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Letters to the Editor

Reading the letter to the editor that appeared in The Tech ["Tragedy Shows Need For Self Defense," Sept. 22], it is with the utmost sincerity that I implore the authors to stop advocating self defense before they get someone hurt.

I'm not arguing that we shouldn't take self defense courses. This is an excellent idea. However, we, the students, should not be allowed to have weapons. First, I don't trust an MIT student with a gun any further than I do any of the varied personalities I run into on my way to Random Hall at 2 a.m. Second, most of us aren't capable of using weapons to properly defend ourselves.

I'm in the Navy Reserve Officers Training Corps. I've also taken the pistol physical education course here at MIT, but I would never consider myself capable of defending myself with a pistol from a mugger in the dark. Combat situations occur fast, too fast for one to make proper decisions. I know I would not have the proper time to use the weapon correctly. The mugger has the initiative. I would not know whether or not a stranger was going to commit an act of violence until he did. I would be forced to react to his actions. By then, it would be too late.

Suppose that we are allowed to carry any weapon that we choose so that we can crusade into Cambridge and take the streets back from the muggers and rapists. Where are you going to carry it? In your backpack? Try counting how many seconds it takes you to fast draw your calculator, an item you are very familiar with and probably know the exact location of. Those are seconds you aren't going to have on the street.

So what is my answer? Let Campus Police do its job.

Frank Pelkofer '94

Security Is a Serious Concern For Institute

In regard to the tragic murder of Yngve Raustein '94, I wrote a letter to President Charles M. Vest, who so kindly took the time to respond. Vest wrote that meetings and action will be taken very soon, and I certainly hope that progress will be made.

Prospective students may choose not to matriculate to MIT on the basis of the campus safety issue, and how much progress, or at least effort, the administration has put into it. It is therefore vital that action be taken immediately by the administration. If no action is taken, then not only will the situation not improve, but internal friction will develop, causing outsiders to view MIT as an apathetic community.

It is my hope that safety will not become a forgotten issue in the next several weeks, where the faculty mourns with us and then slips back into "normal mode."

Michael K. Chung '94