Since 2003, CSU students have been allowed to carry concealed weapons onto campus for the purpose of self-defense, granted that they have a Colorado Concealed Weapons permit.
Over the summer, Faculty Council passed a resolution that requested the administration draft a stricter weapons policy for CSU. Faculty Council’s resolution justified a new weapons policy by claiming that, “weapons policies are common among institutions of higher education in Colorado and throughout the nation.” Given that most universities across the nation have banned concealed weapons from their campuses, it can be implied that the intention is to ban concealed weapons from our campus.
On Oct. 7, the Associated Students of CSU Senate passed a resolution in response to Faculty Council’s intention calling for an open dialogue with the students, administration and faculty on this issue and the preservation of the current policy that allows for concealed carry until that dialogue occurs.
But, this resolution does not go far enough in addressing the issue. Given the student response, which has included dozens of phone calls and e-mails, a more definitive stance needs to be taken on the issue of concealed weapons on campus by the Senate. Therefore, we are authoring a new resolution that calls for the preservation of the current policy allowing students to legally carry a concealed weapon onto campus.
At first mention, many recoil at the thought of guns on campus, especially given the horrific events in recent years, most notably the massacre at Virginia Tech. While many think that banning weapons from campus would make the student body safer, the evidence shows otherwise. Allowing students to legally carry concealed weapons on campus contributes to the safety of the student body and provides a strong deterrent against the unthinkable.
Many think that a campus shooting spree could never happen here, but that’s exactly what the mentality was at the various campuses that have experienced these tragic events. Many counter that the police are on campus for this very reason, but this argument fails to grasp the nature of these shootings. Most campus shootings are usually over within a few minutes, and in the case of Virginia Tech, the shooter chained the doors to the entrance of the hall to delay the police from entering.
In this event, where mere seconds are the difference between life and death, a student with a legal concealed weapon can end a tragedy before it gets worse, saving many lives in the process. Otherwise, students are rendered defenseless and powerless, leaving them at the mercy of a madman whose intent is to kill.
In 2008, at the Mercaz HaRav School in Jerusalem, a gunman with an AK-47 opened fire and killed eight students. While the madness ensued, a police officer on the scene failed to confront the shooter and waited outside. Two students who used their personal weapons to subdue the perpetrator ended this tragedy.
Crimes other than campus shooting sprees are committed on college campuses too, such as rape, sexual assault and armed robbery. Allowing a student to carry a concealed weapon provides them a measure of self-defense and effectively levels the field against any assailant.
Statistics across the nation show that concealed weapons permit holders are more responsible and law-abiding than the average citizen. It’s also worth noting that campuses that allow concealed weapons have not seen a single incident in relation to concealed carry, while every school shooting in America, college or otherwise, has occurred on campuses where concealed weapons were explicitly banned.
Allowing concealed weapons on campus gives students the ability to defend themselves in the event of the unthinkable. By having concealed carry at CSU, our campus is provided with a strong deterrent against violent crime. Our hope is that the administration understands these benefits to student safety and makes the right decision by preserving the current weapons policy.
ASCSU Senator Cooper Anderson is an Agricultural Sciences major, Senator David Ambrose is a Business major and Senator Alex Higgins is a Business major. This editorial does not reflect the official views or positions of the ASCSU Senate or Administration. Letters and feedback can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org.