Preventing bloodshed is the first thing on the board's mind. It is three years since the shooting rampage at Virginia Tech that took the lives of 32 students and staff and just under two weeks since Amy Bishop, a professor at the University of Alabama, allegedly shot six of her colleagues, killing three of them.And what they have in mind is banning legally held and owned guns on campus. Because if they do that, then surely these massacres will stop, right?
Yet there has been such a push-back against the plan that the board may defer a decision today to await further public comment. The proposed change in the rules has reignited emotions about the place of guns in American culture. It is a debate that gets snarled in the conflicting logic of gun ownership rights and the simple notion that bullets and blackboards don't mix.No, they don't. We can clearly see that. But I can't see how stripping people of the opportunity to defend themselves is going to help with that, frankly.
In December, the students' governing body voted overwhelmingly to resist the gun ban.And they were backed up in that by...the law of the land:
And the local sheriff said he would never jail a student for breaking the ban because state and federal law comes before campus law.Which didn't go down too well in the halls of academe, where professors and pencilpushers aren't used to being told they aren't more important than everything else..
Whenever a change in the rules is discussed, national groups rush in with their agendas.Or, to put it another way, people like to have their say on issues, without simply rolling over and assuming the great and the good know what's best for them...
On Friday, the Colorado board of governors received a petition from Students for Concealed Carry on Campus (SCCC), a group that says young scholars stand a better chance of surviving the kind of rampage that occurred in Virginia if – as it were – they pack a pistol in their pencil case.Might as well try it. Leaving people defenceless in the path of a manic shooter hasn't exactly worked out so well, has it?
"You know, there's a saying: 'When seconds count, the police are only minutes away.' If there was a concealed-carry permit holder nearby, it's possible that a couple lives might've been saved," Tim Campbell, a Fort Collins student and SCCC member, told a local TV channel.
On the other side of the argument is Gun Free Kids, an organisation that began a "Keep Guns off Campus" campaign two years ago in response to the Virginia slaughter. It deploys research from law enforcement groups that suggests that there is no correlation between gun-toting citizens and lowered rates of violence. The group also says that there are few places where guns should be less welcome than on campuses. "With binge-drinking, drug use and the pressures that college students are under, we just think introducing guns into that environment, it's the wrong thing to do," said campaign director Andy Pelosi.There are already people 'introducing guns into that environment', Andy. As the t-shirt slogan correctly points out, more signs isn't going to stop them.
...Brad Bohlander, a spokesman for the Fort Collins campus, said that they would merely be falling into line with restrictions in force in the vast majority of American universities.So, how's it gone so far for those other universities?
"It really came down to two general issues, number one: best practices, just looking at what other universities are doing, and very, very few outside of the state of Utah allow concealed weapons on campus," he said recently. "The second is risk management, and it really comes down to this university is responsible for managing risk on this campus of the students."
Yeah. That's what I thought.
Seriously, this is the best they can think of? Do what everyone else does, even though it hasn't resolved things?
I thought universities were supposed to be places of learning. Doesn't sound like there's a whole lot of that going on.