Nov 11, 2008

Con- concealed carry on campus

by Jan Michael Dervish

Recently, a group on campus began lobbying Liberty’s administration to allow students to carry weapons on campus. This group also used Facebook to rally support for its cause. While it is important to respect and uphold the Second Amendment, we also must be mindful of the fact that common-sense gun control can and does save lives.

Consider this: From 2001 to 2005, there were 75 weapons-related deaths on college campuses, according to the U.S. Census. Also, there are 4,084 colleges in the United States with over 15.9 million college students in 2004. Putting this in perspective, there is one gun related death for every 848,000 college students, per year, on campuses here in the US.

Additionaly, Liberty University's Police Department protects the campus community, as evidenced by the low crime statistics on our campus that are available for all to view in accordance with the Clery Disclosure Act. Liberty, in its own recruitment materials, states that Lynchburg is one of the seven safest cities in the country according to the FBI.

As I previously mentioned, the right to bear arms is one that our country cherishes, as evidenced by powerful interest groups such as the NRA, which work to protect that right. However, private property owners have every right to regulate what they allow on their properties, and Liberty is a private University.

Also, common sense dictates the vast majority of college students, including many of the ones at Liberty, do not possess the maturity necessary to own and store a handgun, and the logistical challenge of where to store the gun for students over 21 living on campus would be immense.

In addition, students storing their weapons either on campus in a dormitory, or in a shared, off-campus apartment would allow potentially-disturbed students easier access to a lethal weapon. Over two-thirds of school shooters acquired their weapons from their family's homes or that of a friend, according to the Secret Service and the U.S. Department of Education.

An example would be the Columbine massacre; both shooters acquired weapons from their friends, bypassing any kind of background check and proceeded to commit the fourth deadliest school-shooting in U.S. history. Imagine the carnage that could result if students forget to lock their safes, or if a disturbed roommate or friend is able to discover the combination.

To the many of you who have told me you know friends that already have weapons in the dorms anyway: You need to go to that person and tell them to obey the campus policies (Hebrews 13:17) and to store and keep their guns off campus. If they refuse, you have an obligation to speak to someone in authority here at Liberty. Imagine how you would feel if that person turns out to be disturbed or angry and goes for their weapons to use either on themselves or on others.

By the way, your chance of dying in a car accident is one in 18,585. Yet, I am still waiting for a Facebook group to petition banning cars on campus. There are some pretty crazy drivers out there. 

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