Interesting thought. There are only three universities in the country that allow those with a license to carry a concealed weapon to be able to do so on college campuses. Last month, CNN covered the happenings in Oklahoma where a bill introduced by Rep. Jason Murphey, R-Guthrie, passed through the state’s house that would allow those with a concealed-carry license to be able to carry their weapon on Oklahoma’s college campuses.
The bill is currently waiting in the state senate.
Many argue that the inroduction of this bill at this time is preposterous when there have been shootings on college campuses such as Northern Illinois University and Virginia Tech. A major argument is that a law-abiding citizen with a gun will be faster to react and more likely to protect themselves and others against a shooter on campus as opposed to one who is not armed.
The bill in question, however, does not “limit a university’s ability to restrict concealed weapons from access-controlled areas where people are subjected to security checks”, meaning football games would be weapon-free.
Shortly following the release of that article, it came to my attention that there is a group of students on the MU campus trying to initiate the same act in the state of Missouri. Missouri is one of the 48 states that currently issue concealed-carry licenses and are honored in almost every other state with the same law. Illinois and Wisconsin are the only states that do not issue or allow concealed-carry.
The concern comes to this; if such legislature were introduced in the state of Missouri, how would the students feel? Currently there are only 69 students on the MU campus that are a part of the ConcealedCampus.com group on Facebook, a social networking site. They are a branch off the global group which currently lists over 25,000 members. However, it is unknown how many are there to support the act and how many there are opposed.
When the question was posed to Missouri and some Oklahoma students as to how they would feel if such a bill were passed, none said that it would be a good thing. Expressions of confsion and concern about the introduction of something like that were the greatest response. Some said it would make them uncomfortable, others said they might consider transfering to another school. A small amount said their parents would probably force them to change schools.
There are thousands of universities in the country; is the answer to making them safer to allow for more guns? What about the fear that one of those “law-abiding citizens”, particularly a college student under the influence of drugs or alcohol, commits a crime because they have said weapon? It is not unheard of that someone gets injured while inebriated, but introducing a weapon in the matter can only make it worse.
For more information on students interested in concealed-carry, check ConcealedCampus.org.
* Article recently written for Columbia Missourian: Concealed Carry Expansion