A community college in Mississippi has announced that it willdisposeof a grenade launcher that it had received under a Defence Department program intended to distribute surplus military equipment.
Hinds Community College in Jackson, Mississippi originally received the grenade launcher in 1998 via the Defence Department’s 10-33 program. The grenade launcher was purchased by a former campus chief of police who retired in 2003.
The weapon has remained in the college’s inventory, but has so far never been used.
Hinds’ Community College President Clyde Muse has said that, pending a decision by the college’s Board of Trustees, the grenade launcher will be declared surplus and will be disposed of legally.
Students at Hinds Community College have mixed feelings as to its disposal.
Zimrie Magee, a student at Hinds, thought having the weapon on campus wasn’t such a terrible idea. “I feel more protected and I’m actually glad that we have that resource,” she told MS News Now.
Other students have expressed reservations towards having military-grade equipment stored on their college’s campus.
“I don’t like it,” Clifford Daniels, Jr., a Hinds student, told MS News Now. “Honestly, just because there are, you know, some crazy folks, students, you know, that look for something to get into.”
The militarization of police has become a hot button issue following the response of police in Ferguson, Missouri. Ferguson police allegedly shot and killed an unarmed teenager, and then responded to protests and riots in the community by deploying full military gear, including military armoured vehicles, tear gas, and night-vision goggles.
According to a Washington Post report, at least 120 schools and universities have received military surplus equipment across the country. This gear includes armoured vehicles, grenade launchers, and military rifles.
As of publication, Hinds Community College was unavailable for comment.
The video below features reactions from students at the college towards the proposed disposal of the grenade launcher.
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