Student-organized campaign to allow guns in classrooms spreads
A national student campaign to allow handguns in classrooms has organized and gained influence across the United States, said the Mount Vernon (Ohio) News.
Students for Concealed Carry on Campus, an Internet-based organization, is claiming to have over 15,000 members nationwide.
Stephen J. Feltoon, a University of Miami graduate, is the midwest regional director of the group.
Feltoon said he encourages hanging up fliers and taking new shooters to the range, and that an “empty-holster protest” is planned for April 21, where students with concealed carry permits are encouraged to wear empty gun holsters to class.
Rep. John Adams of Ohio helped introduce House Bill 225, which would allow anyone with a permit to carry a concealed weapon into places of worship, child daycare centers and family daycare homes, and state and local public buildings.
“In every study you look at, gun violence is down when you have a concealed carry policy in effect,” Adams said.
The campaign’s primary opponent, The Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence, argues that guns in classrooms could potentially wreak more havoc in a crisis situation because the number of injuries and casualties could increase.
Utah is the only state that now legally permits concealed carry handguns on college campuses, but 10 other states have legislation pending that would allow concealed carry permit holders to take their guns to class.
-Chelsea Kate Isaacs
Low percentage of college students enroll in emergency text messaging
Emergency alert systems were installed on college campuses across the country after the Virginia Tech massacre, but statistically students aren’t utilizing them, according to USA Today.
Colleges pay $1 to $4 per student that enrolls in the systems, which notify students of an emergency situation on campus by sending out text messages.
Alert system provider companies, such as Omnilert, a provider for over 500 campuses, reports an average enrollment rate among students, faculty and staff of 39 percent, and Blackboard Connect reported an enrollment of 28 percent.
In contrast, University of Miami’s vice president of Business Services Alan Fish said about 90 percent of UM students are signed up to receive the text messages.
Campus safety experts told USA Today that a lack of interest and feelings of invincibility and reluctance to give out personal information among students explain the low participation rates in security systems. Another reason is the unwillingness to pay for enrollment, which costs “pennies,” experts added.
However, the alert systems are not completely reliable, as proven when half of the system-enrolled students at Louisiana State University did not receive alerts when two students were killed in December.
-Chelsea Kate Isaacs
Support United Cerebral Palsy by signing up for Pike Madness, a basketball tournament that is open to all UM students. The tournament takes place March 22, but make sure to sign up for teams by March 18. To register, contact Alex Candee at 617-543-4646.