The issue of whether or not to arm security guards on the Whitworth campus is another logical step to consider when taking on the general security of campus. However, it is not easy to fully support one side of the issue. If Whitworth were to arm security guards with firearms as they patrolled campus, Whitworth would be creating an entirely new set of opportunities for gun mistakes to occur. Whitworth remains a relatively safe campus in part because guns are not allowed on campus by students or security guards. While there are not any “good guys with guns” to stop the hypothetical campus shooter, there is also less likelihood a thief will be shot in the dark while trying to steal a bike. On the other hand, in the unlikely case Whitworth students encounter an active shooter on campus, the response time of the Spokane Police may not be quick enough. The closer proximity of trained security guards with handguns may provide a more immediate solution and save lives in the process.
It is the opinion of the editorial board that there is no solution to the arming of security guards issue that does not hold a certain degree of risk. However, it is important we stick to a decision that poses the least amount of risk to members of the Whitworth community. When assessing the pros and cons of each system, it makes little sense to absorb the inherent risks of security guards wielding firearms on campus when considering the probability of a situation at Whitworth warranting a need for those guns.