Weapons on campus?

History Professor Mark Fiege: “I am wondering if AAUP or our AAUP-CSU chapter has a policy regarding the concealed carry law and weapons in general. I believe it is within my rights that my classroom not have firearms in it. Even more fundamentally, I believe that it is my right to require that my office—which is my personal, locked, restricted intellectual space, filled with my books, notes, and other intellectual products and private property—be free of firearms, save for unusual circumstances that should require the presence of CSU and other police.

“I have placed a telephone call to the CSU Office of the General Counsel to find out what CSU’s official policy is regarding my concerns. I have not yet heard back. I would appreciate any advice you, the chapter, and AAUP might be able to give me on this matter.

“Yes, please send it out or put it in a newsletter. I would appreciate it if you would include as well the question about CSU policy and procedure in the event of a mass shooting. Again, my daughter’s high school has regular drills, but CSU to my knowledge has offered no advice or training about what we should do. I think it’s fair for CSU to respond to these kinds of concerns.”


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8 responses to “Weapons on campus?

  1. Irene Vernon

    I do not want weapons in my classroom and on campus generally!

  2. Jerry Magloughlin

    What we all likely concerned about in the wake of recent events are mass shootings on campus. There is a truism regarding these–the only thing that stops a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun. It irrational to fear concealed carry permit holders and their guns–apparently, there has never been an incident involving one on any campus in Colorado. Indeed, such individuals are likely to be your only hope in the event, God forbid, that someone perpetrates a mass shooting. The sad fact is that creating gun free zones on academic campuses does nothing but create a safe(r) zone for would be violent criminals–as has been said many times, such people are crazy, but not stupid. Banning guns has exactly the opposite effect you intend–it takes protection out of the hands of competent individuals (e.g., CCP holders) who have followed the legal procedures to obtain their permits, and makes campus safer for violent criminals. Let’s look at the facts, base our decisions on facts and logic, rather than knee-jerk emotional reactions.

  3. Raymond Hogler

    If you follow the links under “Resources,” you’ll find a discussion about “good guys with guns” and what that logically entails. It’s also posted on the Denver Post Ideablog.

  4. Patrick

    I would say I am on the fence on this one. Guns on campus will not stop an individual who is going to go through the act of violence. All its going to do is spread the death around, so instead of one person causing death, you have 2 or more individuals (both good and bad individuals) causing death. I think if Guns on campus is allowed, that students, faculty, staff, and individuals who carry (and just the general public of CSU) should take a class on how to handle a situation like a gun man (bad guy) on campus… Instead of this whole Shoot first and ask questions later. The news a couple weeks ago had a report on the three steps to handle a gun man (bad guy):
    1 – Run
    2 – Hide if you are unable to run and barricade your location and don’t draw attention to your location.
    3 – Fight as a last resort.

  5. Alison

    The thing is, if you had a person with a concelled carry permit in your office, classroom, next to you in Walmart, you’d never know it! Chances are you have been in the presence of a concelled gun and never knew it, so why worry about it?

  6. From State Senator John Kefalas:

    After 14 hours of emotional, intense and partisan debate on Friday, March 8, five of the seven gun bills advanced. SB13-196, concerning semi-automatic firearms and liability, and HB13-1226 concerning a concealed-carry ban on college campuses, were withdrawn because the votes were not there to pass the bills. I did not support these two bills, although I did support the other five. On Monday, March 11, after 6 hours of continued emotional, intense and partisan debate, the Senate passed the five remaining bills on third reading. I supported these bills for final passage. In between these two grueling sessions, I had a town hall meeting and listened to those assembled to try and better understand the depth of emotions and feelings around these issues.

    As your state senator, my responsibility is to explain my actions as best as I can knowing that folks will agree and disagree with my votes and hold me accountable one way or the other, which is what I expect of you. Nonetheless, I voted based on my values, faith and conscience; my understanding of the legislation and available information; and my listening to the diverse viewpoints. For those of you who shared your heartfelt and thoughtful comments either in person, over the phone or by e-mail, I am grateful for your engagement in our representative democracy and trust that you will remain engaged on gun safety matters and other issues. Fundamentally, I supported these bills because I believe that they will save lives and because I believe they do not take away people’s Second Amendment rights.

    In listening to the people who could be labeled as “gun-rights advocates,” I learned how deeply and profoundly gun ownership is engrained in our collective and societal psyche. There is an interesting culture and a rich history regarding civilian gun ownership for purposes of self-defense, hunting and sport, and I now have a greater respect and understanding of where gun owners are coming from. Most folks who own guns are law abiding citizens and very sincere about their motivations and rationale, and most folks were civil and decent, although some were uncivil and threatening.

    In listening to the people who could be labeled as “gun-control advocates,” especially those who have been directly impacted by gun-violence tragedies, I learned how deeply and profoundly they feel about our gun violence and the need for some limits on access to guns by people who are dangerous. They believe strongly that we can do better as a society to reduce the level of gun violence, especially when it comes to powerful guns and ammo systems.

    From my perspective and from deep within my conscience, I believe there is too much violence in the world, our country, our state and in our communities. Guns and weapons are part of this violence, and yet I respect and honor, even more so now, a person whose reason for owning firearms is to protect his or her family and children. I get it, but I believe there is another way, and I choose to protect my family and children without violence. I am willing to die to defend my freedoms, community, neighbors and family, but I am not willing to kill. Gandhi said, “An eye for an eye only makes the world blind,” and Christ admonished Peter in the Garden of Gethsemane , telling him to put away the sword for “he” who lives by the sword shall die by the sword.

    Our culture of violence permeates much deeper and wider than the violence perpetrated at the hands of someone wielding a gun. There are pragmatic solutions, and for me it comes down to being in right relationships with one another building trust and compassion while tearing down fear and anger. Regarding the bills and related issues, here is my thinking and rationale for how I voted.

    HB13-1228 requires the Colorado Bureau of Investigation (CBI) to recoup the expense of doing instant background checks on individuals who want to purchase firearms, prior to the sale or transfer of those firearms. The language of the bill reads, “the amount of the fee shall not exceed the total amount of direct and indirect costs incurred by the bureau in performing the background check.” Furthermore, the CBI is required to report to the General Assembly on an annual basis the number of full-time employees used by the bureau to perform background checks and the calculations used by the bureau to determine the amount of the fee. Click here to read HB-1228.

    The Governor’s office, the legislature, and the Department of Public Safety each have oversight over the CBI, assuring that the evaluation of direct and indirect costs will be fair. Because firearms, by definition, are dangerous weapons that can be used to inflict death upon persons, the legislature must exercise extreme caution in protecting society from the harm that can be inflicted by these weapons. When an educator passes a background check, it is to ensure that they have not committed a crime that indicates they are a danger to their students. However, if they commit a crime, there is a court process by which the school will be informed and the educator could lose their position. In contrast, the only way for the state to determine if an individual is fit to purchase a firearm is by requiring them to pass a background check. If a person commits a violent crime between purchasing firearms, we should have a system in place to ensure he or she does not have access to more weapons.

    Finally, in 1999, the CBI resumed background checks after a triple slaying occurred that could have been prevented by a state background check system. Simon Gonzales was able to purchase a firearm through a licensed dealer after passing a federal background check that failed to show that his estranged wife had secured a restraining order against him in state court. Despite the fact that this should have prevented him from purchasing a gun, Simon Gonzales secured the weapon and murdered his three daughters, ages 7, 8, and 10. Implementing a state background check system will help to prevent senseless murders such as this from taking place in the future.

    In 2012, there were 343,302 background checks in the state of Colorado, which prevented 1,571 felons from getting guns. Here are some of the reasons for the 7,462 applicant denials: restraining order (420), kidnapping (12), sexual assault (133), robbery (76), assault (1,380), burglary (618), larceny (498) and dangerous drugs (1,069).

    HB13-1229 concerns expanded background check to cover private transfers of firearms. While the implementation of expanded checks may not prevent every criminal from purchasing a firearm, it is our role as legislators to prevent crime to the best of our ability through public policy. For example, we were not deterred from passing laws in this state to make drunk driving illegal because some people drive drunk. Expanded background checks through the CBI will prevent criminals, such as Simon Gonzales, from buying a firearm and harming themselves or others. Click Here to read HB-1229.

    Regarding the 40% statistic used for gun sales that do not go through a federally licensed firearms dealer, I acknowledge that there are points of contention. At the same time it is most regrettable that, as a result of a NRA-backed federal law impeding research on gun violence, we do not have access to more current and more accurate data. In 1996, Arkansas Rep. Jay Dickey sponsored an amendment that removed $2.6 million from the CDC’s budget, the exact amount that was being spent on firearms studies. When faced with instances of gun violence, such as the example of Simon Gonzales, we must do whatever we can to prevent loss of life.

    Regarding FFLs and their current infrastructure, the state estimates that about 400,000 background checks for firearms will be requested in fiscal year 2013 – 2014. Spread throughout the state and all of the state FFLs, I think that these FFLs will have the capacity to meet the demand.

    Regarding the issue of criminalizing non-dangerous behavior, exceptions are included HB13-1229 to ensure that those who have not committed crimes will continue to have access to firearms. These exceptions include the transfer to anyone for up to 72 hours, a temporary transfer that occurs while in the presence of the owner, a temporary transfer for self-defense, and a transfer due to inheritance, or a transfer by a member of the military, within 30 days of deployment, to a family member.

    Regarding the nexus between gun violence and persons with mental illness, it is important to note that a very small percentage of these folks perpetrate such crimes, and we must not further stigmatize or stereotype. Nonetheless, Governor Hickenlooper has made a commitment, with my support, to better fund and target mental health services in Colorado. Furthermore, passing legislation that will address firearms possession or ownership by those who pose a danger to themselves or others is a priority for the legislature this session. I hope that we will see bipartisan legislation introduced not before too long.

    HB13-1224 prohibits the sale, transfer or possession of large-capacity magazines that can accept more than 15 rounds of ammo or 8 shotgun shells. There are exceptions to this ban including law enforcement personnel and members of the armed forces. Those who had continuous possession of .such magazines can keep them and the prosecution has the burden of proof if a person claims to own the magazines legally. I have listened to the arguments that this bill is not enforceable, but I concluded that this bill will save lives, and semi-automatic firearms are not absolutely necessary for self-defense and hunting. Click Here to read HB-1224.

    SB13-197 prevents persons who have committed domestic violence from possessing firearms. Gun violence against intimate partners continues to prevail, and each year persons who commit domestic violence use firearms to threaten, injure and kill victims. Firearms are the weapon used most often in deaths due to domestic violence. Given the facts, this bill is logical and will save lives. It requires Colorado courts to comply with federal law, which states that a person may not possess or transfer a firearm if he or she is subject to a court order that restrains that person from harassing, stalking, or threatening an intimate partner or his or her child, or engaging in other conduct that places an intimate partner or child in reasonable fear of bodily injury. Click here to read SB-197.

    SB13-195 requires that a firearms safety course needed for a concealed weapons permit must be done at least in part in the presence of a certified instructor. This bill had bipartisan support. Click here to read SB-195.

    SB13-196 would have established liability in relation to the discharge of an assault weapon that caused harm or damage. For me, there were too many unanswered questions and potential unintended consequences. Click Here to read SB-196.

    HB13-1226 would have prohibited a concealed handgun permit holder from carrying a firearm on campus. I listened to the people who felt strongly about protecting themselves, and while I believe there are other means for protection, I conceded to the will of the people that was contrary to mine. I had to let go of something, partly because this whole gun discussion has been so divisive and polarizing. Click here to read HB-1226.

    The massacres at Aurora and at Sandy Hook were wake up calls. Daily gun violence and suicide are too much a part of our social fabric and these realities must change. I am at peace with my decisions because I believe these policies will save lives and reduce gun violence.

  7. Marvon Newby

    Please permit me to explore a number of issues with this concern.
    First, what is a weapon? Firearms are not the only objects that are considered to be weapons.
    What about knives, martial arts, bows and arrows, blow guns, cars, explosives, poisons, etc.
    Just about anything can be used as a weapon. What about the pens and pencils on your desk?
    Second, what about concealment? A concealed weapon is no more dangerous than one that is not.
    A person who is trained to use anything as a weapon is just as dangerous without carrying one.
    How does a person trained in the martial arts not conceal the fact that he/she is a weapon?
    Third, the gun is not the problem. The intimidation of unknown in your mind is the problem. Not knowing what I can do means that you will always be somewhat afraid of me until you get to know me.
    Fourth, as a student, I have been supplied with guns on our university campuses by the university. I have also on occasion, brought my own firearms. I have been on both pistol and rifle teams at the university level and in the military. I have been to national competition more than once. There were approximately one thousand shooters in one location. Many firearms were supplied by universities or the military.
    Fifth, In the last fifty years I have been involved with anything from 4-H shooting at the age of ten in Idaho to teaching Royal Rangers at the district level how to shoot BB and Air rifles {Northwest Florida}. I make the NRA folks mad because the biggest thing I have ever purchased is an Air Rifle. I make the non-NRA folks mad because I am a National Rifle Association Range Safety Officer. I have also been a range officer in the military. What I teach is marksmanship and weapons safety. I have taught 200+ women how to shoot a pistol safely. The class used military supplied 22s in the civilian marksmanship program. The last day, the ladies brought their own weapons. In the fifty years that I have been doing this no one has ever been injured and no one shot another individual. You have a greater chance of being killed or injured at a local bar or on the highway than the university. You have a greater chance of being in an auto accident or having a heart attack than being hit by a bullet from a gun.
    Sixth, I have been involved with Columbine Shooting Simulations with our local high schools. There were more than a hundred swat team members involved in the training with American Red Cross workers and local law enforcement. No fear there. In the military our unit deployed to Bosnia. We filled two 737 airliners full of troops. Each soldier carried his M-16 through airport security. Again, no problem there. You need to analyze your fears and decide what you should really be afraid about.
    Seventh, both fear and worry are states of the mind. They do not necessarily have anything to do with reality. Take some time to do a scientific study about what thing really can kill you or harm you in your area and then do something about the things you can do something about. It will give you greater piece of mind.
    Eighth, don’t have a knee jerk reaction. When Florida wrote their law they outlawed the position on school property of martial art stars, nunchucks, knives, . . . and any sharp object such as a pen or a pencil. Therefore any student, teacher, or administrator who has a pen or a pencil on school property is in violation or Florida weapons law. Not if a pen or a pencil was used as a weapon. There is no exception. If a law officer of any type steps onto school property with a firearm, night stick, mace, or anything else, they are in violation of the law.

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