By: Tyler Parks
A recent bill went through the Kansas House of Representatives that would allow individuals with a conceal and-carry license to carry weapons into government buildings. The bill passed 74 to 50 and will move onto the senate for their vote.
The bill would leave an exemption for universities and would fall to the Board of Regents to decide. They will most likely decide not to allow it.
To me, this is a bad idea. With the number of school shootings increasing at a rather alarming rate, what would it hurt to have a few sane individuals with concealed weapons on campus?
I say “sane” because assuming you are able to jump through all the bureaucratic hoops to obtain a conceal-and-carry license, you are probably of sound mind.
Now I am not suggesting that Fort Hays is in any danger of a school shooting, but it is one of those things you can never be too certain about.
The individuals with these licenses are not the ones committing these heinous crimes. It is the ones without the licenses and usually without registered weapons that are committing these violent acts.
The argument can be raised that having any weapons on a college campus is a bad idea; after all, accidents do happen. However, it is only after a shooting when we wish someone else would have had a gun on them.
One would assume that the number of people with a conceal-and-carry license would be minimal on a college campus, if any at all. The steps to obtain said license is quite lengthy, actually.
In addition to the background check and the $150 fee, anyone wanting a license has to complete an eight-hour training course, must be 21 years old and have no felony convictions or diversions. The list goes on and is quite long, as it should be.
A conceal-and-carry license is not easy to obtain, for the four-page application alone is enough to scare most people away. For a college student to go through all this just to bring a gun to school, when they really don’t need a license at all, seems outrageous.
The reason for a conceal-and-carry license is to feel safe and protected. It is sad that this is what is needed for some people to feel safe, but it is also understandable.
I was recently reading an article from the Emporia Gazette and found a quote that I thought was quite profound. “If I give a student a poor grade or if I say something they don’t like, and they have a weapon, I don’t know if they would shoot me,” said Rep. Valdenia Winn, a Kansas City democrat and a history professor at Kansas City Community College. “I don’t think it creates the environment you want to promote.”
This goes back to the sanity argument. Do we really think these are the individuals that will be getting the license? I doubt it, but maybe she has a point.
These licenses are not for everyone, and the requirements should be strict, but still obtainable. If the only person on the campus with a firearm is the one using it for destruction, whom does anyone turn to? Campus police? Well, they can’t be in every classroom all the time.
Maybe a few individuals on a campus with firearms wouldn’t hurt, as long as they have taken the proper steps to carry that weapon legally.
I wish this weren’t even up for discussion, but it is, and with good reason. No one should feel unsafe at school, and if a few weapons are carried onto campus to make it safer, so be it.
Most would be unaware that a gun was even around, and that is how it should be. They wouldn’t need to be seen unless the need presented itself. Perhaps allowing concealed weapons on campuses could save the life of a student one day. It would be sad to see things come to that, but it would make the whole thing worth it, in my opinion.