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No need for guns on campus

Published: Monday, January 6, 2014

Updated: Monday, January 6, 2014 03:01


The rhetoric in the debate over gun control seems to continually bounce between staunch defenses of the right to bear arms and tragic crimes that demand national attention such as those at Sandy Hook Elementary School and Columbine High School. 

However the issue of carrying firearms on campus is a different matter.

Yes, everyone should have the right of carry a weapon and be able to use it in cases of self-defense.

Yes, more should be done to prevent mass shootings such as the cases of Sandy Hook in 2012 and Columbine in 1999. These incidents demand policy makers to take a second look at gun control.

However both views are irrelevant on most college campuses. 

Incidences of violence are relatively few on college campuses, and though the Florida appeals court ruled that universities cannot ban the legal possession of firearms on campus in a case from a University of North Florida student last month, campuses are no place for firearms to be carried freely.

Universities are typically non-threatening environments that see violent crime only in rare occasions, and mass shootings such as the Virginia Tech shooting in 2007 are even rarer. If students are allowed to carry firearms on campus, that environment will likely gain a tense atmosphere of fear and paranoia that is detrimental to the classroom setting and could open the door to increased violence.

According to annual safety reports from campus police departments, not a single murder has occurred at the University of Central Florida, the University of Florida or USF in the past several years. On all three campuses, robberies and aggravated assaults declined or stayed the same between 2011 and 2012, with the exception of UCF which had 20 aggravated assaults — the highest number of any of the three universities, each with populations of more than 40,000, since at least 2010. 

Though it may be comforting to know you could have a firearm ready to defend yourself from violent crime, this is an extreme measure for far too rare of a circumstance on college campuses. 

Many universities, including USF, offer classes to instruct students on self-defense. Adding a firearm, one meant for self-defense, to a situation may only escalate the danger involved should the attacker raise his own weapon or gain control of the other party’s.

Though the court’s ruling may be legally accurate in that the way the existing law is written, universities cannot have a higher standing than the state, this matter of public safety should be one in which wisdom, not simply legal accuracy is used. 


Alex Rosenthal is a sophomore majoring in mass communications.

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Thu Feb 20 2014 14:02
Without reiterating some of the valid points other have said; this article has whole bunch of text and personal opinions without much of anything else. The day campus cops and LEOs in general will stop carrying guns for their protection I will rethink my concealed carry and keeping my gun in the car.

Just because you claim campus crime-rate is low does not protect me or eliminate the possibility of a threat that I might have to deal with. In-fact the more relaxed and careless you become the better target you become for potential criminals. No self-defense class is going to help you against a group of individuals in a parking garage, not to mentioned armed ones. I personally feel much more protected around a group of people that legally posses firearms and knows how to use them than in a room/building with a sign "No guns allowed"; where no sane and responsible citizen can effective protect themselves against some psycho with his/her screws loose and could care less for laws or prohibitions (including that stupid "no guns" sign that tells him "Come in and do what you want since no one can effectively challenge you").

If you don't like firearms... by all means don't have any but please don't limit my or anyone else's ability and right to protect themselves if that scary situation ever presents itself (I hope not).

Anonymous Two
Mon Jan 13 2014 18:30
At least this anti-gun article has an author attached to it. In the past, anti-gun articles were published with no identifiable author, the apex of cowardice and shoddy periodical scholarship.
Common Sense
Sat Jan 11 2014 21:24
Two things:
1. USF and the surrounding area are not the nicest parts of the city. Denying students the ability to leave their lawful gun in their cars prevents them from having it when they go through or to the dangerous areas.
2. This sentence sums up the inherent silliness of the anti gun crowd "Though it may be comforting to know you could have a firearm ready to defend yourself from violent crime, this is an extreme measure for far too rare of a circumstance on college campuses. "

Who are you to dictate what acceptable level of risk I should subject myself to each day when I head to school ? Even if the chance is 1 in a million - someone is that one person. The statistics are irrelevant to those victims who could have defended themselves but you decided that the occurrence is too rare.

In the D
Fri Jan 10 2014 09:17
Actually the percentage of college students that can carry concealed legally is quite small. In most States the legal age to conceal carry is 21. So you are mostly talking about some juniors and seniors. But like Brian stated, concealed is concealed. Unless the CPL carrier told you, you would never know. Most of the spree shootings end when there is resistance, thus the spree killer committing suicide. We saw that in the latest CO. School shooting, and there was no volley of bullets.
Thu Jan 9 2014 12:50
If you're going to find a job in mass communications, you're really going to need to insert some facts. The closest thing to a real number is "not a single murder", but then you follow it up with "past several years". How long is that?

The next thing you mention is the occurrence of robberies and aggravated assaults. Since you failed to provide any numbers, other than the single campus aggravated assault, I can only assume that you feel that the level of occurrence is acceptable.

The thing that should be completely omitted from your essay is the opinion that the atmosphere would become tense with fear and paranoia. Please provide examples of places where this is true outside of college campuses. I've never seen this anywhere in public. I think you'd be hard pressed to find such a place.

I appreciate your position, but I recommend that you provide some examples for comparison and some concrete numbers. Without any of that, it's all just an opinion.

Wed Jan 8 2014 11:31
Brian: playing Video games is not real life. I guess you're one of the ones we should worry about.

I've watched so called "highly educated" people lose their minds when confronted by even the simplest of stressors like our Campus Preachers. I could just imagine how those difference of opinion confrontations could escalate into the threat or use of a firearm. I can really see it happening and it's quite disturbing.

Tue Jan 7 2014 23:51
It would be quite interesting if our super trained tactical student body as you describe them, takes out their concealed weapon during a shooting incident. I think you may be on the receiving end of a volly of bullets from uniformed police who have no idea if your a mad gunman or a wanna be hero.

Dumb idea for our 13th grade members of USF

Brian Wright
Tue Jan 7 2014 00:01
I have to disagree with much of the logic presented here. Many of the students qualified to carry concealed have training equal to law enforcement. In some cases, they are more experienced in defensive firing; there are more than a handful of veterans with combat experience on campus.

The only way you'd know someone is carrying a concealed weapon properly is if they told you. Part of the responsibility of carrying is having the burden of proper operation and tact in weapon carriage.

Let's not forget how open the campus is to surrounding neighborhoods. Crime is not as rare as one might think. How many aggravated assaults go unreported each year?

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