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TOWN HALL: CU gun rule may endanger students (poll)

By: WAYNE LAUGESEN
August 20, 2012
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Nearly all modern massacres have occurred in “gun-free” zones. It is likely that gun-free zones attract homicidal maniacs, who want the highest death tolls possible before they are stopped. If guns aren’t allowed, no one is likely to shoot back. It is hard to imagine that mere coincidence explains the common thread of “gun-free” rules at massacre locations, such as Columbine High School, Aurora’s Century 16 Theater and Virginia Tech. It seems like common sense that “no gun” signs ensure predators of soft, defenseless targets.

Given these observations, it is beyond belief that members of the Colorado Board of Regents have indulged a publicity stunt that establishes new “gun-free” zones on college campuses. Their actions could get students killed.

In March, the Colorado Supreme Court wisely stopped the regents from prohibiting gun concealment at the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs and other regent campuses because the anti-gun rules violated state law.

Instead of simply obeying the law, regents and campus administrators are pushing back. They want everyone to know that at least their freshmen dorms are off-limits to guns, even for those with concealment permits.

Don’t think for a moment they are just trying to protect the young students from violence. They are grandstanding at the potential expense of safety.

Colorado law allows only law-abiding adults age 21 and up to obtain concealed carry permits. Almost no one living in a freshman dorm is over the age of 21. In the unlikely event a full-fledged adult with a concealed carry permit lives in a freshman dorm, his or her presence enhances safety. Concealed carry permittees are trained and screened. The new rule is a policy in search of a problem, and it ensures criminals of new defenseless targets.

Regents and administrators have managed only to promise all predators that freshman dorms are defenseless, gun-free zones. Their new rule will almost certainly result in “no gun” signs on dormitory doors.

“CU officials are only pretending to create gun-free zones,” said James Manley, the Mountain States Legal Foundation attorney who successfully fought the full-campus gun ban in the Colorado Supreme Court. “You cannot put a sticker on a door and expect bad guys to go away. It defies logic that someone who does not value life cares about a gun policy set by regents. The sticker serves more as a target.”

Manley said the foundation may fight the new rule.

Another new rule will forbid concealed weapons at sporting events and other ticketed gatherings. David Kopel, research director at the Independence Institute and a nationally renowned Second Amendment attorney, said prohibiting guns from public events is reasonable if all attendees are properly screened for weapons and the venue provides adequate professional security.

“If they are going to keep people from providing for their own safety, they have a moral obligation to provide armed guards who are properly trained to protect the crowd,” Kopel said.

We concur, but take strong objection to the needless and self-indulgent endangerment of freshmen in dorms. That new rule is dangerous, unconscionable and probably illegal. — 

That's our view, so what's yours? Please begin or contribute to a Facebook discussion below this article, and vote in the poll to the upper right of here.

Friend editorial page editor Wayne Laugesen on Facebook, follow him on Twitter

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