Archive for Sunday, December 30, 2012

Editorial: Guns on campus

Kansas university officials should continue to push back on the contention that it makes sense to sanction the carrying of concealed weapons on campuses.

December 30, 2012


In the wake of the recent mass shooting at a Newtown, Conn., elementary school, the chairman of the Kansas Board of Regents predicted another heated battle in the Kansas Legislature over allowing concealed guns to be carried on university campuses across the state.

State Sen.-elect Forrest Knox, R-Altoona, already has said he will push for a bill that allows people with concealed-carry permits to take their weapons into public buildings. In the 2012 session, when he was a member of the Kansas House, Knox got a similar bill through the House after it was amended to allow universities and hospitals to exempt themselves. However, the bill died in a Senate committee.

Knox and others argue that preventing law-abiding people with concealed-carry permits from taking their weapons into public buildings is an invitation to criminals to illegally carry guns into those buildings. University officials take the other side of the argument, saying that increasing the number of guns on campuses would increase the risk of violence and possibly prove confusing in an emergency situation.

This debate, in various forms, is taking place all across the nation since 26 people, including 20 elementary students were killed in Newtown earlier this month. It’s an important debate that also should include discussions about the role that mental health treatment and what many people see as a culture of violence in America contribute to such tragic incidents. Americans seem to have a special relationship with their guns that isn’t common in other cultures and there may be something officials can learn from looking at laws in other countries.

Regents Chairman Tim Emert said the nine-member board will continue to oppose concealed carry on campuses, and acknowledged it will be interesting to see what direction the Legislature takes on the issue in the 2013 session. Both the Kansas House and Senate will have many new members and a generally more conservative slant.

The overriding goal of any discussion about weapons is to try to increase the safety of people in Kansas and throughout the nation. While some advocates are certain that having more weapons in more locations will accomplish that goal, university officials and others are right to push back and offer other alternatives.


BubbaSteel 5 years, 4 months ago

KU should be a leader in things other then our school of medicine. Cowering over a newly worded "The streets will run red with blood." excuse is a lame way to show mature students who are consious of their personal security that they are safe on campus. I'm sick of all the cliche arguments. Debates take place over facts, not emotions. Also where you get the facts makes little difference to a person like me who has been sucessfully defended by a firearm once as a child, several times in my military history, and twice less then two blocks from my own home. Not even taking into accound the daily protection citiziens recieve from armed police and our military. Yeah, I'm biased and yes I believe that it's ultimately our own responsiblity to defend ourselves from threats. The boy scouts got it right with their motto "Be prepaired." which is something KU does not seem to be.

parrothead8 5 years, 4 months ago

Interesting that you have had so many experiences where a gun was necessary to defend you.

notaubermime 5 years, 4 months ago

"Debates take place over facts, not emotions."

Such as this article: Showing that rates of gun-related fatalities are negatively correlated with states that require trigger locks, have safe storage requirements, and ban assault weapons.

Water 5 years, 4 months ago

What if KU were to allow only females to possess a firearm on campus? It could be set up as a social science project for a period of years then the results published.

Brock Masters 5 years, 4 months ago

One thing overlooked in reporting on the Knox bill is that there is a provision on banning concealed carry in public buildings provided they offer security.

I am weary about hearing about other nations. Yes, they have very strict laws against gun ownership, but the one thing they don't have is the 2nd amendment. Want to ban guns? Then step up and repeal the 2nd amendment and then we can be just like Europe.

voevoda 5 years, 4 months ago

"Like most rights, the Second Amendment right is not unlimited. It is not a right to keep and carry any weapon whatsoever in any manner whatsoever and for whatever purpose: For example, concealed weapons prohibitions have been upheld under the Amendment or state analogues. The Court’s opinion should not be taken to cast doubt on longstanding prohibitions on the possession of firearms by felons and the mentally ill, or laws forbidding the carrying of firearms in sensitive places such as schools and government buildings, or laws imposing conditions and qualifications on the commercial sale of arms."--Justice Antonin Scalia.

According to the Supreme Court, then, it is completely legal (and probably wise) for guns to be banned from schools, including university campuses. If you have a problem with this reading of the Constitution, fred_mertz, take it up with Justice Scalia, not with me.

Brock Masters 5 years, 4 months ago

Rights can be limited - really? Show me where I ever said the 2nd amendment couldn't or shouldn't be limited.

The issue isn't on reasonable limitations, but on arbitrary and capricious bans that serve no purpose or limitations that are so onerous that they prevent people from exercising their right.

And, no one said schools banning guns is unconstitutional, but neither is a law that prevents them from banning guns.

Also, you have publicly opposed voter ID laws that make it more difficult for people to vote - why is that? Laws are passed to limit those rights and all rights are subject to limitation. - right? How about same sex marriage? Are you okay with limiting the rights of gays?

I am not okay with infringing upon the rights of the people and I apply it equally to all rights. If the right is wring then amend the Constitution.

voevoda 5 years, 4 months ago


You are arguing with the wrong person. Justice Antonin Scalia already ruled, on behalf of the majority of the Supreme Court, that limitations on where individuals may carry weapons, including schools, is Constitutional. You may think that it is reasonable for individuals to carry weapons in schools, but according to Antonin Scalia, you do not have a Constitutional right to do so. Therefore, no Constitutional amendment is needed to restrict permission to carry guns on campus. Such a restriction accords with good sense, according to the people most knowledgable about conditions on campus: university police, faculty, administrators, and students.

If you don't like the fact about the Constitution, as determined by the Supreme Court, that permits restrictions on where and when and who may carry weapons, then maybe you should seek an amendment to the Constitution.

I am not opposed to reasonable restrictions on the right to vote, such as the requirement that persons exercise this right only at the designated polling place. That is the equivalent of restricting the carrying of guns to certain places.

I think that gay marriage represents good policy. But I'm not sure that anyone has a Constitutional "right" to marry. The Constitution is entirely silent on this topic.

So, fred_mertz, your attempt to change the subject and "prove" that I am "inconsistent" in my views has failed. I notice that you try this technique of argument only when you don't actually have any response other than to reiterate your previously-stated position.

Brock Masters 5 years, 4 months ago

voe, I understand what Scalia wrote and he said laws can be passed that prohibit bringing guns onto campuses or even schools can choose to ban guns, but he didn't say legislatures can't override those bans.

On gay marriage you don't think people have equal rights under the law? Friggin' homophobe you are. I will ignore you from now on.

voevoda 5 years, 4 months ago

fred_mertz, clearly you are so determined to be contrary that you did not even read what I wrote.

Justice Scalia authorized bans on guns in schools specifically as an example of good policy. Therefore, you do not have any Constitutional right to bear arms on college campuses. If the if the state legislature removes that limitation, the schools will be in an excellent position to sue to have the law overturned as an infringement on their self-governance, an intrusion into their right to establish a local ordinance. It might actually give the Supreme Court a good opportunity to revisit the Heller decision, and authorize greater limitations on gun ownership.

I said that I think that it is good for gays to be able to marry. Many things are proper and moral, but are not established as "rights" according to the US Constitution. Marriage, for both gays and straits, is not mentioned in the Constitution. So if you are going to be logical in your illogic, fred_mertz, you ought to accuse me of opposing heterosexual marriage, too.

Even if your reasoning is wrong, I do hope that you will ignore me from now on.

beatrice 5 years, 4 months ago

Fred, why are your limits reasonable, but others' are not?

Also, bringing in gay marriage, abortion and voter ID laws (a limit on voting freedoms you strongly support) does not add to the conversation. It is a weak smokescreen from the topic.

Brock Masters 5 years, 4 months ago

Thank goodness it was a gun free zone otherwise I am sure he would have brought a gun to school and committed murder.

voevoda 5 years, 4 months ago

If the outraged student had been carrying a gun at the time he received his paper back with the grade he didn't like, he might very well have leveled it at Tanzer. It was only when he had comparatively calmed down (think of that--comparatively) that he resorted to the email attacks.

Bans on guns on campus won't stop premeditated murder; permitting guns on campus won't stop premeditated murder, either, because responders wouldn't take action until the attacker had already begun his assault. But if people come to campus ordinarily armed, the chances that they will use the gun in a fit of rage are much increased.

If you aren't regularly on campuses, fred_mertz, then this isn't your issue. Leave it to the people who are on campus to decide what policy is best.

beatrice 5 years, 4 months ago

Veo, do you have examples of people with conceal and carry permits flying into fits of rage and doing what you describe?

BubbaSteel 5 years, 4 months ago

Parrothead8, I'm not sure why you find it interesting, but the break down of my personal experiences started when I was 7 years old and camping with my father in Northern California. At night while we were asleep in the trailer 2 men came around pounding on and woke us up. One stated "There are some bad eggs out here!" My father produced his .45, cocked it while the men watched through the windows and said "There's some bad eggs in here too.!" Both men literally hit the trails. In the military I was trained as a 95-B (Military Police) and stationed in a South American country smack dab in the middle of the U.S's war on drugs. As you can imagine I sometimes was on the wrong end of the gun myself as were other troops. We had to defend ourselves and American interest against professional, hardened opposition as opposed to the opportunistic scum that attacked us in my father's truck 11 years previously. Fast forward to the not too distant past and as I was walking home from the grocery store 4 blocks from my home I encountered several young men about half way home who decided to make sport of me by throwing beer bottles. I ignored the first one that hit my bag, and the second one that shattered in the street, but when a third wizzed past my head I set my groceries down, drew and cocked my pistol and drew down while stepping towards the db that just threw the bottle. They instantly became applogetic and polite when I asked it they wanted to throw another bottle at me. They were not sorry for what they did, they were sorry they picked the wrong guy to harrass with potentially fatal behavior. The fact that they didn't call the police proves they knew they were breaking the law. I didn't report it either which is another reason I belive statistics can't be accurate because alot of crimes stopped with ccws are not reported. The final time was just two house's down for me this Spring. A house party was crashed and a mob of close to 40 people spilled out into the neighborhood. I am sure I'm not the only one who called the police, but in the 3 minutes it took them to arrive I had stopped several men from beating a man that was already down, chased away wanna be gangstas from my property, and covered people wanting to escape this mini riot. When the police arrived and saw me guarding my home, armed, they had no problem with it at all. It took 9 of them to restore order. I'm not saying my demeanor helped but I think it proves we ccw holders are not blood thristy hooligans waiting for a chance to shoot someone, just people who are security consious and belive in that being prepaired thing. I never thought there would be a riot next to my house, but I was prepaired and did what I could to protect life even while displaying the power to take it.

littlexav 5 years, 4 months ago

Brandishing a firearm or threatening deadly force is not a legally protected response to simple assault. You sure could have fired your weapon at those "db"s, but you would have gone to jail.

Kendall Simmons 5 years, 4 months ago

Do you truly think it surprising that Parrothead was curious about the number of ciivilian experiences you had? (And I personally don't think the events that occured because you were in the military count.)

I mean, the number is surprising because most of us have never found ourselves in any situation where a gun would come in handy.

Surely you know that? And, as far as your CCW figures being low? Well, several studies have shown that a lot of those "crimes stopped" actually turned out to be illegal actions themselves, such as guns being drawn during an escalating argument but falsely reported as stopping a crime...or guns being used in one's home to intimidate family members, but falsely reported as stopping a crime.

Heck, when the figures are consistently cited as "between 700,000 and 3.5 million a year", then you KNOW the figures are meaningless because the spread is FAR too wide.

Certainly there are unreported incidents. Certainly there are deliberately erroneously reported incidents. Certainly there are "armchair Rambo" reports.

And most certainly there are countless times when a person with a ccw does not use...or even draw...his/her gun because they realize that it won't help.

For example, the two men who took down Jared Loughner were unarmed. And the third man who came to help...the one with the ccw...put his safety back on and left his gun in the holster because he realized that he did not know who the bad guy was and that he, himself, could easily be mistaken for the bad guy and shot.

Ultimately it comes down to the fact that sometimes the presence of a gun is good, sometimes it's bad...but most of the time it simply isn't a factor one way or the other.

gl0ck0wn3r 5 years, 4 months ago

Wow, what a terrible op-ed. It's not terrible because I disagree with the assertion made in the subhed but it is terrible because that is the only place in which it makes any assertion at all. The rest of it is just loosely strung together paragraphs with the last sentence restating the subhed.

Brock Masters 5 years, 4 months ago

I didn't pay attention initially, but after reading your post I went back and re-read the op-ed. The story about Knox introducing the legislation appeared well before the CT murders and yet they tie the op-ed to it.

I guess they needed to make the issue more sensational than it really is.

Brock Masters 5 years, 4 months ago

The irrational rants of some on here motivates me to email Senator to be Knox today and encourage him to pursue this legislation. Thankfully, with the purge of moderates this type of legislation has a good chance of becoming law.

Brian Laird 5 years, 4 months ago

If irrational rants bother you, then stop making them.

hedshrinker 5 years, 4 months ago

Oh, that's what we need is a "purge of moderates", so only the loudest and most extreme voices will be heard. good logic

Kendall Simmons 5 years, 4 months ago

And I've already emailed him, telling him I thought it was a bad idea...and why. So your email will cancel out mine. Whatever.

"Liberals" have pretty much been purged. Now the "moderates". So all we have left are right wing extremists and this is good...why??

jimmyjms 5 years, 4 months ago

Surely this bill will also allow CC on the grounds of the Capitol and inside the legislature...

Brock Masters 5 years, 4 months ago

Do a ittle research and you'll find out it doesn't.

Kendall Simmons 5 years, 4 months ago

So concealed weapons should be allowed on college campuses but not at the Statehouse? Why? I mean, we're only talking about responsible, law-abiding gun owners, aren't we? So why should their Constitutional rights be restricted there?

Brian Laird 5 years, 4 months ago

I think that the right to "bare" arms should only apply to people with good muscle tone. I hate seeing flabby forearms in public.

littlexav 5 years, 4 months ago

So how come all those weapons when you were "free under the Tsar" didn't help prevent the Revolution? Oh, that's right... they were used IN the Revolution! Brilliant.

Charles L. Bloss, Jr. 5 years, 4 months ago

The state capitol and other state buildings have retired, armed peace officers in plain clothes. They are paid by the Capitol Police. Every school should have either the same thing, or a uniformed school resource officer (a sworn peace officer). Personally I am in favor of law abiding citizens with a permit, or retired peace officers, having the right to carry in any building not equipped with metal detectors and law enforcement officers manning the equipment. This is probably all academic anyway as Obama, Feinstein, Biden, etc are working feverishly to take our firearms away using the public outcry over the most recent school murder.

Kendall Simmons 5 years, 4 months ago

I sure wish someone who claims Obama, etc. are trying to take away our guns could point to even ONE thing to document their claim? Heck...our gun rights have been EXPANDED under Obama. Does the truth really not count for anything anymore? Are you really that frightened??

And, Lynn? How do you intend to pay for your "protect our kids" plan? Do you have any idea of how many public schools there are? And how many public school shootings there are each year? Try over 132,000...and 1-2 a year.

So we have less than a 2/100ths of a percent chance of a school shooting...but you want the little kids in our elementary schools going through metal detectors manned by armed guards? And for us to pay for it?

Or, of course, we could always depend on "law abiding citizens" to volunteer to protect our kids. You know...creeps like Craig Pusley. The guy who claimed to be a dad and a Sergeant in the Marine Corps? Claimed 10 years in the Corps? Claimed to be in the Reserves? Claimed to have served in Afghanistan and Iraq? Then, when he was caught out in his multiple lied, he lied yet again, saying he had never made such claims...that the reporter screwed up. Except that he was videotaped making those exact claims!

Truth was that he did serve for 10 months, but was discharged as a private, and his unathorized absence had a wee bit to do with that. So he deliberately lied about countless things...including how skilled he was that he didn't need a gun. And you want to encourage these people...why?

Frankly, I get soooo tired of this "law-abiding citizen" argument. You've never even once driven over the speed limit, Lynn??? Can't claim to be "law-abiding" if you have, you know.

This is the real world. Bad things happen. But overreacting to a 2/100ths of a percent chance of a certain bad thing happening the way you are is foolish. It doesn't make our kids any safer.

RoeDapple 5 years, 4 months ago

Gallup Poll: Americans Oppose Assault Weapons Ban, but Support Universal Background Checks

"A new Poll conducted by Gallup shows that 51 percent of Americans oppose a ban on semiautomatic firearms known as ‘assault’ rifles, proving that those who wish to renew a Clinton-era Assault Weapons Ban have a tough hill to climb.

By contrast, only 44 percent favor an outright ban on ‘assault weapons,’ a slight but statistically insignificant jump from the 42 percent that supported the ban in the last Gallup poll conducted on Dec. 18."

"In other good news for gun owners, a record-high 74 percent of poll participants oppose a ban on handguns, or as the poll stated, oppose preventing anyone but the police or other authorized officials from owning a handgun."

uncleandyt 5 years, 4 months ago

Romney will win, some polls even predict a landslide victory. A large percentage of poll participants answer their landline phones. Pollsters get paid. One could wonder who hires the pollsters. One could wonder how a sample size of hundreds or thousands can magically lead to showing what the country thinks, or thinks they think. Is there a real proposal for a ban on handguns? Many a tough hill is worth climbing.

yourworstnightmare 5 years, 4 months ago

"This is probably all academic anyway as Obama, Feinstein, Biden, etc are working feverishly to take our firearms away using the public outcry over the most recent school murder. "

Oh vey! Paranoid fantasies abound around this issue.

Bruce Liddel 5 years, 4 months ago

Separating the fact from the emption is key to addressing this issue in a constructive manner.

Bad people with guns do bad things. Bad people get guns because they are bad people, and they do not obey gun laws, or laws about gun-free zones, or laws against murder, etc. Once a bad person begins doing something bad with a gun, the only effective way to stop the bad person is by a good person with a gun.

Taking all the guns away from good people (who do nothing bad with their guns) will only make it all the harder to stop bad people from continuing to do bad things with guns.

Furthermore, putting the Newtown tragedy in perspective, you are statistically about 160 times more likely to be shot by a cop than to be shot by anyone in a school setting. Should we disarm cops? Given the alarming frequency with which they have begun warrantless (SWAT) storm-troop nighttime raids on the wrong houses, with fatal results, I think so.

Every year, in the United States, far more young children are killed by drowning in swimming pools than by firearms violence, yet nobody has yet called for a ban on so-called assault-swimming pools. In December 2012, the drones over middle-east nations killed more innocent young children than in any mass school shooting ever. Nobody seems concerned that president Obama is a homicidal maniac – even though the statistics show that he must be exactly that. I call this the arrogance of selective indignation.

The second amendment is not about hunting, and not about self defense. The second amendment is about the right to overthrow a corrupt tyrannical government. History has shown many times (Hitler, late 1930s) that governments become corrupt and tyrannical right after they implement sweeping gun control legislation.

Somehow that does not fit my idea of the land of the free and the home of the brave.

beatrice 5 years, 4 months ago

There are laws in most states requiring fences around pools in homes where children live. That is both a limit on people's pursuit of happiness and an expense, yet it is required. In comparison to guns, placing reasonable limits on firearms is not unreasonable. Most people will agree that limits on fully automatic machine guns is reasonable, proving that limits are in order when it comes to guns. It is just a matter of deciding which limits to accept.

On the issue of guns on campus, I think it ridiculous that anyone feels a need to carry at school and not convinced that citizens returning fire in a crowded and confused situation is the best way to go. However, I also don't have that big of a problem with it either. It is the equivalent of someone wanting to walk around wearing a crash helmet out of fear they might trip and need the protection from hitting their head (something that is a greater possibility than being in a shooting situation). True of it is, statistics DO show that the conceal and carry permit holders are not the problem.

KiferGhost 5 years, 4 months ago

Again, the constitution says a well regulated militia because the US didn't allow standing armies (remember those bad British with soldiers bothering the good colonist, one of the so called reasons for the declaration of independence?).

It is interesting to bring up Germany. The Germans have actually experienced the tyranny you fear and yet today they still have tight controls over firearms today. Do you hear the Germans going on non-stop like the nutty Americans who haven't experienced anything like the Germans already have and managed to be adults and do the right thing?

In_God_we_trust 5 years, 4 months ago

The Germans also do not have freedom of speech today. The 2nd amendment is the power that backs the 1st amendment.

KiferGhost 5 years, 4 months ago

Is there something wrong with the way things are in Germany today?

KiferGhost 5 years, 4 months ago

The US could end a lot of the fear of the evil government take over if we had mandatory military service like the Swiss and we then become the military and less likely to dabble in so many affairs in the rest of the world when everyone is involved and we would have less to fear since there would be the whole spectrum of Americans in uniform at one point or another. We could go back to the well regulated militia if we didn't think so many countries are sitting on our resources.

In_God_we_trust 5 years, 4 months ago

Instead of mandatory military service, how about utilizing the ROTC that is already on campus. Have them obtain security practice on a shooting range as a college class. They could also provide peace officer service to many buildings across campus.

KiferGhost 5 years, 4 months ago

Universities should be free of guns and semi pro sports. Both don't fit into the grand scheme of things.

In_God_we_trust 5 years, 4 months ago

If this was an ideal world you might be correct. But this is not yet an ideal world.

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