Concealed carry should be limited to law enforcement, not allowed on campus

March 21, 2017

Mara Green

mgreen7@uccs.edu

     The National Gun Victims Action Council conducted an experiment.

     Three scenarios, including car jacking, armed robbery and suspect larceny, were provided to 77 participants with varying skill levels.

     Of the 77 subjects, seven shot innocent bystanders in situation one, participants were killed in scenarios one and two and in case three, 23 percent of the participants fired without knowing a suspect was a threat.

     While it’s easy to shrug off that this is how 77 random people would handle this situation that doesn’t affect us, apply it to the perspective and a situation you relate closest to – a student on campus.

     Put yourself in the perspective of a student who has a gun in a bad situation. What would you do?

     The FBI reported that 160 active shootings from 2000-2013 had only one case where a concealed carry permit owner stopped the carnage.

     While I understand that American citizens have the right to own a gun, these weapons have no place on a college campus. Law enforcement officials who are meant to protect us should be the only ones with lethal weaponry on campus.

     Guns should be a last resort in self-defense and should never be a go-to when other people’s lives are at stake.

     Students who use concealed carry must bear the weight if they fail to help themselves or others in self-defense.

     As students, we aren’t trained to assess the situation when our lives are on the line, but law enforcement is.

     Coming from a military and police family, I have a history with guns. I’ve been trained to use firearms safely.

     But that doesn’t matter when your target changes from a piece of blue paper to a human being that threatens your life and the lives of others.

     This isn’t the Wild West; there are no rules as to who might be hurt in the crossfire.

     In 2012, Colorado’s Supreme Court allowed concealed carry permits on Colorado campuses. This would then allow any person 21 and older to carry their weapon on campus property.

     According to Armed Campus, only five college campuses allow concealed carry by law in the United States: Idaho, Utah, Colorado, Texas and Tennessee.

     The Colorado Board of Regents has no authority to ban concealed carry, but UCCS will not permit firearms in freshman dorms, event centers or dining halls.

     Armed students have been successful in several cases of self-defense, but it still doesn’t rule out inherent panic when a firearm is brandished.

     Situations of self defense can be tricky depending on what someone chooses to use as a weapon. Guns used as self-defense in these situations between the attacker and the victim can escalate quickly.

     By making yourself the hero, you could endanger your life and someone else’s.

     The possibilities of issues arising are endless and are more than just a migraine for law enforcement.

     I can’t be the only one who is eerily uncomfortable when I see someone walking around with open carry, let alone have the inkling of a doubt wondering how many have concealed weapons.

     In this day and age, especially with the growing tensions in politics, it only takes a few words to upset someone. I’ve found myself repeatedly holding my tongue in conversations about politics for fear of making other people angry.

     While guns are a constitutional right, there should be no need to have concealed carry on a college campus or any education facility, as they can only be detrimental to others and your well-being.