Campus no place for concealed carry

November 20, 2014 Editorials Print Print
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No doubt it’s a scary world we live in. But it’s a much scarier world when every citizen has to have a handgun in order to feel safe. Imagine handguns on every person — in the grocery store, at the park and now, possibly, on college campuses.

Though a bill hasn’t yet been passed by the State Legislature, the future for college campuses may be looking strange and full of guns.

According to washingtontimes.com, Republican legislators are considering allowing individuals with concealed carry permits to have firearms on college campuses.

Those who are pro gun believe it would help in emergency situations, a belief I can understand, but not agree with.

Only campus law enforcement should be carrying guns on campus.

Some may argue that those who are permitted to carry weapons are trained professionals, because they had to go through a certain amount of training to acquire their permits. However, that argument doesn’t hold any weight.

Just eight hours of training is required to have an open carry handgun permit in Oklahoma, according to www.ok.gov/governor/OpenCarryFAQ.

Add an application fee and a background check on the individual, and you’ve got a gun-toting person, but not a professionally trained person.

That’s in stark contrast to the training law enforcement officials receive.

Don’t get me wrong; the background check makes me feel safer about who’s handling the weapons. But allow me to put this in perspective — my legally blind grandma has a permit to carry a handgun.

I can’t imagine any college becoming safer with an increase of firearms.

There are scenarios where students and faculty with weapons could help, but I also foresee many more scenarios that would involve accidents and bad judgments.

Students for Gun Free Schools cite a study conducted by the Department of Justice which found:  “93 percent of violent crimes that victimize college students occur off campus. This research demonstrates conclusively that students on the campuses of post-secondary institutions are significantly safer than both their off-campus counterparts and the nation as a whole.”

SGFS said these results can be attributed largely to strict policies that have kept firearms off our nation’s campuses. “Our colleges and universities are safe sanctuaries for learning, and we believe they would be endangered by the presence of concealed handguns … .”

How are we supposed to feel comfortable in a society where, in order to be safe, we have to carry a gun? If that’s the mentality of every Oklahoman, we’re in trouble. If every Joe down the street is packing heat, how is that safer? How can I trust every person’s mentality?

If guns were allowed on college campuses, it could hinder the campus police’s ability to shoot the right target if everyone has a gun in their hands.

Only police officers who have gone through rigorous police academy training should be handling weapons on campus. And even they sometimes make mistakes.

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