Concealed weapons on college campuses stirs debate both at Elon and across the nation

by Dalton Cox

photo by Dalton Cox
photo by Dalton Cox

In April 2015, North Carolina legislature removed language from a bill that would allow gun owners with concealed weapons permits to bring a gun onto the property of private schools. In 2013, at least 19 states introduced laws that made allowances for concealed weapons on campuses, and in 2014, at least 14 states introduced similar legislation.

In March 2015, the Texas state Senate passed legislation that would allow concealed weapons to be carried legally on college campuses. The bill, however, must still be approved by the state House.

“Students have expressed concerns to me about their ability to protect themselves,” said the bill’s author, Sen. Brian Birdwell, reported The Associated Press. “It’s time we don’t imperil their safety.”

Several students at Elon University disagree with Birdwell’s logic.

“I would not feel safe about it if a bill of this nature was passed in North Carolina,” said Erin Valentine, Class of 2015. “I wouldn’t feel very safe if students around me could carry concealed weapons. If you’re going to carry a weapon, I should know about it because it’s my right to know.”

Julia Elleman, an Elon First Year, agrees.

“Even though they would have a permit, I don’t’ think anyone should have that control,” Elleman said. “You never know what could happen, especially on a college campus.”

Arcaro
Arcaro

Thomas Arcaro is a professor of sociology at Elon University.

“This has nothing to do with anybody’s rights,” Arcaro said. “It has everything to do with selling a particular view of the world, selling more guns and ammunition and using the massive lobby influence of the NRA to move in that direction. These types of laws would have an effect on the culture in moving it further along the path of really separating a true democracy from one that is dominated by powerful lobby influence groups like the NRA.”