The unfortunate truth is that every few weeks we hear about threats of gun violence in university communities. If you do a quick search on any of the higher education news papers or journals you will find a ton of articles and news reports of violence or fear of safety because of guns. So the questions that baffles me is why do we continue to allow these weapons in academic settings?
I understand that the second amendment of the U.S constitution gives individuals the rights to protect and bear arms but is a college campus the right place it. In my opinion, NO! Allowing students to carry arms on campus creates an environment of fear and distracts students from the main purpose of why they are there. I am certain that most campuses have safety and security offices (university police departments) or have partnerships with local police departments to help with providing a safe learning community. Secondly, I agree that we are all adults and should be treated as such and thus should be allowed to practice the freedoms that the U.S. Constitution provides but I also understand that not all students behave like adults. Allowing such adults to carry weapons puts a larger community at risk.
As I was reading about this topic, I was surprised to uncover that there are various states that have allowed the carrying of firearms on university premises (i.e. campus grounds, classrooms, dormitories, or parking lots). Virginia is among the states (along with 22 others) that allows each college and university to decide their decision to ban or allow concealed weapons.
The interactive image below was taken from Armed Campuses website to provides more information on how various states enforce the carrying of concealed weapons on college campuses.
COLOR CODING KEY
RED = Concealed guns allowed by law
GREY = Concealed guns allowed by law, but schools limit locations/who carries
GREEN = Concealed guns on campus prohibited by law
YELLOW = Schools decide weapons policy
ORANGE = Concealed guns allowed only in locked cars in parking lots