Keeping guns off campus

Allowing students to carry guns would create a more dangerous campus.

Daily Editorial Board

Months after last year’s tragic shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., it appears the nation’s dialogue concerning guns and the push for more regulation is here to stay long term. On Monday, President Barack Obama came to Minneapolis to speak about gun violence and to garner public support for Congress to take action and work to curtail gun violence. There is strong opposition to passing additional gun laws, and some lawmakers at both the state and federal level support giving citizens more freedom to purchase and carry weapons. One such lawmaker is Minnesota state Rep. Tony Cornish, R-Vernon Center, who plans on introducing legislation that would allow “anyone who is 21 years old and has a handgun permit to carry a gun on campus” according to an article published in the Minnesota Daily last week. 

Concerned that the University is inadequately prepared for a mass shooting, Cornish said that “the only policy the University of Minnesota has right now is ‘run, hide and die.’” While we appreciate Cornish’s concern for campus safety, his assertion that an armed student body makes a safer campus is simply false and ignores well-documented research on the health risk of gun ownership. An article published in MinnPost last year clearly outlined how “if you have a gun, everybody in your home is more likely than your non-gun-owning neighbors and their families to die in a gun-related accident, suicide or homicide.” It’s easy to see how similar risks would be increased at the university level. There is also little evidence that more gun ownership deters crime or stops it while in progress. University students and faculty have a right to not be subjected to the health risks of more guns on campus. The state Legislature should leave campus safety to the University police.