Like most eggheads manning the ramparts beneath academia’s ivory towers, insidehighered.com is not thrilled with the idea of campus carry. To their credit, they see it as inevitable. “It seems almost certain that the [Texas campus carry] bill will move on to the Senate, which approved a similar one last session that later died in the House (Republicans held the majority then, too, though by a much slimmer margin than now). That makes for a grim outlook for colleges opposing guns on campus . . .
And while most continue to lobby against the legislation, experts in campus security and risk management — along with a few, but not most, college leaders contacted by Inside Higher Ed — have recognized the likelihood of passage and are moving on to the next step: figuring out what they’ll do if and when their fear becomes a reality.
And what might that be . . .
[Chancellor of the five-campus Alamo Community Colleges System Bruce] Leslie is already considering questions of training for police, faculty and staff; modifying institutional policies and procedures (though the specifics are unclear at this point, changing the weapons policy is an obvious one); ensuring that people with guns are permit-holders; and protecting the safety of high school students and younger children who often visit Alamo campuses for competitions, dual-credit programs and other events. “There’s just a lot for us to have to think about and we’re just beginning to have those conversations,” Leslie said.
I know! How about they do . . . nothing! Where’s the evidence that there’s been any problems whatsoever re: legally concealed weapons at the 70-plus American college campuses where students and faculty and workers are packing heat? You’d think they were facing an ebola epidemic. Check this:
Utah’s website warns people on the campus that it is “very possible” that they will see someone with a weapon, and they are “encouraged” to call University Police and report the person, whom an officer would then locate to ensure that the gun was being carried legally.
That’s only one example of how concealed carry can drain colleges’ manpower and resources — not to mention affect campus safety. “There’s a slew of challenges,” said Gary Margolis, managing partner at Margolis, Healy & Associates, a firm that consults with schools and colleges on safety and security.
Among those problems: accounting for the presence of loaded weapons in an environment rife with alcohol, drugs and young people; depending on police to decide in a split second which shooter is the good guy; considering the ways in which concealed guns could deter students or faculty from engaging in debate on contentious topics in a classroom setting; storing weapons (which in some cases could be used in a crime); and handling unattended weapons (ihn [sic] Utah, an employee once left his gun in a campus bathroom).
The list goes on.
Hang on; the people in charge of educating our youth are worried that they can’t address hot topics because someone’s carrying a firearm? No wonder we’re a nation of wimps. And cowards.
As for the assertion that more guns will deter campus shootings, many experts take issue with that. “When you allow more guns on campus, the injuries and deaths you’re going to see primarily are going to be from negligent and reckless conduct [like the recent accidental death of a Florida State University student] and increased suicides,”[Dean of the Stetson University College of Law Darby] Dickerson said. “You’re not going to see an increase in Loughners,” she said, referring to the former community college student who critically injured U.S. Representative Gabrielle Giffords and killed six others in a Tucson shooting last month.
Not to steal the ATF or Vin Diesel’s thunder, but the comments underneath the post are coming fast and furious. The debate is relatively civilized and largely in favor of campus carry. Still, it’s a good thing you can’t bring a gun to an Internet debate, eh?
[hat tip to Dozer for the link]