Point
By Drew Scofield
Photo Editor

Recently it was announced firearms would be allowed on campus at University of Colorado to those who possess a valid conceal and carry permit.  This is a step in the right direction for gun advocates and the constitutional rights of Americans. 

The controversy it seems comes not from citizens owning guns, but where they are legally allowed to carry them.  Government buildings, financial institutions, and sporting event complexes have restrictions on being able to carry a firearm, but places such as schools are up for debate as demonstrated by Colorado’s recent change allowing carrying on campus.

The fear is that there would be armed students or faculty on campus and that it would lead to an unsafe atmosphere.  Having guns on campus is not an added danger as long as those that carry them have been instructed in their use.   When we look at school shootings, how many of those shootings came from the perpetrator assaulting classmates or coworkers with a gun they were permitted to carry?  If a person sets out to commit a crime and has already prepared themselves for it in their mind, then the crime is going to happen regardless of if they have a permit or not.  Simply put, if a student or faculty worker wants to open fire on campus they are just going to bring a firearm in regardless of a permit or not.

What a permit and the option to conceal and carry on campus does, is give students a measure of peace of mind since they are able to carry protection with them.  While our campus has security measures to follow in the case of a shooter on campus grounds, being armed yourself could potentially alleviate a hostile threat before campus security or police even arrive on scene, saving many lives.

In order to obtain a permit the person in question must undergo hours of classroom instruction as well as an additional firearms practice on a target range.  Applicants and those that receive their permits must also not have a criminal record just to start the process of obtaining a permit.

If you are licensed to carry then you have the knowledge and training and most importantly, the restraint to know when and how to use your firearm.  Knowing that there are armed students on campus could even potentially deter a shooter from opening fire on campus grounds and result in lives being saved.

 

Counterpoint
By Karl Schneider
Managing Editor

“A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed.” This proclamation is an inalienable right of any citizen of the United States of America, as stated in our Second Amendment.

I agree this right is necessary to ward off oppression and intimidation by any leaders that rule over us. The problem lies within defining the terms of where we are able to keep and bear arms. It may be smart to practice proper defensive strategies, such as obtaining a Concealed Carry permit, in areas of high crime and violence, but there are places where violence isn’t abundant.

Should college campuses allow students to carry concealed guns to their English or Biology classes? No, these campuses are usually void of violent crimes, and giving students permission to carry firearms on campus wouldn’t make the area safe or free from violent intent.

If someone is determined enough to bring violence into college, then knowing their fellow classmates may be carrying a firearm will not deter them. The situation may become even more unstable when someone with a concealed weapon opens fire on an active shooter. The adrenalin experienced in such a situation has the potential to cause the gun-wielding do-gooder to accidentally shoot an innocent bystander.

Common sense solutions are usually the most effective. If college campuses implement solid and efficient protocols for dealing with malevolent intentions from violent people, the impact of violence can be diminished. All campuses should have an emergency plan for an active shooter. All faculty and staff should be aware of proper protocol and how to keep students and the general campus populous calm and safe. Someone with a concealed firearm may also be infringing upon standard protocol by acting aggressively towards a shooter on campus.

Not allowing students to carry guns on campus does not violate any amendments. Campuses have the right to implement rules such as no alcohol, no smoking in certain areas and so on to make the campus safe and healthy for the students. Imposing a ban on concealed firearms should fall in this same category. It is not a political statement; the motive is only to keep students and faculty safe on campus.