DUBUQUE, IA – Recent shootings on college campuses are bringing to question: should students be able to carry weapons on campus?
For 19 states in the U.S. it is illegal to have concealed-carry weapons on college grounds, but for 23 states, including Iowa, the decision is up to the individual university.
Lieutenant Scott Baxter describes both sides of the debate, “One of the more common theories out there is that if we have more law-abiding citizens armed with weapons that they will be able to deter crime, but there’s that flip side that says bringing more guns into the situation won’t necessarily solve the issue. In fact, it could compound the problem.”
When asked, Loras student provided an array of differing opinions.
Grace Haggerty, Loras sophomore, states, “I think we should be allowed to carry alternative methods for self-defense.”
“Students going around campus with a weapon is probably not the most safe thing to allow students to do,” says Loras senior, Tyler Schaefer.
LCTV decided to create a short survey, asking current Loras students whether they felt weapons should be allowed on campus. With over 1,400 enrolled students we received over 450 responses. Results show 37% of students think those permitted should be allowed to carry weapons on campus in contest to the 57% who would deem the presence of weapons as unsafe.
When asked, Loras officials stated that the topic has been discussed and policies regarding weapons have been recently updated.
Director of Student Life, Art Sunleaf states, “I’m not sure it would solve the problem that is before us.”
Lieutenant Baxter suspects talk of weapons on campus will continue in the future.