Don’t ask me to make logic of that,” Dr. John Plotts said during a recent town hall meeting regarding concealed carry on campus.
Plotts, the Senior Vice President of Enrollment & Student Services, was discussing why the University of Dallas issued a press release detailing the administration’s decision to uphold the university’s ban on concealed weapons.
The meeting, which was oddly scheduled after the administration had already made a decision, made it clear that the administration is failing to adapt to the “changing culture of the world,” as Lt. Col. Allen West, former congressman and National Center for Policy Analysis (NCPA) Executive Director and Vice Chairman of the Board of Directors, put it.
To support the administration’s decision, Dr. Plotts noted that UD has never had a shooting or other gun-related incident on campus.
But the past is no indicator of the future. Half a century ago, we did not have reason to worry about terrorist attacks and mass shootings. Today, this is a legitimate concern.
West emphasized the danger of the current world in which we live, and that we have a right to protect our lives. He also noted that once people come onto our campus, they immediately surrender the protection of their lives to the university. As a result, West called for students to work with the administration so that campus security can adequately protect us if we cannot protect ourselves.
I side with Lt. Col. West in believing everyone on campus should have a right to self-protection. The concealed carry ban must be reversed.
Dr. Pete Blair, Associate Professor in Texas State University’s Criminal Justice Department, has addressed many of the objections to concealed carry on campus. One objection is the fear of an armed and angry person with a concealed carry permit using a firearm on campus.
The truth is that permit holders statistically have a low crime rate. And in seven states that allow concealed carry on campus, there have been no problems with permit holders besides an isolated incident where a gun was accidentally discharged. Fortunately, no one was injured.
The second objection is that of “blue on blue” violence, a hypothetical incident where law enforcement shoots a permit holder, mistaking them for the active shooter. According to Dr. Blair, there has only been one incident of this sort, which may have simply been an issue of crossfire.
That’s not to mention the fact that if someone were to commit a shooting on campus, they would not give a second thought to the fact that UD is a gun-free campus. A person who is going to commit an immoral and illegal act couldn’t care less about UD’s campus policy.
Dr. Plotts mentioned that the police have a three-minute response time to an emergency call from UD. The problem is that three minutes is still a very long time for an active shooter to be on campus. Also, the administration is working with the Campus Safety Office on new emergency response procedures. They are also looking into arming campus safety officers.
Students, faculty and staff of UD must hold the administration accountable for our safety if they will not allow us to be responsible for our own safety. As much as I love and respect UD, I would rather be responsible for my own life than have the responsibility be given to the administration. It only takes one incident to put the lives of those here at UD in grave danger.