By Ben Goldberger —
The Sandy Hook Promise recently published another powerful video about the necessity of education on tactics to prevent school shootings. This PSA brings up the question: How safe are campuses regarding gun violence?
The University of Louisville Deadly Weapons Policy states that all weapons are restricted on campus, besides some few exceptions including police officers and weapons owned by the ROTC program.
As stated in the policy, “Deadly weapons are prohibited on any property owned, leased, operated or controlled by the University, including but not limited to the following: classrooms, laboratories, residence halls, clinics, office buildings, performance halls, museums, athletics and recreation facilities, parking lots and structures, University-owned vehicles, and all outdoor areas of any campus of the University.”
While this policy does restrict weapons on campus, this only pertains to those that are visible.
Last summer, the Kentucky Senate passed Senate Bill 150. The Courier Journal reports the law allows people to carry a concealed weapon without a background check, safety training or a permit. This law didn’t change where concealed weapons aren’t allowed though. Concealed weapons aren’t allowed in government buildings or private property with posted signs.
So while weapons are technically restricted on campus, people can hide their weapons anywhere on their persons. And since background checks and gun safety training sessions are no longer required to purchase a gun, anyone 21 or older can have a weapon on them.
This strikes fear in students, making them question how protected campus is from gun violence.
Freshman finance major Gordon Rowe said, “I think it requires me to be more aware of my surroundings.”
“It’s a shame that our politicians have once again created an added pressure to a college students’ life, which is already pressured enough.”
This is scary information for sure, but students have the power to make changes that can improve campus safety.
Students can share their concerns with student representatives in the Student Government Association. These officers are put in power to serve as the voice for the students, and getting in contact with them will let them know the student population is concerned for their safety and allow them to inform school officials about this issue.
Students can also contact the official university police force to voice their opinions. On the U of L police department website, there are phone numbers for all staff, and there is an email that students can use to send in their opinions on how to improve campus security.
Finally, students can write to their state representatives to change this bill. By voicing their opinions, representatives may look at the bill from a different perspective, leading them to change the legislation.
When asked about possible ways to improve campus safety, Rowe said, “I have always believed that implementing key codes on some of the campus buildings like the SAC and BAB are a good idea.”
These security measures would ensure that the only people in high-populated buildings would be students and staff, making these buildings more secure.
While the world can be a dangerous place, the campus should be a shelter from that danger for students. This law threatens the security of campus, but with help from the students, the university can strengthen that shelter even more. The time is now to take action and secure campus from gun violence.
If not now, how many more school shootings before it is?
Graphic by Alexis Simon // The Louisville Cardinal