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After legislation was announced that would allow conceal and carry on college campuses in Missouri, President Jasinski sent out an email to students stating Northwest Missouri State University would not support the bill. We strongly agree with the statements Jasinski made and are also firmly opposed to this bill.

            Senate Bill 731 sponsored by Sen. Brian Munzlinger would remove the law prohibiting concealed carry on college campuses. Munzlinger, who ranks 12th in lobbyist spending, is funded by the National Rifle Association for sponsoring SB 731.

            In Jasinski’s letter to students, he states “...there were 320 mass shootings last year in the United States and a few did occur, tragically, on college campuses. But we have read no empirical research showing [carrying a concealed weapon] legislation will indeed keep campuses safer.”

            In Darcie Bradford’s article in the Feb. 11 issue, she states “93 percent of violent crimes that victimize college students occur off campus and students on campuses are significantly safer than those off campus, even without weapons. The study also shows that on average, about 1,100 college students commit suicide each year while another 24,000 attempt suicide. Suicide attempts with firearms are fatal more than 90 percent of the time. The campaign fears that the 24,000 attempted suicides could be fatal if firearms were allowed on college campus.”

The passing of this bill would raise the number of suicides and put panic in students who oppose the bill. A student who never thought to get a conceal and carry permit is now supporting the bill so they can get a firearm and carry it legally on campus.

Seventy-five percent of students suffer from depression or anxiety by the time they are 22. If these students have access to guns, they are instantly more capable of killing themselves. They do not even need to own the gun or get the license, all they need is a friend who has one they can easily access.  

We need to understand that allowing students to carry a gun on campus is more dangerous to everyone around. We at the Missourian agree that we would feel more in danger if someone around us carried a gun.

A study by the National Institute of Alcohol Abuse shows that four out of five college students drink and out of those half of them also binge drink or admit to drinking almost every night. Having drunk college students playing with guns is not something we find safe.

Friendly fire is something to think about with this bill. Someone getting drunk and showing off a weapon to a friend might cause a tragic accident.

Passing this bill is a terrible idea. A student can have a minor disagreement get out of hand, then before we know it, we have a gun pulled.

The passing of the bill would also show an increase of students attempting to act as a police force for themselves.

Lt. John Weinstein said, “I’m a ‘gun guy.’ Always have been; always will be. I am an NRA member. I am a cop and a certified firearms instructor… despite my inclination to support the idea, something nagged at me. It occurred to me there is a significant difference between an individual citizen acting to defend himself and that citizen assuming an official role, blessed by a government agency to, in effect, assume police responsibilities.”

We do not need a bunch of gun toting students walking around campus attempting to keep everyone safe and out of danger. That is not their responsibility, we do not need to depend on them to make us feel safe. In fact, seeing that around each day in a campus building would make us feel less safe.

Panic on campus would increase just knowing that the person walking nearby might have a gun. If we cite the Trayvon Martin shooting, a night time altercation was the only known reasoning behind the shooting. Altercations can take place at any time and can lead to an unnecessary lethal shooting here at Northwest.

If the bill were to pass, the law would be mandatory, but the campus can file for an exemption from the law with the Department of Justice if they wish. However, the school must be able to install security personnel and electronic weapons screening devices at every entrance to every building on its campus, which would cost upwards of $30 million. That is a ridiculous amount that we do not have and in order to obtain that amount would potentially raise tuition drastically.

This bill is a terrible idea sponsored by a man receiving nearly $1000 by the NRA to push the bill through senate. We do not agree with this bill and will strongly oppose it every chance we have. This campus will remain safe if we can keep guns out of hands of all except the police force.

As Jasinski said, “Northwest is proud to be one of the state’s education solutions and an economic engine for the region. We pledge to continue to take control of our destiny by being strategic in nature and focusing on student success. Our strategic plan and its five strategic objectives help focus our actions. CCW legislation will not assist the advancement of our strategy.”

We do not need this bill in Missouri. It is safer and beneficial to everyone to oppose and keep conceal and carry off this campus.

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