As a current senior at NMU, I feel I have much experience with the student population of Northern Michigan University. We are a very diverse campus; maybe not in race gender and sexual orientation as many people today believe as the definition of diversity, but we are diverse in cultural, political, and social principles. We may be divided on issues, but as a group we all call ourselves Wildcats. Being a Wildcat to me is being part of great fraternity. We are different in the Upper Peninsula. We watch out for neighbors because we consider them our family.
Although we may have a real sense of community we are not as safe as we think. There has been an imaginary bubble created around campus when it comes to firearms. The concealed carry law states that “no weapons are to be allowed in college campus buildings at any time.”
The problem that arises is that laws such as this are only followed by law- abiding citizens. If someone were to feel that they wanted to do harm to NMU or any other Michigan college campus, the law would be their last consideration. The men and women who are licensed to carry do so not only because it’s a right given to them by the constitution, but also as a measure of self preservation.
Rep. Bob Robson (R-Ariz.), an opponent to the right to carry firearms on campuses, is quoted as saying: “guns on campuses are a bad idea because students and others experience such emotional highs and lows due to grades, exams and other circumstances.”
As students of a University we all understand the stress caused by school, but this is not a valid argument. Every time you walk out of the imaginary bubble of campus you walk into the real world. A world where many people carry concealed weapons and you would never know the difference. So the real question is how many times have you been threatened by a legal permit carrier when you’re off campus? Is it only students that feel stress? The stress from a bad grade cannot compare to the stress of losing your job or getting a divorce. Although these stresses may rarely end in shooting deaths try and show me the statistics for licensed concealed carriers that will shoot up a building of random people because of these types of stresses. They do not exist.
According to www.concealedcarry.com there are 24 states that do not allow any concealed weapons on campus, Michigan being one of them. Fifteen states have a “Right To Carry” rule, meaning that the university has the right to establish rules about concealed carry on their campus. This is the same type of bill presented in Michigan and has been fought for by many responsible students. There are only two universities that allow concealed weapons being Colorado State University (Fort Collins, Colo.), and Blue Ridge Community College (Weyers Cave, Va.) These universities, mixed with over 15 secondary education facilities in Utah, have never had even a notable threat. Currently, that’s more than NMU can say.
The real problem here comes down to fearing your neighbor your fellow Wildcat. Are we able to trust those trained by professionals, or are they too dangerous because they have not been given a suit and badge? Are those who are 21 years of age, have completed a pistol safety training course, and are model citizens according to the law not be able to carry an object for self-protection? Or are you unable to trust your fellow Wildcats?
President Les Wong has often been quoted as saying, “Today is a great day to be a Wildcat”. In my four years at this university, I have to agree with him whole heartily. We have a strong bond on this campus as many of us have traveled long distances to receive our education here, leaving family and friends behind. By not allowing registered CCW owners to carry on campus, we have lost trust in our fellow Wildcats. I feel that the day we can no longer trust each other is the first day it is no longer great to be a Wildcat.