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Armed and Dangerous in Academia?

Armed and Dangerous in Academia?
Susan Dutca-Lovell

Despite mass-campus shootings such as Virginia Tech that have the public questioning the safety of college campuses, the U.S. Department found that 93 percent of violence against students occurs off-campus. Currently, approximately 4,400 colleges and universities prohibit carrying firearms. However, states such as Arkansas, Colorado, Idaho, Kansas, Mississippi, Oregon, Utah and Wisconsin allow concealed guns at some level. Pro-gun movement is rapidly increasing, as evident with the push of the Senate Bill 68 and Florida House Bill 4001, which would permit loaded and concealed arms on campus at Florida State University. Republican Greg Steube and Florida State Senator Greg Evers believe the mere absence of prohibition would lessen gun violence. Additionaly, “a gun-free campus creates a sanctuary campus and safe haven for rapists and criminals,” Steube explained in an interview. Supporters of the legislation believe it upholds the Second Amendment, which grants the right to bear arms, especially for protection purposes. So far the Florida League of Women Voters has opposed the bill and plans to do so again.

Not everyone feels so safe with the prospect of students being cocked and loaded. The majority of university presidents and campus law enforcement oppose the bill which would put the now-safe environments on high-alert. Anti-gun activists of the Florida League of Women Voters have been firm in their stand on gun control since 1990. Especially in college environments where there are drugs and alcohol present, guns further threaten the well-being of students and increase risk of injury or even, fatality. Other potential issues include: decrease in academic focus, accidental firings, dormitory theft, student suicide, distinguishing armed civilians from assailants, and so forth. If successfully passed, Florida will be the ninth state to implement such legislation, as early as fall of 2016.

Do you believe concealed guns should be permitted on college campuses? Would you feel safer knowing your peers are armed? Furthermore, if you have a passion for gun laws or criminal justice, as well as other fields of study, conduct a free scholarship search to see how your can fund your college education, today.

Comments (52)
Daniel H 8/28/2015
The "bad guys" will always have guns inspite of the laws. It's the law abiding citizens that will not be able to protect themselves. Just look at the Prohibition!
Daniel H 8/28/2015
@drew price r I'm not saying students should be allowed to carry guns. but you saying "Neither students or staff should carry firearms on college campuses," is silly. Suppose a shooting occurred? What will stop the shooter? That's right, not much. Unless he's rushed (which will take lives) or he commits suicide, he will just keep shooting.
Drew price R 8/23/2015
Neither students or staff should carry firearms on college campuses. Firearms give the person in possession a feeling of power which, with students on college campuses is the last kind of power needed. In college, kids being to party a lot, with partying comes drinking. They also have disagreements with one another, putting dinking, disagreements, and firearms together it creates an unsafe environment of the other students. With security at colleges in no way are guns needed. The most self-protection needed by students is pepper spray anything further is putting lives in danger.
Devin S 8/23/2015
I believe this is very wide open opinion because we should be able to protect ourself when harm comes our way, but allowing them only makes the situation of harm happening at a higher percentage. No guns? Better protection.
Amador H 8/23/2015
Being a citizen from Texas which is known gun loving state according to some, it's quite common to hear about a gun in someones possession outside of school but to allow firearms within campus seems unnecessary. Only officers/security on campus should be allowed to wield a firearm, why would we put a weapon in the hands of maturing adults such as I whom may or may not have full control of their emotions. Although I do believe guns can save a life in a critical situation, firearms should remain outside an academic setting, such as universities.
Eden C. 8/23/2015
While I can see the benefits from having armed personnel on the campus, I don't agree with students having access to this on campus. This would instigate fear, and I truly believe there are people out there that aren't able to have a stable mind within the campus, and it could lead to some horrific accident. We hear college suicide stories all the time. We hear how stress and expectations can lead a person onto a path to suicide, and I believe a campus that allows guns will just increase access to an "easy way out". In conclusion, students being able to carry concealed weapons is not the most effective solution to danger in acadamia. I say to increase on-campus security and perhaps have Armed staff.
Alfi M 8/23/2015
I might not was supposed to write long paragraphs on the simple idea of not using weapons, but I wanted to give all the possible reasons to stop the wicked wish and society error of bringing guns to colleges and universities. It's true, we have the wish to use guns to keep ourselves alive and from danger for other human beings and any beasts, but weapons should not be brought to colleges for the fact that the percentage of dead people will increase, students of colleges may give influence to others of a minor grade including middle and high school students since this students of a minor grade will have the wish to go to college,and since there's weapons in college they will want to start using weapons on their correspondent grade increasing the violence in communities,this might not be the only problem for community,another problem applied is that college students will tend to have a job after finishing their studies, and in that job they will have the bad habit of bringing weapons to work and since all humans are not perfect, mistakes and accidents will happen with this weapons in work, bringing chaos and destruction , another problem is that it will spread in the United States like a disease, college students that might be out-of-state or in-state will give this information to other states with their opinions in them, influencing and supporting other states to have weapon allowance on colleges, in fact we are all humans in here, at least that's what I think, and humanity have the thought of been powerful and by being powerful we tend to think that we have the right to remove other people's life, advantages and dreams with this evil creations called weapons that mankind has made for protecting loved ones from others that have the wish of killing them for some particular reason, but the idea of protecting and killing has been confusing and confronting as the years and time passes through. Coming back to the main topic, innocence people that was not meant to die
Cameron G 8/22/2015
The idea of guns being allowed on college campuses is not necessarily a bad one in a perfect world; however, allowing guns on college campuses makes the assumption that all people will use them in a safe and beneficial manner--this is not always the case. The undeniable fact that there will always be "bad eggs" in an imperfect world such as ours makes the idea of guns on college campuses absolutely absurd. I for one would never feel safe if I knew that all around me people had guns (legally), and that perhaps some of these people were very dangerous.
Jacob P 8/21/2015
There is definitely merit to the idea that students should be armed. Implement a campus license for those who wish to carry. Offer a gun safety course as well that could be taken Spring, Summer, Fall, and Winter Semesters. Even a half-semester course. Guns have advanced safeties and they work as long as they are properly cared for. A misfire should be a non factor. I know way too many people- men and women, who have fallen prey to sexual assault or theft and were helpless. I'm not saying this will solve all those issues, but it's another precaution that would be available.
Jennifer S 8/21/2015
I can see the benefit of having staff armed but do not believe students should have the right to carry on campus. This would make it near impossible to determine friend from foe.
Hali B 8/21/2015
If guns, concealed or not, are allowed on college campuses the risk of accidental firings and fatalities will skyrocket. That would make an unsafe environment for students to learn and earn degrees. Plus, with alcohol and drugs being on campus could cause more dangerous situations when firearms are present. I believe that guns and other potentially fatal weapons should remain prohibited on college campuses because of things like threats, theft, suicide, homicide, and accidental firings that could potentially cause injuries and fatalities.
Nikolas M 8/21/2015
i believe as our 2nd amendment grants us the right to bare arms this discussion is fictious. If you truley understand the means it takes to purchase a registered fire arm, you would know that background checks and other policies are enforced. It is discerning hearing people who made it to college; basically explaining how they have no issues yet again giving up another one of their rights. Ashame. I dont see myself ever having a gun in a future, but it is my right and everybodys else to nake that desicion. I will not stand by and see another one of our laws and rights to be detered by the uninformed masses
Tamika G 8/21/2015
please let me get this .
Jacob G 8/21/2015
If the firearm is obtained and kept legally then they should be able to practice their second amendment right.
Jacob G 8/21/2015
If the firearm is obtained and kept legally then they should be able to practice their second amendment right.
Stecy M 8/21/2015
guns permitted on school campuses ? What next, alcohol and drugs allowed at any time?
DH 8/20/2015
"Gun Free Zones" are inherently unsafe like driving without a seat belt. The 2A is our fundamental right to self defense--our right to life, limb, and liberty. The Bill of Rights is not a list of priviledges to be doled--or not--by legislators, and certainly not by unelected college administrators. As for the arguments made against CCW in the article they are "red herrings". In example: 1) "93% of assaults against students are made off campus". How is a student who lives on campus going to be armed when they go off campus? The "gun free zone" strikes again. 2)"Drugs and alcohol are present". Drugs and alcohol abuse are the problem, whether we're talking about guns, cars, whatever. Deal with the real problem. Likewise, statistically, those who are licensed to carry a handgun are more law abiding than even the police.
Andrew Z 8/20/2015
I guarantee you all of those people getting shot at would have wanted a gun. People that sit in their ivory tower telling us all we're better off without guns fail to recognize reality. Even the marines shot up were not allowed to have guns at the recruitment center. Want to guess how they survived? One of them had a gun anyway.
Hayley R. 8/20/2015
With the proper classes and training I don't see any problem with allowing students to carry weapons.
Mahamed yusuf 8/20/2015
Abigail B 8/19/2015
Gabrielle C. 8/19/2015
I believe that guns should remain prohibited from college campuses not only for the safety of others, but for there own safety. You never know whether the weapon will go off out of no where. You also don't want to make students think it's okay to carry a weapon on them for their safety and take advantage of the situation and it cause more accidents to themselves or others. As far as feeling "safer" in my point of view I would not feel anymore safe with a peer who has a weapon because there is always that one mistake from someone misusing their use of the weapon that was permitted to them.
Caden N 8/19/2015
Allowing any random student to carry a firearm to campus is a horrible idea. If, however, you went through the proper protocols in order to obtain one, were 21 or over, had a thorough background check, and took several course in gun safety as Emily B has pointed out, then it should be fine. If you're deemed as unfit to be allowed a weapon, you wouldn't be able to get one, and if you were fit to carry a firearm, you would be a deterrent against those who think the school is a good target for casual manslaughter
emily b 8/19/2015
Giving college students the "right to bear arms" on campus is a great idea. They feel more safe and secure. Granted there needs to be multiple courses the student needs to go through to obtain the license. Along with back round checks and meeting the required age of 21 to carry a weapon. The student needs to know when the right time to use it is and make right choices.
Margaret P 8/19/2015
I do not believe guns should be permitted on school campuses. Although I support people who would like to carry their firearm, I do not support my fellow students to carry their gun to school with them. I am starting the semester at a new school this fall in a new city and it is much bigger than the college I attended before. I would have the same opinion if I was still attending the smaller school. There are a lot of young people who go to college. As a young person, I am guilty of mistakes that could have been avoided if I had more life experience and wisdom that comes with age. I believe campuses should be gun free to prevent accidental firings that could be more potential because the average student being a young adult. Another point that seem important to me is that distinguishing civilians from assailants may be necessary sometimes.
FatherOfCollegeStudents 8/19/2015
You should stop writing uninformed opinions and unscholarly blogs; and perhaps go back to school. English Comp I & II should be helpful as well as Constitutional Law. If you have already had any of these courses, you should probably start again at a different institution. Until then, please refrain from presenting yourself as knowledgeable. Thank you.
Marcus Brutus 8/19/2015
Annie S 8/19/2015
I feel as if guns should not be promoted to use on school grounds. There is no need for students to carry them. Thank you for your time.
PhaedraM 8/19/2015
Bob W 8/19/2015
The presence of properly trained, armed students serves as a deterrent to those that view a college campus as sitting targets.
Adam G. 8/19/2015
I think that instead of just one central hub for all the police officers to work in on campus, there should be at least five. There should be a slightly bigger one in the center where the major operations can occur, but there should also be hubs in dorms, by the library, and other significant areas. There should be poles will buttons that with a simple tap will allow the notification that someone is in distress to an officer. I agree that guns should be banned, and with the added security safety should always come in hand.
Mel k 8/18/2015
more guns does not mean better gun safety. it means an increase in gun violence. if a school allowed open carry or concealed carry, I would not attend that school.
Chloe Cook 8/18/2015
It makes much more sense to have crushing penalties for illegal possession and/or use of guns for detriment than possession by random individuals who may or may not be more trustworthy than any other nut. Crush the soul and life from those who possess guns who shouldn't and those same will toss them out windows when an officer even looks at them funny.
Mary V 8/18/2015
I want to know who the other (9) states are! Surely these people have lost their minds. I swear, it is the worst here in the South. The weather is almost just not worth it anymore. Prepaid plan, or not, it will be a cold day in you know where before our child will attend college here. Not only is the education sub par, in most cases, but now you get to be under constant threat of being harmed.
Stephane F 8/18/2015
I just can not believe that, what does it mean? the student will be able to go to class and around the campus with a gun? It will make it easier for disturb student or terrorist to commit their crimes. I am against that bill too, where can we find a petition to sign? best regards
Cinnamon Reedy 8/18/2015
Yes, if everyone is checked for a mental illness before being allowed guns on a campus it's fine .
Cindy S 8/18/2015
There is no way that I believe in carrying a weapon on college campus. Also, there is a thing called trust and in today's world no one can trust a soul. So, if a person gets mad at a person in the classroom however; one does not know he or she will pull a gun.
claire h. 8/18/2015
I say go ahead with the guns. I'd feel a whole lot safer knowing I at least have something to defend me wherever I may go. If you have the right training and know how about guns I'm all for it. We're in ga and I'd love for that law to come here.
Mel W. 8/18/2015
Concealed carry on campus would only be legal for those 21 and older as that is the legal age in almost every state. These individuals are bound by the same legal requirements as any other CCW holder as far as being intoxicated (a no no for concealed carry), etc. Do the research, concealed carry license holders are proven to be more law abiding than most citizens as there is a huge amount of responsibility that goes with it. If you live in a state with concealed carry you may interact with hundreds of people who are legally armed and never know it. It makes us all safer not the other way around.
Kristina B 8/18/2015
I believe that having concealed guns should not be permitted on college campuses. Even if they only have the gun to protect themself, how would I know if I'm going to be safe? If concealed guns were allowed my main focus would be my safety. Some people get scared easily and some people are paranoid. How would I know that I won't get hurt? And how would that person know whether or not they'll hurt themselves from their gun going off? Guns are not only dangerous but unpredictable as well. Guns are sensitive. People accedently shoot themselves from time to time. What happens if a gun goes off? I'll tell you, a campus wide panic and probably a news report. Students would hide, the police would be called, and an ambulance would be called. Someone could get severely hurt and may even lose their life. Now for clarification I am not saying every person with a gun will be like this. Some people do know how to hold, shoot, and secure a gun. However I personally wouldn't take the chance and let everyone have a gun. Who knows what could happen if someone decided they could handle a gun? Another rhing to consider is the safety of others. What would happen if someone with a gun was under the influence and happened to pull their gun out? I don't think it would be easy or safe to try to convince the person to put the gun away. Nor would it be safe or smart to try to take the gun or run (depending on how intoxicated the person is). That doesn't leave many options. No matter the reason for a gun I don't think college campuses should allow students to have them. Some people can't handle having a gun, others don't know how to handle a gun. Guns are dangerous depending on the person holding it, but I don't think anyone should take the chance and let everyone carry a gun if they want.
Lani T 8/18/2015
i believe in the freedom of our second amendment right. The right to bear arms. I believe that it is a necessity to be able to carry a weapon under the right circumstances.
Alura F 8/18/2015
I believe in our second amendment but guns should absolutely not be allowed on campus. If people are concerned for their safety while on campus, there needs to be more enforcement and options for students to protect themselves but guns are not the way to go. I would be concerned for my safety and others safety of guns were allowed on campus.
keyasia mcnair 8/18/2015
Oh nice
Robert M. 8/18/2015
Honestly, I am one who supports the rights of the Constitution, including the 2nd Amendment, so I'm actually okay with this. As long as the people with the guns are responsible and won't just whip it out whenever, then it can be allowed.
Tamesha A 8/18/2015
I agree with our second amendment right but I feel that there is no need for guns on a college campus. Allowing students to have weapons on campus is not safe. How cab they distinguish the good students from the bad or who is a student and who is not? Are they checking every student with a gun for a permit? Its just a bad idea all around. I don't see how any good can come of it.
tya 8/18/2015
No cause they can harm others at the school if a fight breaks out or they are really angry.and if they just walk up and attack you they can have guns but just leave it in the car safe and locked
Lindsay Helberg 8/18/2015
Does anyone realize that whether you ban guns or not, people are still going to procure them if they want? A law only deals with someone after they have been caught.
Reya G. 8/18/2015
I have absolutely no problems with guns, however I don't think carrying them on the college campus is necessary. Everyone tries to promote nonviolence. Allowing students to carry gun defeats the purpose of campus police ands security. Its not safe because you will never know what a armed student would be thinking.
Miranda Y 8/18/2015
Personally, yes I think guns should be allowed on College campuses. The number of raped will drastically go down as well as assaults and other things like gay-bashing. The people who have the guns should go through mental testing though, just so you know they aren't the criminal themselves.
Sentual Strong 8/18/2015
Yes because, if you hav e a license and a permit I feel you might need a gun for self defense. I also believe that guns shouldn't always be carried bin campuses. I feel only they should be use at parties or after or before school events. I would also feel alot safer if I knew that people around are armed so I can be alert if they even reach for a gun.
Cecelia Bostic 8/18/2015
I don't think college students are mature enough emotionally to carry concealed weapons most students I encounter still depend on parents for support and as of yet aren't sure what they want to be when they grow up. Frightening
Frank J 8/18/2015
I believe that I would feel safer if trained individuals were carrying weapons. If they go through the proper training and receive their permit then they deserve to have a concealed weapon.
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