CU has clear stance on gun control and carrying weapons on campus
The gun control dispute has long been a topic of debate. It divides the political platforms of Democrats and Republicans, questions constitutional limits and sets extreme stereotypes of those abiding by their respective stances.
Today’s relevant question asks if banning weapons from college campuses infringes on constitutional rights.
CU has made its stance against guns on college campuses very clear. CU approached former Attorney General Ken Salazar in 2003 about the validity of a longstanding no-gun policy in the stir of the concealed carry bill, which allows people to carry a concealed weapon after they are approved for a permit.
Since then, the policy has become more strict.
“We think it’s a good policy. It’s a natural reaction for people to say if there were no guns on campus that the shootings at V-Tech wouldn’t have happened. But if you step back from that, with all the variety of things that happen on campus, all the altercations, stress, too much drinking and not enough sleep, the worst thing to add to that mix of things would be guns on a large scale in our judgment,” CU spokesman Bronson Hilliard said.
The University of Oregon, Ohio State University and the University of Nebraska have similar gun-control policies on campus.
“I think a strict gun-control policy is absolutely necessary. I can’t imagine opposition against those rules,” said senior dance major Tara Gladstone.
Things get tricky when students wish to bear arms for the sole purpose of gaming and shooting. In that case, students are allowed to store their guns with the CU Police Department and check them out as they please.
CU police Cmdr. Brad Wiesley said the department stores anywhere between one dozen to two dozen guns at a time.
In 2005, there were four weapon violations on campus. A weapon can either be a gun or a blade longer than 3 inches. If a student is found with a weapon on campus, that person will be arrested and referred to judicial affairs. The student can either be suspended or expelled from the university after that. If faculty members are found possessing a weapon, they will be terminated from their job immediately.
National Rifle Association gun-rights activists argue that guns decrease crime rates, inferring that armed students could have protected themselves and prevented the killing of others in the case of Virginia Tech.
Wiesley said there is another side to the argument. Handling guns takes a tremendous amount of training. If another student used a gun to protect himself, it could have turned into a shootout involving untrained people.
“In that situation, there are a lot more pros to not having guns. If you have other people with guns at the scene when officers get there, it is difficult to detect who the bad guys are,” Wiesley said.
People against gun control on campuses find the rules to be a direct infringement of the Second Amendment, or the right of the people to keep and bare arms.
“I think that the Second Amendment should be upheld and guns should be allowed in this country, but I think it’s irresponsible to bring them to campus,” said Justin Yarusso, chairman of the College Republicans and a senior political science major.
In the wake of the Virginia Tech shootings, many people find it difficult to argue against gun control on college campuses.
“For me, in terms of trying to assure safety of students, we need to feel like we have an equitable environment and one where guns aren’t a method of solving anything,” said Dr. Karen Raforth, director of counseling and physiological services.
Contact Campus Press staff writer Tate Delloye at firstname.lastname@example.org