Future Boards of Governors should learn from concealed carry debate of 2009-2010
While most of western civilization celebrated Cinco de Mayo consuming vast amounts of alcohol, the CSU Board of Governors – appropriately acronymed BOG – voted unanimously to overturn their prior incomprehensible decision to ban concealed carry on campus.
Far be it from me to criticize a decision I agree with, but I have to say their initial decision to pass a policy based on unreasonable fears, talking points and a desire to make CSU more like other universities was appalling.
My hope is the BOG recognizes the outrage and consternation demonstrated by the CSU students as undeniable evidence we did not come to Fort Collins to be sheep; we came here to be Rams.
The BOG claimed their policy would put CSU more in line with other institutions of higher learning. Well, maybe I’m in the minority here but I doubt it, but CSU students seem mostly proud of the fact we’re not like CU, UNC or most of the other institutions of higher learning. We dig the fact we’ve got competent and armed protectors among the herd.
Despite the faculty and public safety team apparently feeling they were making decisions that would be accepted by a student populace that had clearly drifted to the left for the 2008 election, the student body recognized the threat presented by a gun free zone and made their collective anger known.
What gun control advocates do not seem to comprehend about gun free zones is active shooters simply do not care about the ban on firearms.
As a result, if a licensed concealed permit holder were in a classroom or building attacked by an active shooter, there might be a chance of terminating the incident without even needing to fire a shot.
Professor Richard Eykholt responded to a similar claim made by students during the fall semester, “If you have a classroom situation where somebody starts shooting and other people are shooting back, there is a real opportunity there for more bystanders to be injured,” he said.
Well professor, since we obviously can’t use your superior intellect to help us off Gilligan’s Island; perhaps you can tell me, approximately how many students will be injured or killed when an active shooter enters a gun free zone?
My guess is, a lot.
Here’s a theoretical difference for you. An active shooter enters CU Boulder, a gun-free zone by all accounts, how many of the Buffalo die? The only hope for the students is one among them has declined to acquiesce to the gun-free policy. Thanks to the BOG – a group of bullies by all accounts – with concealed carry once again allowed at CSU maybe the active shooter is deterred, maybe he or she isn’t, but if they happen to pick the wrong room to start attacking, the game changes.
Something to consider for those of you who were trepidatious about concealed weapons being on campus in the first place. The majority of permit holders I know are combat veterans and are closer to 30 than 21. Just food for thought.
What we really need to take from this as a student body is the administration, the Board of Governors, the Public Safety Team and the faculty have zero interest in what the student body has to say about pretty much anything.
They ignored the 21-3 vote by the student senate to uphold the concealed carry policy, they ignored the protests, they ignored the petitions. When it came down to it, they only cared they were going to lose a very public lawsuit on a completely unnecessary policy.
Clearly the BOG is simply a group of bullies, and like all bullies, they backed down when they new they were being confronted.
So where do we go from here? Well, sadly it appears if the law doesn’t specifically prohibit a policy of theirs, they are going to move forward on the policy despite the concerns of the students or students’ parents.
This means this bureaucracy potentially threatens all student freedoms. My fear is the only reconciliation available to students moving forward on any of these issues is to immediately seek legal counsel and if appropriate, file a lawsuit.
The student outcry against this policy was overwhelmingly in support of allowing concealed carry on campus. We had the facts, we had the arguments, we had the history and we had the popular support.
Ultimately, the student body should make decisions affecting the student body; not a geographically separated group of adults unconcerned with the desires of the student body.
This little experience was a demonstration of politics at its worst and demonstrated conclusively the inherent dangers of a Republican Democracy.
At the end of the fight, the system worked. We didn’t turn the other cheek and forget this was happening. We galvanized, we played the game and we came out on top.
Enjoy your summer CSU, when we come back next fall, we will still have some line of defense between us and an active shooter. Well played. Today I’m proud to be a CSU Ram.