Home Opinion Idaho (and Others) Shoot Themselves in the Foot (and Other Campus Carry Mishaps)

Idaho (and Others) Shoot Themselves in the Foot (and Other Campus Carry Mishaps)


Gun, Gun, Who's Got the Gun?

It's been a disturbing trend to many that increasingly, college students can carry concealed weapons onto campus and into classrooms. This analysis by 'Armed Campus' reveals that (to date):

  • Five states allow concealed carry on campus.
  • Five states allow concealed carry, but with university restrictions.
  • Ten states require the firearm to be locked in a car.
  • Twenty states leave the issue up to the university.
  • Ten states prohibit concealed guns on campus.

The impacts are pretty straightforward. Because universities have long been considered to be places where thought and learning occur--versus where armed intervention and gun violence occur--the following quote has a profound lesson to teach:

These (college and university) gun-free policies have helped to make our post-secondary education institutions some of the safest places in the country. For example, a 2001 U.S. Department of Education study found that the overall homicide rate at post-secondary education institutions was 0.07 per 100,000 students in 1999. By comparison, the criminal homicide rate in the United States as a whole was 5.7 per 100,000 persons overall in 1999, and 14.1 per 100,000 for persons ages 17 to 29.

So, the conclusion to be drawn from this data is that if you want yourself, your family, your child, or anyone that you care for to avoid being a victim of gun violence, then spend your time on a campus that doesn't allow guns.

That's absolutely inarguable, factually-based, and apolitical: If you want to be safe, go to campus.

Rational Public Policy

So it would seem to be the mandate of responsible public officials to protect their citizens by banning guns on campus. Yet that hasn't happened. Conversely, Texas put into effect a law allowing guns to be carried on campus that went into effect August 1st.

This has generated a number of unintentional consequences that have damaged the Texas university system, to include the departure of a Dean at the University of Texas who decided that the law was SO contrary to the concepts of higher eduction that he couldn't continue as a Dean. Other faculty members have also resigned and found employment elsewhere.

Who can say what knowledge and wisdom was taken from Texas students?

More broadly, these policies have also injured and killed our citizens. Poetically (Idaho State professor shoots self in foot)--yet painfully, I'm sure--the evidence has been mounting that no good and much harm comes from guns on campus.

So we're moving towards restricting these needless injuries and deaths, right? Nope. Not so much.

Kansas to Join the Insanity

Sadly, Kansas, being swept along on the wave of gun irrationality, is joining the guns-ok-on-campus movement. On July 1, 2017, Kansas will allow unregulated firearms on campus.

Think about that: anyone who can obtain a gun under any circumstance can carry that gun on campus, and that will be OK under Kansas law.

Kansas universities are clearly unprepared for this law and its implications. But that doesn't seem to matter. Nor does it matter that basically anyone that breathes (including terrorists) and has a credit card (including terrorists) can buy a gun and carry it onto campus.

Let's Stop This, NOW!

You know.. seriously.. is this what you want? Is this REALLY what you want? A legally-sanctioned Mad Max universe where the right to carry a gun has sacrosanct priority over the safety of your children? I'm really not on board with that. And I hope you're not either. So let's fix this before anyone else dies.

Note: last time I submitted an analysis of guns on campus, I was challenged by a reader to provide a balanced perspective that included the benefits. Dear reader: I haven't found any benefits.

Randall Cuthbert Dr. Randall Cuthbert is a retired APUS Professor of Emergency & Disaster Management. He has also worked as a Red Cross Shelter Supervisor, and spent a 20-year career as a US Air Force Civil Engineer Officer. His blogging interests include: protecting & enhancing the EDM profession in the areas of integrity, honorable public service, and social justice; education regarding the 'big picture' role of EDM in our society; educating our professionals and neighbors with regard to the greatest threat to our civilization--climate change; and in general terms, creating a better world for our children and grandchildren.