Scrolling Headlines:

UMass Votes Coalition hosts voter registration event -

September 28, 2016

Brettell presents on U.S. immigration policies -

September 28, 2016

UMass field hockey team seeks revenge against undefeated UConn -

September 28, 2016

UMass running back Marquis Young looks to build off momentum gained against Mississippi State -

September 28, 2016

UMass hockey announces captains for 2016-17 season -

September 28, 2016

Andy Isabella finds his niche within the UMass football offense -

September 28, 2016

The EpiPen Crisis: How did this happen? -

September 28, 2016

Cymbals Eat Guitars evolve and impress on “Pretty Years” -

September 28, 2016

Artifex Pereo’s “Passengers” is an otherworldly, haunting ride -

September 28, 2016

Bastille perfectly encapsulates the “Wild World” we live in -

September 28, 2016

Candlelight vigil held to mourn deaths of victims of police violence -

September 27, 2016

UMass hosts William A. Douglass for lecture and chair in Basque cultural studies -

September 27, 2016

Amherst Select Board discusses imposing fines on those who violate water usage ban -

September 27, 2016

UMass tennis opens season on high note with performance at Brown Invitational -

September 27, 2016

UMass women’s soccer using long break to prepare for Atlantic 10 play -

September 27, 2016

Notebook: Ford ‘takes step forward,’ Williams appears on SportsCenter -

September 27, 2016

UMass cross country and track and field coach Ken O’Brien hits half century mark with program -

September 27, 2016

A-10 soccer notebook: Duquesne shuts out Robert Morris 1-0 to win fourth straight -

September 27, 2016

The blue light situation: When is enough, enough? -

September 27, 2016

Survivor; awesome yet evil -

September 27, 2016

Leave it to police

The Virginia Tech shooting raised an outcry from gun control proponents as to why

Seung-Hui Cho, who was adjudicated mentally ill in a Virginia court, passed a background check and was able to purchase handguns online and from stores. This flaw in background checks has since been corrected.

To others, the response to the Virginia Tech incident was a call for more guns on campus. Students for Concealed Carry on Campus is a national advocacy group that was formed to fight for the ability of students to legally carry a concealed weapon on a college campus for purposes of self defense. In Massachusetts, only police can carry guns on campus. Utah is the only state to allow concealed firearms at all public colleges and universities, while 15 others leave it up to the colleges themselves.

The two recent firearm arrests at the University of Massachusetts makes this issue worth consideration. While I support the idea of legal concealed carry for private citizens, I don’t believe it should be extended to school zones.

First off, I have full faith in the emergency response of the UMass Police Department. UMPD conducts very frequent patrols on campus. The Police Station is located relatively in the middle of campus and response time to any part of campus is rapid.

The emergency alarm system and the text messaging system in place are helpful safety measures, although I think it prudent for the administration to publicize a general campus safety plan to organize response and minimize panic. God forbid something more serious does happen. This could apply to students, faculty and administrators on all levels.

At Virginia Tech, Cho committed his first murders at 7:15 a.m. The first campus wide e-mail was sent nearly two hours later. Meanwhile, Cho returned to his room to gather his weapons.

Swift emergency response and proper planning, rather than armed students, would have helped in this case. Sensible controls on who can purchase a gun, like closing the gun show loophole, would decrease the black market supply and easy access to guns that arms criminals so readily. The answer on campus is not more guns; it’s less guns for those who shouldn’t have them.

Campus concealed carry supporters rally around an incident at the Appalachian School of Law as an example of how concealed carry by students can stop a shooter in the midst of an attack. Former student Ted Besen, who tackled the shooter as he fired his last shots contests this, telling the Associated Press, “I already had [the shooter] on the ground before they got out their guns”.

The possible negative repercussions of armed, albeit perhaps responsible, students on campus outweigh any benefits: The prospect of an accidental discharge of a concealed weapon, the possibility of theft in crowded dormitory settings and the obvious complication of on campus partying make the sudden introduction of guns ill-conceived.  There are sometimes fights at UMass. Thursday and Friday nights occasionally get a little out of hand. The students being signed in shouldn’t be more heavily armed than the cadets we have here.

Moreover, the effect on community that concealed firearms would bring would be of obvious detriment. I would be rather frightened of my RA if she kept cleaning her .357 Magnum with her door open. I might avoid floor meetings. If I was that RA, I would be less likely to write up the loud party down the hall if my resident might have a Glock on his or her hip. Of course, I could never tell. It’s concealed. Life on campus is about meeting people and developing lasting friendships in a complicated time in your life. Guns shouldn’t have a major role in that, and it would be a detriment to that goal.

For these reasons, it seems altogether prudent to continue the campus ban on concealed firearms. UMass Police have shown their commitment to campus safety in the arrests on December 3rd and February 6th. I am quite confident in the campus police being in control of any guns and safety on our campus.

Dan Entrikin is a Collegian columnist. He can be reached at dentriki@student.umass.edu.

Comments
8 Responses to “Leave it to police”
  1. Several mistaken notions there: police first have to be aware of an attack beforehand, and if not, then there can be no interdiction. In time of attack, they have to be notified; if not, then people are slaughtered. Or abducted. Or raped.

    Compounding this is that police have no duty to protect individuals from the criminal acts of others [Lynch v. NC DOJ, and Supreme Court, 2005, Castle Rock v. Gonzales, for instance]

    Refusing the armed student on such a large campus, workplace or amusement park furnishes another aid to the attacker.

    The key is to hear from private gun owners and their knowledge base on just why they haven’t had the problems feared by the anti-gun crowd.

    Why not hear from the people who are armed?

  2. Brian D. says:

    ‘When SECONDS make the difference between life and death, the police are only MINUTES away.’

    Yes I could say a lot more, not resorting to bumper sticker-ish wisdom, but why bother? Self-reliant folks already know I’m telling the unexpurgated truth, and sheeple never will.

  3. Theo says:

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

    Leaviong your hoplophobia aside (“I would be rather frightened of my RA if she kept cleaning her .357 Magnum with her door open”), your example from the Appalachian college is a poor one, where you twist the facts to make your point.

    “Former student Ted Besen, who tackled the shooter as he fired his last shots”. Excellent! After the shooter had *emptied his weapons*, killing and wounding many people, the guy was able to tackle him to the ground, “before they got out their guns”. Your selective quoting from what actually happened at the college is deceitful, at best.

    The reason why he was able to tackle the shooter “before they got out their guns” was not that he was a superior athlete, able to tackle someone before people could draw their pistols from their holsters, but that the armed students had to ***run to the parking lot*** to retrieve said guns and run back to the building!!

    Next, there is no “gun show loophole”, the same as there is no “used car loophole”. You are making a strawman arguement twice: 1st because there is nothing I can’t sell at a gunshow, that I, as a private individual, can’t sell at my house, the mall, or the gas station. 2nd, CHo bought his guns at a gun dealer’s store, after passing the state and federal background checks. Less than 0.01% of guns used in crimes are bought at gun shows.

    Your hoplophobic response is to limit my rights, as a law abiding citizen, because of the actions of criminals. Let’s see, how many **existing** laws did Cho violate? 1. Lied on his purchase application about his mental status, 2. Carried his weapons illegally concealed, 3. Had weapons on campus illegally, 4. Used his weapons to commit the crime of attempted murder, 5. used his weapons to commit the crime of murder, 6. used his weapons to commit suicide.

    Hmmm, there’s SIX felonies that were committed under our exisiting laws. Wow! DO you think more laws would have stopped him from crime?

  4. Burn says:

    Just recently non-police gun carriers (open carry) stopped an armed robbery with their presence only.

  5. Douva says:

    This official handbook from Students for Concealed Carry on Campus answers all of the author’s concerns and never once in its 96 pages mentions the shooting at the Appalachian School of Law:

    http://www.scribd.com/doc/16488074/Students-for-Concealed-Carry-on-Campus-SCCC-Handbook

  6. Don Bennett says:

    With all the discussions concerning college students legally carrying weapons on campus, let’s look at some thoughts that I have not seen expressed.

    Most students, 90+ % ?, fit the age brackets discussed below.

    FRESHMAN
    This is usually the first time the freshman is away from home for a longer time than spending an overnight slumber party or spending time with a friend and their family on vacation.
    The freshman wakes up in a totally new environment. New people. New friends. New location. New social guidelines. The pressure from fellow freshmen is to place a little more emphasis on doing new and exciting things instead of hitting the books as hard as should be. And remember, there are very few freshmen who are not 17 or 18 years old.
    But wait! The usual citizen has to be 21 in most states to legally carry a concealed weapon!
    90+% of the average freshman class do NOT meet a basic requirement for legally obtaining a concealed handgun license. THEY ARE TOO YOUNG!!

    SOPHOMORE
    The weeding out process has begun and not all freshmen make it to the sophomore level. The sophomore is beginning to settle down a little more actually realizing that if he does not make the grades he will not stay in school. He finally knows the buildings where most of his classes are located. He has taken a very large step in the process of learning how to study. Age is still a factor here in that very few sophomores are not 18 or 19 years old.
    But wait! The usual citizen still has to be 21 in most states to legally carry a concealed weapon!
    90+% of the average sophomore class do NOT meet a basic requirement for legally obtaining a concealed handgun license. THEY ARE TOO YOUNG!!

    JUNIOR
    When the third year of college rolls around, most kids have settled in to the world of college reality. Most are focused in on a major study to prepare for the big wide world out there. Studying, while never really fun, is at last understood to the point of keeping up a passing grade point average. Real individual responsibility has begun to take hold.
    Very few are not 19 or 20 years old.
    But wait! The usual citizen has still has to be 21 in most states to legally carry a concealed weapon!
    90+% of the average junior class do NOT meet a basic requirement for legally obtaining a concealed handgun license. THEY ARE TOO YOUNG!!

    SENIOR
    The senior at this point in time has invested three or more years in college and preparing for the future. The senior realizes that immature and/or illegal behavior will result in his being ejected from the college and loosing what he has already acquired as a student. The senior is looking past his last year at college to join the work force and be a productive member of society.
    Most seniors are 21 or 22 years old.
    But wait! The usual citizen still has to be 21 in most states to legally carry a concealed weapon!
    90+% of the average senior class DO meet a basic requirement for legally obtaining a concealed handgun license. THEY ARE NO LONGER TOO YOUNG!!

    Granted there are all ages in every year of collage.
    But an individual:
    Still has to be 21 to obtain a concealed carry license.
    Still has to have the background check.
    Still has to have a clean history.
    Still has to pass classroom work concerning laws related to carrying a concealed weapon.
    Still has to prove firing proficiency.

    Allowing legal concealed carry on a college campus does NOT mean that everyone at the school can carry concealed. The number of students eligible to carry concealed actually is a low percentage of the total student body. And, the students eligible to carry concealed are the ones more mature in mentality and age.

  7. Big Jimbo says:

    I think you people are barking up the wrong tree in suggesting the remedy to this problem lies in the barrel of more guns.
    Yes, Cho was a nutcase and trigger-happy; he probably played so many violent video games and watched so much BDSM that he was desensitized to human suffering. But I am amazed that the argument is presented time and time again that movies, video games and magazines DON’T contribute to these crimes. Of course they do.
    But a heat-packing student body is not going to stop these problems. Its a cultural mindset that cooks up these nut-bars. Take an immigrant or an outsider and transport them to a culturally homogenous state college of 30,000 Ugg boots and Northfaces. He sees so many bratty looking broads and sagging, CZ reppin bros that he is going to go absolutely bananas.
    What we got here is a failure to communicate.

  8. Brandon says:

    ” he probably played so many violent video games. ” But I am amazed that the argument is presented time and time again that movies, video games and magazines DON’T contribute to these crimes. Of course they do.”

    I don’t understand the point of bringing up the use of violent videos or watching violent movies, considering there is no direct cause/effect relationship, or the assumption that there exists a substantial correlation between those who commit crimes and those who play M rated games or watch R rated movies. There are a large number of variables you are conveniently ignoring to make a point; a point that cannot be satisfactorily made with a hand wavy claim.

Leave A Comment