◎孫宇青

Once a rarity on campuses, semi-automatic rifles are becoming a standard part of the arsenal for college security forces - firepower they say could make a difference the next time a gunman goes on a rampage.

半自動步槍過去在校園中並不常見,現在卻逐漸成為美國大學校警的標準配備。校警認為,有了這樣的火力,下次再出現情緒失控的持槍人士時,情況就會有所不同。

The weapons were rarely seen in public, but over the past decade, at least 100 U.S. college police forces have added rifles.

這種武器過去在公開場合很少看到,但過去10年來,全美至少有100所大學的校警在配備中加入步槍。

"A bad shot with a rifle is better than a good shot with a handgun," said chief of Police at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champagin, adding that rifles offer more firepower, longer range and greater accuracy than handguns.

美國伊利諾大學香檳分校校警警長說,「一般手槍就算射準了,也比不上射得不太準的步槍。」他補充,步槍的火力更強、射程更遠,命中率也比一般手槍高。

There was a time when colleges debated whether campus police should be armed at all. In 2005, about a third of the nation’s campus police agencies were unarmed. However, in 2012, the last time colleges were surveyed, 75 percent were armed with some type of gun.

有一段時間,各大學院校對於校警是否該配備武器有過爭論。2005年,美國約有3分之1校警隊沒有配備武器。然而,2012年的最近一次調查顯示,已有75%校警配有槍枝。

Things changed dramatically in the nine years since a student killed 32 people at Virginia Tech. For example, after decades without giving guns to its police, Princeton University announced in last November that it, too, would equip officers with rifles in case of a campus shooting.

維吉尼亞理工大學學生槍殺32人的事件發生9年來,情況有了天翻地覆的轉變。例如,普林斯頓大學數十年來都未曾允許校警配備手槍,但去年11月已同意校警攜帶步槍,以應付可能發生的校園槍擊事件。

新聞辭典

rarity:名詞,稀有。例句:In the world’s driest Atacama Desert, rain is a rarity. (在世界最乾燥的阿塔卡馬沙漠,降雨非常罕見。)

arsenal:名詞,軍械庫;儲藏的武器。例句:An arsenal of guns and knives was found at the terrorists’ hideout. (恐怖份子的藏身處發現大批刀槍。)

rampage:名詞,浮躁不安。例句:The injured elephant is now on the rampage. (這隻受傷的大象現在脾氣很暴躁。)

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