Guns may find their way to campuses

For its first bill of the term, the Republican-majority Florida House of Representatives decided to tackle a rather contentious issue.

The bill, named HB 4005, would allow people with the appropriate licenses to concealed carry their guns in public school college campuses. In light of the recent Florida State University (FSU) shooting, which left three students injured, this bill would represent a marked shift in the environments at the schools it affects.

Although passed by the House, the Senate and the governor’s office still need to approve the bill before it can become law. This gives us time to consider the benefits and drawbacks of such a measure.

Perhaps more obvious are the potential problems that concealed carry weapons can cause.

College is a time of many firsts. These experiences can lead students to make mistakes that they probably wouldn’t have made otherwise. The stress of full course loads and new relationships already brings friction to students’ lives, not taking into account the constant exposure to drugs and alcohol.

College students have already earned a reputation for being reckless. With the ability to carry a gun on campus, mistakes that are so common during this time in our lives could balloon into serious (or even fatal) crimes.

This bill has the potential to foster fear among college students as well. By the very nature of concealed weapons, it is impossible to know whether someone is carrying a gun. This could cause students to be distracted by the possibility that anyone around them could use a weapon at any time.

However, allowing concealed carry weapons on campus could have benefits. The specific justification used to promote this bill was safety. Many people feel safer when they have the ability to defend themselves.

Additionally, it could be a crime deterrent. College students sometimes present an attractive target to criminals. If it is impossible for a criminal to know which individuals carry weapons, they would be less likely to target anyone in that population.

This bill would also only cover a subset of all people who own guns. To receive a concealed weapons permit, an individual must undergo background checks and a 90-day waiting period. They must also be 21 years of age or older, meaning the overlap between them and the stereotypical student is not as large as it may appear.

Though the bill only applies to public universities, students at UM could still be affected. Whichever final policy is chosen would be felt any time students visit any public Florida school. As a result, students should practice their civic duty and play a part in this discussion.

Whether or not you agree with the bill, participate in discussions and send letters to county representatives. If there is one time to get involved and avoid apathy, it’s this one.

This issue is not black and white. The discussion must extend to the larger student body to reach a consensus that best serves the students as we navigate our college careers.

Editorials represent the majority view of The Miami Hurricane editorial board.

January 25, 2015


Editorial Board

The Miami Hurricane

Around the Web
  • Miami Herald
  • UM News
  • Error

Duke Johnson, the all-time leading rusher in Miami Hurricanes history, was one of a dozen members of ...

The Miami Hurricanes, still waiting for a starting quarterback to be named, are in the top 25 again. ...

Happy first day of school for everyone out there, including the University of Miami students. We jus ...

With the University of Miami season opener closing in, the next starting quarterback has yet to be n ...

The second fall scrimmage, closed to the media and public, is over. University of Miami coach Mark R ...

UM’s new chief academic officer holds some 40 patents, and in 2017 was inducted into the National Ac ...

University of Miami students and researchers are blogging during a month-long expedition in the Gulf ...

María de Lourdes Dieck-Assad, a world-renowned economist and former ambassador, fills a new role for ...

Through the U Dreamers Grant, DACA students find essential support as they pursue their college degr ...

UM students talk about their internships up north in a city that never sleeps. ...

RSS Error: A feed could not be found at http://www.hurricanesports.com/. A feed with an invalid mime type may fall victim to this error, or SimplePie was unable to auto-discover it.. Use force_feed() if you are certain this URL is a real feed.

TMH Twitter Feed
About TMH

The Miami Hurricane is the student newspaper of the University of Miami in Coral Gables, Fla. The newspaper is edited and produced by undergraduate students at UM and is published weekly on Thursdays during the regular academic year.