Carrying guns won’t make for a safer campus

Allowing students and faculty to carry guns on campus would create additional safety risks.

All students and faculty members at the University of Minnesota can agree that a safe campus, where people feel free to disagree without the threat of violence, is imperative to maintaining a conducive learning environment. How exactly the University can achieve and maintain safety is a topic that many have legitimate disagreements about.

In the interest of school safety, members of the Minnesota College Republicans, and several other student groups, have spent time this week advocating for changing the University policy to allow people with a permit to carry weapons on campus, the Star Tribune reported.

Board of Regents policy currently states, “No person, whether a student, employee or visitor, shall possess or carry a weapon while on University property” except in the cases of law enforcement, military training, presidential approval or if the item is properly stored in a vehicle.

We believe this policy remains the best way to ensure that people on campus feel safe and free from violence and intimidation.

Allowing students to carry guns on campus would create unnecessary risks, rather than make campus safer. Crime rates around the University and Minneapolis are at historic lows. The homicide rate at college campuses is very low at about one death per 1 million people, compared to 57 deaths per 1 million in the general population, according to an Arkansas Safe Schools Initiative report.

While crime is a critical issue for campus this academic year, the University has measures to create a safer campus. Students can get involved in creating a safer campus by reporting criminal behavior and assisting others in need.

We trust trained University police officers, not students or faculty members, with protecting us. To do otherwise would not increase safety but instead expose campus to unnecessary and well-
documented risks.