The following is a sampling of recent comments from the Transcript's online Disqus forum. Readers may comment on any Transcript article through this forum on www.thetranscript.com. Letters to the editor are always welcome and can be emailed to email@example.com.
On 'MCLA officers will carry firearms'
Jason Francis: Maybe there should have been a compromise. The preponderance of the student body didn't want officers armed but the Board of Trustees did. The student body should have met the trustees halfway and said they would agree that officers can carry guns, and the trustees should have met the student body half way and said the guns would only be loaded with blanks.
274444505: Well, it looks like democracy is at work at MCLA: Student body was opposed to the idea and it went into effect anyway. Our democratic process at its best. Well, I guess its time for the students to take to the streets in protest.
Billtowner: I only hope that this decision by the board will not ultimately prove to be a tragic one.
TaxpayerNA: There have been 14 shootings at college campuses in the U.S. in the past three years. That number is doubled when you include shootings at schools below the college level. The campus police at MCLA are not 'renta- cops,' and they are not going to be running around aiming and firing their weapons on a whim. They have all received state police academy training and certification, and most already work as regular police in their own communities. The comment on "student body was opposed to this idea": So what? If students all said they wanted to eliminate tests and all reading assignments, does that mean the college should do that? No. And as for Billtowner, the biggest tragedy would be if someone starts shooting on campus and the closest officer has only a can of mace to fire back.
suzieg: The use of firearms begets more firearms. For shame, MCLA.
JasonFlare: With 90 guns for every 100 Americans we live in an extremely secure society. I'll bet you feel safe enough to not carry a weapon.
suzieg: On the streets of North Adams? I certainly do.
rockie1919: Democracy hey? The opinion of a bunch of kids should not outweigh the opinion of the powers that be. Do I carry a gun? Yes I do. It is my right to do so and I believe that try as they may, the police cannot protect me or my family 24/7, but I can and I will if need be.
poetxpress: The overwhelming opinions of both the students and the faculty does matter. These two factions are the core components that comprise any learning institution - you can't have one without them.
To discount their vote as "a bunch of kids" insults the intelligence of the students and belittles their status as responsible adults. As a country, we have deemed them intelligent enough to have a vote in decisions as crucial as who makes our laws, and yet you opine that their participation "should not outweigh the opinion of the powers that be" (in this case, a group with no special qualifications in regards to campus safety or law enforcement expertise, but rather primarily executives and administrators).
You may have the right to carry a weapon most places, but only the state of Utah allows concealed weapons on college campuses.
Oh, and good luck with the whole "protecting your family" thing. "Of the 13,636 Americans who were murdered in 2009, only 215 were killed by firearms (165 by handguns) in homicides by private citizens that law enforcement determined were justifiable." You'd be much better off keeping your family from riding in cars (which result in 115 fatalities per day in the U.S.).