Gun policy: We’re doin’ it wrong

Mark Feuerborn

The hot button issue as of late on campuses across Kansas has been guns becoming legal to carry on campus, and as of late, my fellow Ichabods, it’s not looking very good.

Before I begin, I must remind all of us that it is not the fault of the universities, but the state government that this is now an issue. Governor Sam Brownback signed the bill that will soon go into effect, endangering us all. Thanks Brownback.

The new weapons policy has a few main points, including completely prohibiting open carry of any weapon on campus, both in outdoor and indoor areas. Also, all individuals 21 and older may carry a concealed weapon to any location on campus. The only exception seems to be when the building does not permit concealed carry for security reasons. In any case where such building exists, proper secure storage must be provided for weapons in that building. I’ll point out here that this specifies nothing for dormitories. Weapons are also not to be displayed in any situation except cases of self-defense or transfer to storage.

Pretend for a moment that this all doesn’t sound absolutely nuts, and from a security standpoint, let’s think about where the policy currently seems to be taking us. The language conveyed in this new policy seems to focus predominantly on reactive measures, as opposed to preventative.

I know for a fact that if I were in the position to do so, I would abolish the new policy in a heartbeat. There’s no good way to pitch students on a campus carrying weapons, and in cases where students have been armed when a school shooting has occurred, it has done nothing for the situation. Take for example, the Umpqua Community College shooting this past year. It has been documented that multiple students on the campus were armed, and didn’t attempt to stop the shooter because they were afraid of being mistaken for the shooter themselves.

If we can’t stop guns coming to campuses, at least utilize them in a preventative manner. The legislation should prohibit concealed carry, not open carry, and allow students to use deterrence to prevent shootings from happening in the first place.