My generation grew up witnessing the devastating effects of gun violence in America.
Open carry on college campuses is the opposite of a good idea.
Vermont’s Statues Outline Title 13 Section 4004 states firearms are prohibited on school property. However, this law makes no mention of regulations for college campuses.
“The possession of weapons… is prohibited on UVM property and facilities… as they pose a substantial danger to the safety of the University community,” a University policy effective Jan. 28, 2020 stated.
This policy should not change. Any form of a firearm on a college campus introduces more opportunities for harm to come to individuals on campus.
One ever-present argument for the presence of guns is allowing guns on campus is an effective way to reduce gun violence.
I grew up in the south and this was the rhetoric I heard from peers; being armed would mean someone could stop a dangerous individual.
But, unarmed civilians are over 20 times as likely to end an active shooting than an armed civilian, according to a 2014 report from the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
Personal guns on campus don’t offer any more protection to students, either.
The net effect of guns on campus is more deaths, nonfatal gunshot wounds and threats that are traumatizing to victims, according to an Oct. 15, 2016 report from Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.
The U.S. government passed the Gun-Free Schools Act in 1994, which required any school district receiving federal funding to expel any student who brought a firearm to school for at least one year.
This sentiment should be extended to college-level educational institutes.
The difference between high school kids and college kids can be as little as one year and that year is not enough to make the presence of guns at school a safe and smart idea.
Only a few weeks ago, UVM Police Services responded to a concern that two individuals had a gun in Harris-Millis Residence Hall, according to a Sept. 26 CatAlert.
This incident was later cleared by campus police, but the event was not forgotten.
The simple possibility of an individual with a gun on campus was terrifying. My roommates and I were texting around, calling friends, trying to locate everyone to make sure they were safe.
Students should feel safe on their campus, especially in their dorm building.
At that moment I realized how vulnerable campuses are.
With all of these risk factors and more, allowing open or concealed carry on college campuses creates much more potential for harm than for good.
Let’s keep guns off of UVM’s campus.