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Should college students be allowed to carry weapons on campus?

READ MORE: UNCW students push for guns on campus
WILMINGTON -- A number of college campus shootings over the past year have many UNCW students concerned. Some of those students want people with gun permits to be able to carry their guns on campus. Interested students want to join more than 25,000 people who are part of the national organization Students for Concealed Carry on Campus. Fatal shootings at Virginia Tech and Northern Illinois University are examples of why UNCW student Tyler Millage and others want concealed weapons allowed on campus. Millage said, "In the hands of responsible citizens, there's no danger from handguns." Millage is spearheading an effort for the organization Students for Concealed Carry on Campus to be recognized as an official campus group. The group's mission is to allow people at least 21 years-old who have concealed carry permits to have their guns on them when on UNCW's campus, which is currently illegal. "Part of the beauty of concealed carry is that you don't have to carry to be protected by it. Other people can be carrying and they can protect you in an emergency situation," Millage said. Those in favor said campus would be safer. Those opposed, like David Dangelico and Aaron Ward, said they'd feel anything but safe. Dangelico said, "I'd feel more concerned about the person next to me, you know, if he's carrying a handgun in his bag and if I say something wrong to him and he's not exactly having the best day, if something could go wrong." Ward said, "I don't really think allowing more guns in the hands of students is going to necessarily protect us more. We already have an able-bodied police force on campus to deal with this threat." Millage said in the campus shootings that have happened, like at Virginia Tech, school police haven't responded quickly enough. He said, "If just one person in Norris Hall had had a handgun, they could have stopped it before 30 people had been killed in that one building alone." According to Millage, about 30 students have expressed an interest and in the fall the group will present its case to a review committee made up of five faculty members and five students.
UNCW released the following statement: As a university community, we respect the right of our students to express their positions on issues, including campus safety and security, which is an issue of vital importance to all of us. While allowing students to carry guns might appear to some individuals to be an option in deterring violence on campuses, it brings with it additional concerns for safety. One concern is the level of training and proficiency of the person carrying the weapon, including his or her ability to use it effectively and retain the weapon in a crisis situation. Many gun owners have been killed or injured with their own weapons while attempting an intervention. A second concern is the tactical complexity of introducing multiple weapons to a police emergency, which significantly elevates the probability that a well meaning citizen may be mistaken as an aggressor. Having multiple people carrying and using weapons during a situation such as an active shooter attack causes confusion about who is actually the perpetrator, which may result in additional injuries. We believe that there are other approaches and solutions to increasing campus safety and security that are more effective than allowing the proliferation of weapons on campus. The best protection for any potential emergency is to be informed and aware. It is important to have a plan in place in advance to deal with crisis situations. A plan involving options on what a person can do to escape, where to hide (if escape is not an option), who to notify and where to rally with co-workers or classmates when the “all clear” is given are all points that need to be considered. UNCW Police offers “community response to violent situations” workshops to assist students, faculty and staff with how to plan and deal with a violent situation on campus, which cover areas of law enforcement response and familiarization with campus-wide emergency notification systems. Students are also encouraged to report any suspicious individuals or activity to UNCW Police and to be vigilant about security measures, such as not allowing unauthorized persons to enter locked residence halls.

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WilmMan, I admit it would be a zoo in an actual shooting...

...likely totally impractical, but unless the universities get serious about these shootings, there are going to be more of them. These nuts are specifically targeting places they are familiar with, and that they know are devoid of armed opposition. Sooner or later one of them is going to bring in some heavy firepower and go for the record. I view the armed individual as the last resort, close-in defensive system. Armed security guards in every building, metal detectors, armed faculty....there are lots of other, more practical steps that could be taken. But they don't come cheap. If the universities continue to do nothing, I'm all for individuals protecting their own lives.

Young people? With guns?

In most places the minimum age to be a sworn law-enforcement officer is......twenty-one. In order to purchase a pistol or revolver and obtain a concealed carry license you must be.....twenty-one. Odd, that our nation and state will trust seventeen year-olds to carry fully automatic weapons, but we start getting uneasy when we talk about twenty-one year-old college students being able to carry a simply sidearm to protect themselves. Here's a counter-proposal to UNCW and every other university: Have two armed security guards in every building on campus, and there won't be any need for people to arm themselves. Until you're ready to pick up that tab, then don't deny people the God-given right of self-defense. People need to realize that these psycho-nutjobs are specifically targeting schools because they know that no one there is armed. (Of course the gunman in Pearl, MS found out that assumption can be wrong, when he found himself staring down the barrel of the assistant principal's .45 automatic. He surrendered, crying like a baby after his killing rampage was interrupted - proof that firearms in the right hands, even civilian hands, do serve a purpose.) Due to my career choices, I have carried a sidearm my entire life, but never once drew it from my holster unless I was totally justified under law. I'm just no so arrogant that I think I'm the only one who can be responsible with a firearm.

A lot of the kids defending

A lot of the kids defending this country are 18....what;s your point, self protection is a right that should be afforded college students assuming all the CCW permits etc...

When seconds count

Most cops will be the first to tell you that: 'when seconds count, the police are only minutes away'

a compromise

Why not offer scholarships to students age 21 and older who attend police academy during summer vacations and agree to serve as reserve armed plainclothes campus police officers? If some of them later become police officers professionally, so much the better? Likewise, professors who agree to do this could have their service counted towards promotion as equivalent to one journal article per year.

I like your idea.

I like your idea.



Same old tired arguments

Yet another hidebound inside-the-boxer administrator trots out the fallacious Brady-boilerplate "talking points." You are "concerned about the training and proficienty" or gun owners, yet the state has certified both. Do you give special "university driving tests" to people before they can drive on campus? How dare you. The "complexity of introducing multiple weapons to a police emergency" doesn't seem to be a big factor OUTSIDE universities. If police can handle it in the "real world," they can handle it on your campus -- and they probably won't have to, since it will no longer be an attractive nuisance to mass murderers "Many gun owners have been killed or injured with their own weapons while attempting an intervention." A popular, but vaporous claim. Prove it. Bottom line: Free adult citizens do not lose their rights at the gates of a campus. Admnistrators' politically-correct pet phobias should never be allowed to trump a person's right to defend his own life.

Yeah, this group just wants

Yeah, this group just wants people who have licenses to carry guns to be allowed to carry guns. Isn't that sort-of why the licenses exist?

Great idea!

Students licensed to carry everywhere else in the state should also be allowed to carry on campus! It makes sense. Let them defend themselves from deranged gunmen. Can anyone tell me how many school shootings gun free zones have stopped? NONE! And to the person who claimed that 18 year olds shouldn't be able to do this: THEY CAN'T! YOU HAVE TO BE 21 TO GET A LICENSE TO CARRY!

Concealed Carry

The college says: "The best protection for any potential emergency is to be informed and aware". Tell that to the VA Tech victims. They were informed when the gunman burst thru the door. They were aware when he started shooting, ran out of ammo, and then calmly reloaded twice and started again. Meanwhile police stood outside, not sure of the threat. They were just as confused as the students, with good reason. Concealed carry facts: 1. It's more expensive than a six pack of beer. 2. You have to complete classroom instruction. 3. You have to actually demonstrate proficiency using your sidearm in the presence of your instructor. One mistake on the firing range and you can instantly fail. (Finger on trigger before being instructed to fire) 4. You have to undergo a background check. 5. You have to give your complete fingerprints. 6. Once you complete these things, you learn you can never use, or display your firearm, without a grand jury investigation looming in your future, or being charged for "going armed to the terror of the public" if someone sees your firearm. I stand next to you every day at the supermarket. I'm at the gas pump across from you. I may be wearing jeans and a T shirt. I may be in a suit. We smile and talk, weather, fishing etc. You'll never suspect I'm carrying a weapon. God willing, I'll never have to use it. But if a robbery takes place at the quickie mart, with police 8 minutes away, a crazed crack head thug waving his gun in your child's face, you'll be glad I'm there. You will go home that night to your family safely if I get one second without his eyes on me, and God willing I have a clear shot without endangering anyone, and all the legal prerequisites have been met. Of course you could always be "informed and aware" shortly before he starts blasting away at anyone and everyone nearby. People need to be realistic. "Where would you put one" (sidearm)DUH. Before discounting this solution, find out the facts yourself. Professor Flatbottom is going to run just like everyone else, if there's anywhere to run. People that have a concealed carry permits hardly ever ever commit crimes. They take responsibility for the choice to carry. They carry for protection, not only theirs, but yours also. But don't worry, the college is getting pretty good at paying out money in settlements. Nothing is perfect. But that big sticker that says no guns, is a magnet for nut jobs. The signs mean "NO RESISTANCE TO BE FOUND HERE". Campus security is not a deterrent to this crazy phenomenon. If you look at all the school shootings, one thing is evident. No one had a concealed weapon. If one concealed carry permit holder would have been present, at least the students would have had a chance, some might be alive today. The argument put forth by the college is just about what I would expect. Half truths, outright lies, and the promise that they know what's best for you, knowing there's nothing they can do against crazy people. I practice with my sidearm once a week. You should too. Or just be informed and aware. I'll still be standing beside you, if your lucky.

See... THIS was the real problem...

Here's the real reason the shooter accomplished so much: "They were aware when he started shooting, ran out of ammo, and then calmly reloaded twice and started again." At the LEAST, while he was reloading, anyone could have tackled his ass and stopped him. And I'm damned sure someone could have cold-cocked him from behind at some point if only they had the guts to do so. People are too busy looking out for number one to really care what happens, so long as it doesn't happen to themselves. THAT, my friends, is the root of the problem, as harsh as it may be.

You said "At the LEAST,

You said "At the LEAST, while he was reloading, anyone could have tackled his ass and stopped him." Actually there were people who did try to stop him. There was a brave teacher that held the door shut & told his students to go out the windows. I believe I even heard that there were people who tried to fight back by throwing objects or chairs. The fact is that it only takes 2-3 seconds to reload if you practice just a little bit, and I understand that he was preparing for months. He also may have been doing what are called "tactical reloads" - reloading while there is still one round in the chamber (so he could still fire one more round before his new magazine was inserted). He was probably far enough away that it would have been difficult to reach him quickly enough either way. I'm not saying it wasn't worth trying, of course you're better off using whatever means are at your disposal to fight back than to hide under a desk. I'm just saying you'll have better odds if you bring a gun to a gun fight rather than a broom from the Janitor closet or a chair from the classroom.

See... THIS was the real problem

"People are too busy looking out for number one to really care what happens, so long as it doesn't happen to themselves." Your absolutely right. Campus officials have instilled a false sense of security by programs that do nothing to foil a tragedy. What good is an email notification when you've been shot? Run and Hide is the answer. The University should be teaching firearm safety. Maybe a self-defense course or two. I don't know if they have campus wide emergency drills for an intruder. I'm sure they have a fire drill. Run and Hide. If this is the best Campus officials can come up with, it's time for a new administration. I'm certainly not impressed by the current one.

This will cause way more

This will cause way more problems than it will solve. No way should students carry guns on Campus. College campuses are still safer than average everyday cities

way more problems?

Scally Wagg said: "This will cause way more problems than it will solve." I hear people say that quite a bit, yet nobody has any evidence that it is true. Quite the opposite, we have evidence that it is false. People claimed that there would be "way more problems" when concealed carry laws became "shall issue" in States like Florida, yet instead of "way more problems" they had less - less crime, less murder, less gun death. Schools in Utah allow 21 & up to carry in all schools, Universities & grade schools. Please list one example of a resulting problem. Can't find it because it simply doesn't exist. Get educated people, stop spouting off the same old talking points without presenting any evidence other than you said so.


Persons who have obtained their permit-to-carry a firearm tend to be among the most stable and reliable people in the general population. Statistically, they are several times LESS likely to commit a crime than POLICE OFFICERS themselves. If you are fortunate enough to be near a person with a permit-to-carry (whether you know it or not) you are several times safer than if he were not there. I was fortunate enough to visit Israel several years ago. Every tenth civilian in Israel is carrying a firearm, and that's not counting the scores of off-duty military with their full-auto assault rifles. All those folks with their guns protecting my safety made me feel as safe as I would be at home in bed. I think permittees should be encouraged to carry their firearms - on campus and everywhere else. John

"Statistically, they are

"Statistically, they are several times LESS likely to commit a crime than POLICE OFFICERS themselves." Completely untrue. Its real easy to just blurt out ridiculous statements as facts, but it does nothing to build your case, and actually detracts from your argument. Attending a concealed class and understanding weapons doesn't give you the maturity and overall responsibility to protect the public. I'm completely against it. Its an accident waiting to happen.

You're right, it isn't true

You're right, it isn't true that police officers commit more crimes than licensees. BUT licensees are less likely to commit crimes than the general public. From a study done in Texas: "# Licensees were 5.7 times less likely to be arrested for violent offenses than the general public - 127 per 100,000 population versus 730 per 100,000. # Licensees were 14 times less likely to be arrested for nonviolent offenses than the general public - 386 per 100,000 population versus 5,212 per 100,000. # Further, the general public is 1.4 times more likely to be arrested for murder than licensees [see Figure I], and no licensee had been arrested for negligent manslaughter."

if you think 1 college

if you think 1 college student or 1000 college students with a gun on campus is gonna change those planned attacks your dreaming ,i would feel so paranoid being around in a well known knuckle head environment where one of the students in his class left the safety off the concealed weapon and bam his book bag falls off his desk and the school cheerleader captain whom had just sighned a contract with tropicana tan company just got shot in the head by bill bobs concealed weapon because billy bob stayed up all night studying for a final and forgot to check and maintain the safety on his gun ,furthermore what if a planned attack is carred out on your campus and the attackers wear bullet proff vests and have plenty of ammo for there machine guns and your gonna get close enough with a lil hand gun to stop a shot gun or a machine gun maybe maybe not also when the attackers run out of ammo they can look through dead student bodys for concealed weapons and have more fire power .you or god are not gonna stop a well planned attack by no means just bite the bullet as they say and accept it , they do evevryday in iraq and iran and afghanastn poor soldiers ,its the world students stop those big frat drinking partys and read politics and vote get these people out of office whom arent doing a dang thing for your community but blowing air out a talk hole to you about change, file political bills with a group and go to your state legislature ,make a difference ,your getting bigger now your not mom and dads lil kid anymore its time to accept responsibilty , maybe you can stop one person with a hand gun carrying out an attack put what is the price u pay, students carrying guns i dont think so period. leave it to the police

Tanks, bazooka's, atomic weapons

You did use one period. Your post was the longest non-sentence gibberish I've read, ever. If you really knew how many concealed carry people were around you, paranoid would not describe how you would feel. But you would be safer.

Absolutely NOT

Absolutely NOT! The purpose of a gun is to kill. At eighteen, (and even the few years following) a young adult is still too immature to make a split-second judgment decision of whether or not to take someone's life. To make that split decision of justification to take a life or not. While I am not opposed to faculty members going through lengthy professional training and making a personal decision (as long as the weapon was securely holstered to the teacher at all times and concealed)as to whether to posess a weapon or not, it is irresponsible to put that type of decision making into the hands of a young person who needs to be focusing on an education and not on what model Glock to buy... A young adult should never be placed in a situation to bear the responsibility of having to arm themselves in order to receive a formal education, nor should they be forced into a situation into having to make a desision on whether or not to end another human beings life.

You have to be 21, and if

You have to be 21, and if they are so immature, why does every military trust young men and women younger even that age to carry guns. The fact is we do have the Constitutional right to bear arms whether people feel safe or not because of our actions. There is a long process to get the permit, and the state of North Carolina has pretty good gun laws. We have the right to protect ourselves.

"Too immature to make a

"Too immature to make a split-second judgement..." I'm sorry, but it doesn't take a genius to determine that someone is shooting at you, and that you need to respond! How is it that permit holders are able to make these decisions at Walmart, city streets, offices, and virtually everywhere else, but suddenly become incapable of rational action when they set foot on campus property? No one should ever be put in a situation where they must end someone else's life. But reality is knocking on the door--it has happened and it will continue to happen! These students are saying "I'm trained, licensed, and responsible. Let me defend myself." Your response is that they should only be left with the options of "run and hide" or "stand there and look stupid" in the face of a murderer. If you have no problem with faculty members going through the process and carrying, why do you not trust students who would have to meet the exact same standards?

First of all, this movement

First of all, this movement is not aimed at 18 year olds. In the stae of NC, a citizen must be 21 to even be eligible for a CCW permit. After this, they must pass numerous background checks, go through proper training and pay to obtain a permit. Once permitted, they are allowed to carry in banks, malls, grocery stores, etc, so why not on public college campuses? BTW, you do realize we have 18 yr olds overseas fighting for your very freedom? Please rethink your statement saying that 18 yr olds are not mature enough to handle a firearm in a responsible manner.

You cannot carry into a bank

Actually, you are NOT allowed to carry a concealed weapon into a bank. You cannot carry your weapon onto any federal property including the post office, any bar or place that serves alcohol, or any place you have to pay admission to get in like the movies or county fair.

Not quite

No, a CCW does not allow you to carry in banks, the mall here has the no weapons allowed sign. Schools, government buildings and many more are off limits.



How can you say that at 18 years of age that someone isn't ready, I have a son at uncw who has been to iraq and will be going back and you say something like that, the US of A said he could and fully trained he to kill if needed and how to choose, no all 18 to 21 year olds are stupid some are life savers and have more sense that a lot od "adults"


We are only seeking to allow those persons who are 21 and over, not 18 and over, who have already passed mental and criminal background checks and received all of the required training, to carry their concealed weapons with them while they are on campus. These are people that already carry concealed weapons with them in restaurants, shopping malls, banks, movie theaters, and other public places. We trust them in those places, so why not on a college campus?

Tyler, I support you and

Tyler, I support you and totally agree with you. However, I don't believe that you will be successful in getting the university to overturn its policy. They're not going to make that big of a jump, even though they should. I want to suggest that you push more for conceal-carry for faculty, for the time being. You've through the first punch in a fight that is going to be very long and tough. I fear that you're asking too much too quick. Your going to have to "meet them half-way" so to speak. Just ask the university to take a "baby step" in the right direction. Maybe suggest the UNIVERSITY PROVIDING STUDENTS with tazers, thats better than nothing, and also push close monitoring of those tazers and strict punishment for misuse. What about a "student police force"? Lots of students are going in law enforcement and are going to have to go through BLET training. Off-duty police officers are allowed to carry guns on campus, push the university to offer BLET classes at times that are convenient to students. Try to make it more convenient to EXPLOIT THE LOOP HOLES!!! If you try to get too much too quick, you're going to get turned down, then it will be hard to even get them to reconsider their decision in the future. If conceal-carry is ever going to be allowed on campus, then you really need to get the university to take steps in the right direction from the start! I've studied varies active shooter events over the years and I am very knowledgeable about actual FACTS on the subject. I hope to go into law enforcemtent and suggest ways to prevent such events. I hope you're going into this arguement with plenty of RESEARCH to support your arguement. This should help you, if you research these shootings. Trolley Square Mall shooting, Salt Lake City. Port Arthur, Australia massacre. Appalachian School of Law shooting. Two of these were intervened by students who had weapons. The one in Australia, 35 people were killed and over 37 were injured; the shooter was NEVER fired upon.