People favor guns on college campuses?

Well it seems as though there is a movement to allow guns on college campuses. Clearly only by adults who are licensed by their states. But the movement is clear in a new MSNBC poll.

The poll asks:
**Should holders of valid permits to carry concealed weapons be allowed to take their guns on college campuses? ** * 15244 responses
[LIST]
]Yes; armed students and faculty could respond to a critical situation immediately.
[INDENT]
]68%
*]No; allowing guns on campuses could confuse authorities in a real crisis.
*]32%
[/LIST][/INDENT]
You can add your vote at this link:
msnbc.msn.com/id/27706201/

The news story from MSNBC is here:
msnbc.msn.com/id/27666800/

Apparently there is a lot of fear on campuses across the nation and its probably unfounded fear as statics indicate colleges are very safe (until the shooting starts).

[quote=MSNBC story]A Justice Department study found 62 violent crimes per 100,000 college students in 2004, compared with 462 per 100,000 Americans overall. That was the last year of a decade-long survey of campus crime by the Justice Department, but data reported under the federal Crime Awareness and Campus Security Act of 1990, also known as the Jeanne Clery Act, indicate that violent crime on campuses has not increased appreciably since then. But saturation news coverage of the mass shootings at Northern Illinois and Virginia Tech have put a spotlight on homicides on campuses, which jumped in 2006 and 2007.

From 2000 to 2005, colleges and universities reported an average of four student homicides a year on campus to the FBI. In 2006, that number doubled to eight. Last year, it rose another 50 percent to 12, not counting the 32 killed at Virginia Tech. That trend has continued so far this year: At least 13 college students have been slain on their campuses or after having been accosted on campus.
[/quote]

But at Indiana’s Ball State University, a professor sums it up this way:

[quote=MSNBC story]Paul Chandler, an associate professor of natural resources who is advising the Ball State chapter, said armed students could end a critical situation long before police could arrive at the scene.

“Whenever a university or school advertises itself as a gun-free zone, they’re basically saying, ‘Spree killers welcome,’ because they know everybody’s unarmed,” Chandler said. “Some people say, ‘Wouldn’t there be a shootout in the classroom?’ Well, a shootout in the classroom would probably be better than a massacre in the classroom.”
[/quote]

At the end of the article it points out that some law enforcement officers and others object to allowing licensed professors and adult students from carrying guns on campus, even if they are licensed to carry a gun off campus. They claim that when police arrive on the scene they will not know who the criminal is and they may be confused by the honest citizen with a gun.

The question I have to ask is when will the police show up? Don’t statics show that the police show up after the shootings are over in many, but not all, of these cases? So would not the police often arrive after the shooter is already dead? If so, then the professor or the adult student with the gun is certainly not a threat and probably has put the gun back down before the police make it to the crime scene.

This ought to be tattooed on the inside of everyone’s eyelids:

“When seconds count, the police are only minutes away.”

DaveBj

i am a member for students for concealed carry. i found it on facebook through hunting friends. we simply wanted to be allowed to keep our guns in the dorm, not even to carry. but it makes sense. an apartment couldnt get away with telling the tennants no guns anymore than they could say no jews.

hopefully this common sense will spread and adults on college campsuses will get one of their constitional rights back.

Here are the current results of the MSNBC poll:

Colleges are frequently not as “safe” as their statistics would make it seem because there is a lot of manipulation of the stats. I worked for a university police department for many years. Our leaders would not bend to it, but there was quite a bit of pressure to code things like rape as a non-sexual simple assault. We conferenced with police from across the nation and the practice of fudging the crime stats on campuses was pretty common due to pressure from university officials to make it seem safer. Our plan was that honesty about the stats could give more urgency to implementing crime prevention and law enforcement plans. Luckily, we had strong enough people to fight for what was right instead of whitewashing the truth to make people “feel” safer.

We did not allow guns in our dorms, but students could keep them locked in their car trunk or stored at a firing range oro our department if they wanted to bring them to college. I think that most people would be surprised at the number of incidents that get violent in dorms or just on campuses in general every year even without the added danger of a firearm.

I support the colleges banning weapons in dorms where there is a concentrated population of an age group that is generally living away from home for the first time and not particularly mature. Add the usual illicit drinking to that mix and you have sufficient problems with violence even absent any guns. The ban that we had did not stop determined students from sneaking guns into the dorm, but at least we had immediate grounds to take action when they were stupid enough to threaten someone with a gun.

When it comes to student apartments, we had only upperclassmen and graduates students who were normally less volatile than freshmen in dorms. I have no problem with them keeping a gun so long as it is secured properly when they are out.

I also don’t have a problem with a student who is qualified to carry under a concealed carry law from having their gun on the academic portion of the campus or anywhere except the dorms. To me having the license shows that they had the maturity to take the steps to get the concealed carry license and the proficiency to pass the firearms course (at least in our state).

I’m not one to say that crime stops at the edge of a campus. We had that ignorant argument brought up regularly by ex-hippie faculty in our English Department who actually wanted the police on campus to be unarmed. I doubt that they are still making that argument given the rash of mass murders in the past 10 years or so at schools. They used to give our officers grief when they attended classes armed and in uniform. Now they probably want an officer in every classroom.

Our response time on the university campus where I was an officer was under 2 minutes with a patrol officer for urgent calls absent unusual circumstance such as really severe weather or home game day football traffic. We also have had a SWAT team since the early 1980s, although the public generally does not know it.

On a campus with a professional police department (not glorified security guards that are sometimes seen at private schools), the reponse time is generally much faster than the city police departments. Some of the reasons are that campuses generally cover smaller areas with more officers who have a much better knowledge of the streets, access points and buildings than regular patrol officers for a city. For instance, an officer in a city won’t know where all of your doors are at your home or where the best approach is even if he/she works your general area quite often. On a campus, the officers have a lot more time to learn the lay of the land.

So the short answer to your question is that campus police have a much better chance of arriving very quickly than in a regular city. However, in any situation where a shooter conceals a weapon and just starts firing, the only people who may have a chance to respond are those on site who were not the initial target. Even a trained individual may not be able to respond while standing right there. We were taught that by always wearing body armor, we were giving ourselves a chance to respond even if someone got off the first shot at us. (Note that I say “chance” because if the bullet pierces the vest, then it might be fatal regardless.)

Just curious, but I seem to recall that the total length of time of the shooting spree on the Northern Illinois University campus was only about 90 seconds. That said, 2 minutes may be an excellent response time for a robbery or rape that can take many minutes, but is still far too long for shooting. I’m not, repeat NOT, in any way trying to disparage the response of the Law Enforcement Officers, I’m simply making an observation. Simply put, shootings take place in seconds; even mass shooting are often over in under 2 minutes.

I would not suggest there are any guarantees by allowing qualified citizens to carry weapons. The article in the original post does not suggest any guarantee either. Still, despite the lack of guarantee, having a few more honest citizens with guns is not going to increase our risks, but rather will decrease those risks.

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit www.catholic.com.