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UOPD Firearm Forum, Gun Rant

Almost 40 (a generous estimation) people not affiliated with the newly named University of Oregon Piggy Department gathered in Great Global Scholars Hall last night and a public forum started around 6PM. The subject? The arming of UO Police Officers.

Jamie Moffitt explained that amidst budget cuts with EPD and lessened support, the growing campus community has heightened needs.

Public information officer and communications director at UOPD Kelly McIver maintained that armament is part of the mission to keep the campus safe. He also reiterated a few times that UOPD will generally refer students to the Office of Student Conduct, rather inject legal troubles into their lives.

“Police are not here to police students,” McIver urged. Fun fact according to officials: 88% percent of the suspicious persons investigated by UO Public Safety last year were people unaffiliated with the UO.

Interim Police Chief Carolyn McDermed said it’s really all about relationships. Building a relationship with the community in order to best serve their needs.

The Register Guard has a good play-by-play.

Yes, as of January 1st, 2012 the men and women public-safetying our campus are suffering an inferiority complex. Currently, the UOPD has eleven sworn police officers with thirteen public safety officers aiding them. Only a “couple of” (which I can only assume to mean at maximum but also minimum two) officers are on duty during its 24/7 operation.

In the spirit of the Great Global Scholars Hall, I must ask, “Qué tipo de mierda es eso? Súper inefectivo!”

But UOPD agrees. They don’t feel like our needs are being fulfilled. Since direct cooperation between Eugene Police Department and UOPD ended in 2010, EPD has not had a presence on campus unless the UO Department called them. They think carrying handguns gives them more power.

UOPD officials were holding on to two main arguments for arming:

  1. It allows officers to carry out all the regular duties, including ones that potentially threaten lives.
  2. It acts as a deterrant to violent perpetrators.

It was interesting to hear those arguments alongside Captain Pete Deshpande urging that firearms wouldn’t change the culture in anyway.

As an audience member pointed out, “That’s simply not true. The very fact that you are now called UOPD and not Public Safety has created a culture change.”

Although the forum saw an array of beliefs, many students questioned how arming the police officers would make them more safe. They feel that Herein lies the logical fallacy! Question: Who does a sidearm (handgun) protect? Answer: The user and not much else past 10 yards. Just as Chief McDermed said, the dire situations that would necessitate the use of a firearm are over in 5-10 minutes! That kind of response time by police is unheard of, infrequent at best. Especially if they have but two officers on duty at any time.

Lord Nike Swoosh forbid that the UO do anything outside-the-box, or innovative, progressive, even! Why not try a different approach, say a more intimate walking police-force, employing more members of the community, covering more ground and making more connections! As opposed to having an elite group of shiny-badge pistoleros stalking the campus in the shadows of their SUVs.

Perhaps it’s not an inferiority complex, but an identity crisis? Does UOPD have penis gun envy? Ah no! Anxiety as Result of Threat to Reputation! Classic ARTR syndrom, I should have known… McIver himself admits that the status-quo prompted the transition from UOPS to UOPD in a Q&A. I can see how an all-smiles community patrol working in conjunction with UOPD wouldn’t really make the University of Oregon brand look too good.

As for motor vehicles being more effective to get around campus, I think it’s horseshit. The bicycle is most certainly the quickest and least stressful means to get around campus. Walking is too slow, especially when you have to stop to grab a coffee. People try to run over skateboarders. Segways look funny. Finally with cars, there’s too many damn skateboarders and not enough parking spots. Actually, maybe horses aren’t a bad idea. At the very least, have these fucking cops biking around and walking on the sidewalks like normal people. Have them talking to students and building these “relationships” that Chief McDermed is talking about.

“We want the students to see us as real people,” Chief McDermed said at the forum, always with the quiet sugar-water voice.

We’ll see you as real people if you be real, Chief! You aren’t arming yourselves to protect us! A sidearm protects you from us! A sidearm is a personal defense weapon. As the police chief said, dire situations occur and end in 5-10 minutes. This (after our Second Amendment, of course) is why the alleged ban on weapons of Oregon University System properties. Before arming our campus police, we must first and foremost lift the campus ban on weapons!

To see a decrease in crime, it would prove better to lift the ridiculous encroachment by the University Administration upon our Second Amendment rights and encourage students and faculty to apply for their Concealed Handgun Licences. I implore the women out there to do this, at least, so when that forcible fondler presses on after a “No!” and a “Help!” you can unclick the trigger safety just relieve that son of a bitch of his kneecaps and/or balls.

It makes no sense to talk about safety of the community in terms of arming police officers! We need be wary of UOPD’s rationale because this logic is flawed! They talk about arming police to protect the civilians; they talk about driving motor vehicles in order to travel quickly. Their logic is flawed!

Pigs don’t carry guns to protect us. They carry guns to protect themselves. They don’t drive around in dark SUVs to protect us. They do it do cage us and to protect themselves.

Until I can carry a gun on campus, I don’t see it fair that anyone else should. According to Oregon law, as per ORS 166.291, CHL holders are expressly permitted in public buildings and property with their firearm. It is argued that ORS 351.060 (1) and (2) grant the Oregon University System permission violate that right. I think that is more horseshit. The wording is so:

The State Board of Higher Education may:

(1)Control and provide for, subject to the conditions of this section, the custody and occupation of the grounds, buildings, books, papers and documents belonging to each and all of the public universities and offices, departments or activities under the control of the State Board of Higher Education.

(2)Manage, control and apply all property of whatever nature given to or appropriated for the use, support or benefit of any or all of the public universities or offices, departments or activities under the control of the State Board of Higher Education, according to the terms and conditions of such gift or appropriation. Moneys received under this section shall be deposited in a designated account in the Oregon University System Fund established by ORS 351.506 (Oregon University System Fund). Interest earned by the account shall be credited to the account.

Nothing in that statute states that the U.S. Constitution is void on University grounds. So, I say, they can have their guns, but we need our guns too. If the reasoning is to increase campus safety, what we need is more service members doing more footwork.

Everyone is encouraged to email campuspolicing(at)uoregon(dot)edu with questions and comments pertaining to UOPD or its guns.

Five-Oh!

Undercover phone pic snapped by Jazmin Avalos on Feb. 8, 2013