By DAVID MENDEZ
Pima Community College’s governing board doesn’t want it. Administrators of Arizona universities and colleges don’t want it. The police departments charged with protecting those institutions don’t want it.
So why on earth do Arizona legislators keep pushing to allow guns on campuses?
For the second straight year, Rep. Jack Harper, R-Surprise, and Sen. Ron Gould, R-Lake Havasu City, have introduced legislation that would allow students and faculty to carry concealed weapons on school property, so long as they hold valid CCW permits.
In comparison to last year’s version, which would allow all gun owners to carry on school property, this new version seems a bit more reasonable.
After all, I’d feel slightly more comfortable knowing that the dude sitting next to me in trigonometry had spent at least one day training in gun safety.
But this legislation, while championing Second Amendment rights, infringes upon not only the will of those most affected by this law, but on common sense.
Over the past years, there has been nothing but opposition from those in charge of our education.
Spokesman C.J. Karamargin said Pima’s stance on the proposed legislation is exactly the same as it was last year: that guns on campus will not make PCC campuses safer.
In fact, Karamargin, said, the college has concerns that guns on campus might have the opposite effect.
PCC’s view is that lawmakers “should listen to the experts,” Karamargin said, referring to the university and college police chiefs who have expressed opposition.
For once, I agree wholeheartedly with the PCC administration.
Lawmakers seem entranced by the wholly American, “Die Hard”-esque fantasy that one average person with a pistol can stop rampaging gunmen.
Gould, in an interview with Phoenix’s ABC-15, claimed the crime rate in Arizona has dropped since adoption of the concealed carry law. He said criminals have been intimidated out of fear of getting shot by bystanders.
That’s all well and good, but many of those involved in campus shootings have turned the gun on themselves once they believed their spree finished. That doesn’t fit the behavior of someone who would be intimidated out of opening fire on innocent people.
Were there to be a shooting on a PCC campus, my fear is that students attempting to defend themselves would only add to the confusion.
Worse, given the stress of the situation and the likely lack of comprehensive training, they might add to the body count with wild firing.
Lawmakers can claim this to be a matter of Constitutional rights, but I view it as one more attempt to force an ideology onto a resisting public.
Mendez is co-editor in chief for Aztec Press. He is not Chelo Grubb’s brother.
Filed Under: Insight
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