Campus Safety, Are Guns the Answer?
7 States Considering Legislation to Allow Guns on College Campuses
by Suada Kolovic
What comes to mind when you think of guns on college campuses? If you’re like me, you think of the senseless tragedies at Northern Illinois, Virginia Tech, Pima Community College in Arizona and, most recently, Southern Union Community College in Alabama, where students lost their lives at the end of a loaded gun. And yet, despite those events, seven states across the country are considering loosening or changing laws when it comes to firearms on campus:
- A bill that passed in the state Senate on March 14 would allow students, faculty and staff to carry concealed weapons on college campuses.
- A bill proposed by Nebraska Sen. Mark Christensen would allow professors at public universities to have guns on campus.
- Nevada legislators are considering a bill that would bar colleges from banning firearms on campus. Amanda Collins, a University of Nevada student who was sexually assaulted on campus in 2007 and testified in favor of passing the bill.
- New Mexico officials are considering a law which would allow those with a concealed carry gun license to have guns on public college campuses.
- A bill which would allow those licensed to carry concealed weapons to do so on campus has passed the state Senate, and is now under consideration by the Oklahoma House Public Safety Committee.
- Tennessee legislators are considering a bill which would allow professors to have handguns on campus.
- A bill allowing students to carry guns on the campuses of state universities is predicted to be voted into law, to the dismay of a number of Texan students.
According to Armedcampuses.org, an anti-gun site which lists postsecondary institutions that allow firearms on campus, the International Association of Campus Law Enforcement Administrators (IACLEA) said, “There is...a real concern that campus police officers responding to a situation involving an active shooter may not be able to distinguish between the shooter and others with firearms” at colleges that allow guns on their premises. We’ve witnessed the tragic outcomes guns can have on campus, so how do you feel about gun rights activists pushing for legislation in the other direction? And when it comes to students’ safety on campus, do you think guns are the answer?