Debate over guns on campus heats up
NORMAN, Okla. – The issue of guns on campus is being raised after the shooting scare at the University of Oklahoma yesterday.
Even though the incident turned out to be a false alarm, gun rights advocates are now asking why college students and faculty can’t be armed.
Legislation has recently been filed that would allow college students to carry their licensed firearms on campus, but after yesterday’s false alarm University presidents say absolutely not.
OU President Boren says, “What happened today shows that I think the most unwise thing in the world we could do is put guns in the hands of people on campus.”
President Boren voiced opposition Wednesday against guns being allowed on the OU campus. He’s not only concerned about an active shooter situation, but also students responding with firearms as vigilantes.
Boren says, “I am strongly, I can’t say how strongly I am opposed to arming people and putting guns in the hands of people who don’t have specialized training to respond to this kind of incident.”
“Usually its students that are doing the shootings on campus so it would be kind of odd to allow them to have guns on campus.”
But legislation proposed earlier this month it would do just that.
Representative John Enns of Enid wants college students to have the liberty of carrying their licensed guns on campus, unless they’ve committed a violent crime.
State senator Ralph Shortey supports the bill. He says current university policies assume students are going to commit a crime.
“As soon as you step on campus you’re a criminal,” says Shortey. “If you are legal and law-abiding in any other part of the state to carry a firearm why can’t you on campus?”
Junior Keaton Zahorsky says even after Wednesday’s scare, he doesn’t have a problem with his classmates carrying guns.
“Honestly it doesn’t bother me,” says Zahorsky. “I know there’s a lot of respect for guns. Honestly I believe that guns don’t kill people, people kill people.”
Representative Enns says HB 2887 is still a work in progress.
He’s having conversations with officials and University presidents to try to reach a compromise.