Carrying in college

Remain calm. Move quickly.

In a time where training for an active shooter situation is a necessity for most college orientations, it’s understandable that attitudes about concealed carry of a firearm on college campuses is a controversial issue.

“Shots Fired,” the Ball State active shooter training video, likens the odds of being involved in an active shooter situation to being struck by lightning. There are a few stark differences regarding this analogy. Dark clouds, sheets of rain, rumbling in the skies. Lightning has many blatant warning signs. It is not hidden. You know when it’s coming. Lighting isn’t concealed under the jacket of the student sitting 12 inches away from you.

Some students may feel safer knowing that they could have protection in the form of a concealed weapon if a situation did occur. Others believe that allowing weapons on campus, regardless of the reason, could contribute to a potentially more dangerous environment.

Even the law isn’t one hundred percent clear on this issue. The second amendment does state a right to bear arms, but the first amendment advocated for unprohibited free speech. This means that we’re allowed to express our opinions, no matter what they are. But what if someone you’re discussing a heated topic with has a differing opinion, they carry a gun, and they get upset at what you have to say? Does that right then hinder your ability to express yourself comfortably, like the First Amendment right should guarantee?

There are many complexities and details that need to be taken into account when discussing the issue of concealed firearms on campus. Currently, only eighteen out of fifty states ban concealed carry on campuses. This issue is being debated by lawmakers, journalists, and special interest groups. Ball Bearings sat down to discuss it with people who are directly affected by this issue: students and college employees, as well as the people who represent them. Following preliminary interviews, each person reflected on the thoughts of the others.

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