Published on February 8th, 2017 | by Chris Settineri0
Campus Concealed Carry
Oftentimes guns on school campuses lead to disastrous consequences.
Columbine, Virginia Tech, and Sandy Hook are just some examples of mass shootings on school campuses.
However all of these events have one common trait; a lone wolf gunning down classmates and teachers.
According to the Department of Justice, between 2000 and 2013 160 active shooter incidents occurred in the United States.
Now some are arguing that students or teachers should be allowed to carry a concealed firearm to fight back in the event of an active shooter.
Just a few short years ago, the thought of being armed inside of a school was unthinkable. Today that has changed.
The argument for campus concealed carry is that an armed student or teacher has the opportunity in an active shooter situation not only to defend themselves but also to limit or stop an attacker before they are able to cause massive amounts of harm.
Their theory is supported, because according to the Crime Prevention Research Center, concealed carry permit holders have risen from 4.6 million people to 12.8 million since 2007. Since that time, average murder rates have dropped from 5.6 per 100,000 people to 4.2 per 100,000 people.
Here in Lakeland, Southeastern University and the Polk County Sheriff’s Office are partnering together to develop a Sentinel Program. The program is designed to train faculty and staff to carry a concealed firearm on campus and in class.
Selected faculty will be screened by the sheriff’s office, and will be required to complete 100 hours of firearm safety and proficiency training. Only Polk County Sheriff’s Office approved guns and holsters will be available for carry.
Florida Southern has said that its campus will never see any form of concealed weapons. Currently firearms are completely prohibited on campus and other forms of self-defense are very limited.
Some students have even had pepper spray confiscated.
Student positions are varied. “I think it’s a good idea, people have a right to defend themselves and to defend others in the event of an active shooter,” Luis Rivera said.
“I don’t think it’s a good idea, the more people that have access to guns the more likely it is that someone will go crazy and shoot up the place,” Abby Eskridge said.
Safety and security are a top priority on any campus and today school safety is trying to adapt to changing threats. Police and other armed officers simply cannot reach a destination fast enough in an active shooter situation.
Schools have had to develop drills and protocols to adapt to the changing landscape, but still it does not seem to be enough.
Often times shootings end in massacre simply because police and rescue cannot react fast enough.
It’s not the fault of the police force or defense, it is simply reality.
Those against concealed carry on campus argue that more guns equal more crime.
Those for it argue that “good guys with guns” can protect the innocent and prevent tragedy before it gets too far.
As the sentinel program continues and more people become proficient with carrying a firearm only time will tell who is right.