The University of Alabama-Huntsvilleâ€™s campus is a â€œgun-free zone,â€ but this certainly did not stop a woman from bringing a weapon and gunning down three of her colleagues Friday.
Far be it from me to use the deaths of innocent victims as props in a political agenda. However, the implications of this tragedy cannot be ignored.
Or can they? One group has ardently disregarded empirical evidence and logic in the fight to strip students of their constitutionally granted rights. Iâ€™m obviously referring to the ignorant bureaucrats of the CSU System Board of Governors who impose policies from the safety of their office in Denver.
No wonder its members feel safe and secure after attempting to enact the illegal gun ban. Roughly 60 miles lay between them and the understandably angry student body.
Entrenched in their irrational expectation that â€œuntrustworthyâ€ gun owners can be trusted to adhere to the unlawful policy, the BOG has inadvertently created its own alternate reality in which nothing bad can ever happen to good people.
It has constructed a bubble enshrouding ignorance and, more importantly, incompetence. This bubble has arguably been popped by the single prick of a pin that came in the form of the deaths in Huntsville, Ala. The tragedy in Huntsville merely emphasizes the fact that a misplaced feeling of safety is not equivalent to actual safety.
Any attempt to explain this to the BOG or CSU President Tony Frank via e-mail is met with a prepackaged response that insults the voice, as well as the intelligence, of the student body. No doubt Frank is constrained by the will of the BOG, but his inability to acknowledge our reasonable concerns is foolish.
At the very least, he damages his reputation. At the most, he puts our lives on the line.
Rocky Mountain Gun Owners recently held a press conference on the Oval that challenged the BOGâ€™s decision and threatened legal action against them. I applaud them for taking a stand against these blind pen pushers who hide behind a masquerade of moral superiority.
Larimer County Sheriff Jim Alderden attended the press conference and stated that in his 11 years of issuing concealed licenses, their use at CSU has never been a problem. And the crime statistics reported by the CSU Police Department show a massive dip in the number of incidents since 2003, when Colorado issued statewide concealed carry reform (a graph of the data can be found at www.concealedcampus.org).
The argument that the BOG and many ill-informed students on campus cling to is that there is no reason to carry a gun on campus.
They have apparently forgotten the massacre at Virginia Tech and the deadly incidents at numerous campuses in the past, including the University of Arizona, Virginiaâ€™s Appalachian School of Law, San Diego State and the University of Iowa.
They may not see the benefit of carrying on campus, but this does not give them any compelling reason to restrict the rights of others to do so.
To suggest a law-abiding citizen with the proper licenses and a handgun could not prematurely end a killing spree on campus is mind-numbingly stupid.
Thankfully we have organizations and individuals who are willing to spend the time and money to battle these pinheads and their detrimental policy, including the RMGO and Students for Concealed Carry on Campus, who debunk a number of popular brainless arguments on their site, and Tim Campbell, a student at CSU who organized a petition against the gun ban.
I hope and pray that these groups will keep up the good fight and refuse to back down in the face of indubitable paranoia to which the BOG clings.
Know this, Tony Frank and Board of Governors: No psychopathic murderer has had the courage to bring a gun on campus for fear of comparable retribution. If your decision to strip students and faculty of their right to self defense results in the deaths of innocents, their blood will be on your hands.
Josh Phillips is a senior business administration major. His column appears Tuesdays in the Collegian. Feedback and letters can be sent to email@example.com.