needed, but they still aren’t allowed to carry weapons for self defense on campus. Schools should start promoting self defense whether it is with a weapon or a class being taught. We are given different extracurriculars, and a class being taught can bring many benefits. It can bring attention to the school– how they are able to prevent daily dangers and how to deal with them. 

In school many have felt unsafe due to another one’s actions. At Virginia Commonwealth University they have permitted pepper spray and do not consider it a weapon on campus. VCU teaches their students the dangers of pepper spray, the proper usage and all the do’s and don’t. 

Taking a self defense weapon to school can mean many things can happen, but there is always a solution. If a student decides they feel safer with this weapon, there should be a form to fill out to know of the consequences of the weapon, the misuse of the weapon, the name and grade of the student who is applying to have such a thing on campus. There should also be a parent or guardian consent form where they agree to the terms as well and want their child/teen to be able to carry it. There could also be a course or a small class after school like Drivers Ed students can take to learn more about what it means to have a weapon. 

If carrying them is such a big issue, there is also the option of having the items being held in the front office and students can come get it once they leave school premises to walk home or drive. I think having  self defense weapons is a great way to keep one safe and students should be

Fighting fire with fire: the problem with self defense weapons in schools

March 27, 2023-– A 28-year-old shooter aims her gun and shoots a bullet through a door at a private Christian school. Soon after gaining entryway, she takes the lives of six people: three nine-year-old students and three staff members. 

Evelyn Dieckhaus, nine years old; William Kinney, nine years old; Hallie Scruggs, nine years old; Katherine Koonce, 60 years old; Cynthia Peak, 61 years old; Mike Hill, 61 years old. 

All shot and killed on an otherwise ordinary day.

The world we live in is becoming increasingly dangerous; anything, anywhere and anyone is free game.

As we take in tragedy after tragedy occurring on school grounds and note that no safety measures taken, nor amount of security provided has stagnated the intent of a person to infiltrate and kill, it is natural for us to feel that we should protect ourselves. 

Students are quick to urge educational administrations to allow self-defense weapons in schools and even quicker to take to Amazon, adding tasers, concealed knives and pepper spray to their carts– hanging them from their keys, stuffing them in their bookbags and holding onto them as a saving grace.

But is a faux sense of safety worth the peril of adding fuel to the fire?

Minors’ lack of responsibility does not translate well to an already exploited mechanism. We can all give credit to the notion that teenagers are more prone to impulsivity than any other group of people. Placing potentially fatal weapons in the hands of these young people is only a recipe for disaster.

Even then– even if the same people who pull fire alarms for a 5-minute break from class could be expected to responsibly carry knives and tasers on their persons– self-defense weapons are only as good as your ability to use them. 

It’s harder than you’d think to stab someone, let alone for the first time.

It’s harder than you’d think to aim a can of pepper spray under the influence of adrenaline.

It’s harder than you’d think to keep from tasing yourself rather than your intended target.

There is a major lack of education revolving around self-defense weapons and a major flaw in the notion that they can protect you in a situation of immediate and fatal danger.

What’s a taser going to do facing the barrel of an AR-15? Pepper spray? A knife disguised as lipstick?

Unless we’re going to hand all kids guns and trust them not to shoot each other, self-defense shouldn’t be the resolution raised against school shootings. So, rather than dwell on feigned solutions, it is important that we pursue proper courses of action. And, unfortunately, such action is out of our own hands.

The answer is not in self-defense; the answer is deep in the philosophy of our country. Rather than advocating for the further normalization of weapons in children’s hands, we should be advocating for guns and weapons to be taken off the streets. By allowing students to bring self-defense weapons to school, we’d be contributing to an already smoking powder keg waiting to go off.

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