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Guns on campus could be scary, but so is not being protected during an attack on campus. 

The “campus carry” bill has been passed for public colleges in Texas. This bill, also known as Senate Bill 11, allows students with concealed handgun licenses to carry guns on campus starting Aug. 1, 2016, according to an article in The Texas Tribune

Private schools, like Texas Wesleyan University, will have the opportunity to opt out of the bill.  

The decision whether or not to have guns at Texas Wesleyan should be examined in light of the lack of campus safety.  Wesleyan is located in a dangerous area, and while the campus has made security improvements over the last few years, more should be done. 

Guns should be allowed on campus if Wesleyan does not provide safety measures, such as armed campus police and panic buttons.  

But with the deadline for private schools to opt out of the bill quickly approaching, Wesleyan has limited time to make a decision. Wesleyan should allow students to have a voice about the decision because students are the ones who are more active on campus and are easier targets for violence than the faculty or staff.  

If Wesleyan did allow guns on campus, there should be an extra process that faculty, staff and students with a CHL should go through. This would include registering yourself through the school to allow anyone on the Wesleyan campus to know who is carrying a gun.  

However, if Wesleyan opts out of SB11, we believe that campus security should increase. If there was a shooting on this campus, we would have to wait until the Fort Worth police arrived. This could take several minutes and a catastrophe could have already occurred.  

In addition, anyone being attacked would not be able to quickly call for help. A student running for his or her life would not have the time to pull out a cell phone and call campus security, or even the police. Having panic buttons, such as the ones at Texas Christian University, placed around campus could help students call for help a lot easier in dangerous situations. 

Or if guns were allowed on campus, a student could pull out a gun and provide a threat to the attacker quicker than he or she dialing for help. 

Because this campus is not safe, especially at night, Wesleyan should either allow guns or provide armed campus police and panic buttons. Student safety should be the number one focus for Wesleyan.

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2 Comments

  1. Skeptical Ram
    September 2, 2015 at 8:23 pm — Reply

    First, let’s take your hypothetical scenario and put it in the box with the other hypothetical scenarios, like the one where the victim is a kung fu master and the other one where the assailant and the victim are wielding swords.

    Let’s discuss gun safety. Do guns actually make us safer? I can tell you that the answer is not a definitive yes. It’s actually “probably not”.

    Here’s a paper that disputes the statistics that say Permissive Concealed Carry reduced crime rate and shows that it actually resulted in higher homicide rates: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S014481889800012X.

    Here’s another paper from 2013 that found a correlation between increased gun ownership and increased firearm-related deaths: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0002934313004440.

    But that may not be enough evidence to convince you or anyone else reading this that guns and other firearms are in fact dangerous to be around.

    So here’s another one from 2004 that also found a high correlation between gun ownership and homicide and suicide via firearm: http://aje.oxfordjournals.org/content/160/10/929.full

    But perhaps these studies are flawed. Maybe having guns on campus will make things safer. If that were the case, why is it in 2013 when Kansas school districts allowed teachers to conceal carry, EMC Insurance Companies sent out a letter to decline coverage to those schools? A source in case you’re curious: http://www.nytimes.com/2013/07/08/us/schools-seeking-to-arm-employees-hit-hurdle-on-insurance.html?_r=0

    A gun, by its very nature, is created to do harm. Much like a lock, possessing one is only an illusion of safety. The only thing a gun grants you ability to do is harm someone else. Maybe before they hurt you, maybe not. In fact you are much more likely to be shot in an assault if you yourself are carrying a firearm: http://ajph.aphapublications.org/doi/abs/10.2105/AJPH.2008.143099?journalCode=ajph

    By carrying a firearm you are assuming the risk of escalating potentially life-threatening situations, but that risk isn’t just about you, it’s also about everyone around you that may be caught in the crossfire. Moreover the presence of firearms increases the odds of accidents occurring regardless of training or lawful fidelity.

    In the past 4 years we have seen only one instance of aggravated assault on campus, this instance featured a pair of students and a firearm. The incident was resolved without anyone being shot and without a single concealed carry weapon being involved.

    We have also seen an instance of robbery on campus, 3 instances of forcible sexual assault, both of which could have become something much worse than they are if a firearm had been involved on either side of the altercation.

    But what’s worrisome is what else we’ve seen such as 3 instances of dating violence, 28 instances of drug abuse violations and 63 instances of liquor law violations. And these are the people you want to be allowed to carry a firearm on campus? And while true someone guilty of a felony would never be able to qualify for a CHL, it’s not them that worry me. It’s the other students around them that permit this type of behavior and encourage it.

    A campus wide ban on firearms creates an established line that we can point to and prevent future harm. So if someone walks onto campus with a firearm, they are immediately called out on it. UW La Crosse college, April 2013 – A student walked into a building on campus carrying a shotgun. The incident was resolved without a single gunshot because he was seen and stopped because of policies similar ours: http://news.uwlax.edu/an-overview-of-the-april-18-student-gun-incident/

    I wholeheartedly support emergency poles across campus. I want more lighting on the sidewalks and parking lots. As our campus grows larger, we absolutely need more security guards doing active patrols. But firearms on campus is not the answer.

    • September 3, 2015 at 8:22 pm — Reply

      Thank you for expressing your opinion. We would love for you to write a piece, if you would like, to send into us. As noted, this is just the Editorial Board’s opinion. It is what the board believes would be best. The board whole heartily agrees that guns should only be used as a way to defend yourself and would much rather have emergency polls. We believe the time constraint and budget for Wesleyan to make this decision makes that harder for the university to implement any decisions this quickly. Thank you for the additional information. To contact us, please email twurambler@yahoo.com.

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