It is well known that the College of William and Mary has recently taken steps toward implementing rules banning guns on campus and in campus buildings, regardless of permit. This new policy is part of a campaing for stricter gun policies at Virginia state universities. It was announced Oct. 10 that protests against these new policies are being planned at both the College and at Old Dominion University, although no specific date has been set. The new regulations would enact restrictions that are similar to those now in place at George Mason University, and which have been upheld by the Supreme Court. Despite this ruling, I believe that such extreme measures are unnecessary.
The issues that groups for and against gun restirctions have are very similar, and both bring up the issue of the Virginia Tech shooting in 2007. Groups that are advocating for more stringent gun policies on college campuses argue that if there were firmer regulations and enforcement, events like the shooting at Tech wouldn’t happen. Guns rights groups argue that if students passed concealed carry permit classes and were trained to use their guns, they should have the right to carry them on campus because they would be able to protect themselves and other students if a shooting ever happened on a campus again.
Issues of campus safety are very important to students and faculty at the College, especially after the a student was recently robbed. While more rigorous enforcement of current gun laws should take place, like keeping up with what students have gun permits and actually carry guns on campus, I don’t believe that there is any need for further restrictions on carrying guns on campus, because it has not been a problem here as it might be at a larger school. Gun rights groups advocate that a training program should be implemented on campuses where students want to learn how to carry a gun safely, with a permit, and want to learn how to defend themselves in the case of a violent situation.
I agree with the idea of having training classes for students who wish to learn more about gun safety. Even though there is not a lot of violence on this campus, it does happen occasionally, and being able to defend oneself would definitely be useful if the situation ever arose. Training classes would ensure that students would know how to handle guns correctly, and the danger of accidental firing would decrease because of extra training. Stricter enforcement of gun laws should be implemented on any college campus, especially if violence toward students — whether it’s from fellow students or members of the outside community — is common in the area, but further restrictions may not be necessary.