Guns are Now Legally Allowed on Some College Campuses
While one could easily go online and search for where to buy AK 47 Rifles only to find themselves surrounded by many choices, is it safe to carry guns in public? Even for self-protection? The argument has been going on for a while now: should students and teachers be able to carry concealed weapons on university campuses? Advocates say that by not allowing students to arm themselves, we are making college campuses a vulnerable target for deranged psychopaths. Those who oppose the policy think that campuses should be a safe-zone where there are no weapons allowed. For a long time, most colleges have not been allowing guns on their campuses. However, it seems that there might be an upcoming shift in this policy.
On Wednesday, the state of Oregon overturned a rule that prohibited guns on state campuses. This made it legal for those who have concealed carry permits to bring their guns onto college grounds. Colorado and Utah also have similar laws.
During the summer of 2011, Wisconsin and Mississippi both passed laws that allow anyone with a concealed weapons permit to bring their guns onto public campuses. Interestingly enough, the new law in Mississippi conflicts with a current law in the state that does not allow anyone to carry a weapon in a public or private school building.
Even though these states are making it legal to carry weapons on campuses, the colleges that are being affected by these new laws do not seem to be too thrilled. For example, The Oregon University System is debating whether to appeal the ruling and is currently looking for ways to work around the new law, such as including clauses in football tickets or housing contracts that would prohibit guns in these public areas.
“We don’t know exactly what we will be doing at this point in terms of policy, but we are starting to research that,” said Di Saunders, a spokeswoman for the Oregon University System. “We are very, very concerned about student safety.”
In Wisconsin, students have been hanging signs on campus buildings that would not allow people to carry weapons. If there is a sign posted at every entrance of a building, then nobody can bring a weapon into the building; however, they can still carry the weapons on campus grounds.
“I think people are concerned about what we are all concerned about,” said Sue Riesling, police chief at the University of Wisconsin at Madison. “People who have some kind of grievance, or something that they don’t think has been properly resolved, the fact that they can bring a gun to campus and keep it in their car is unsettling to supervisors. To me, the danger in these concealed carry laws is, when you know all guns are prohibited, if you see one, you call [the police]… It’s the people who don’t have permits who get away with it, because the general public isn’t sure, legal or illegal? And they hesitate to make the call.”
Personally, I think it’s a bad idea for guns to be allowed on campuses. What it all comes down to is safety for the general public. Therefore, I agree with Danielle Hornett, president of Lac Courte Oreilles Ojibwa Community College in Hayward Wisconsin.
“The whole safety issue is a concern of everybody across campus,” Hornett said. “I personally feel that if a weapon is available, there’s too good a chance that somebody might use it in the heat of the moment and kill somebody, where if the weapon hadn’t been available, it might have been a slugfest or something, but people would still be alive.”
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