Last March, the University of Colorado (CU) was ordered by the state Supreme Court to accommodate students and employees who have concealed weapons permits, allowing them to bring guns onto campus. The court stated that the school’s policy banning guns was in violation of state law.
In August, the university issued guidelines to accommodate the decision: separate residential areas would be created at both the Boulder and Colorado Springs campuses for students over the age of 21 who had permits. Guns would be allowed in these dorms, but not in any of the others. Nor would guns be allowed at ticketed athletic or cultural events.
Then a funny thing happened on the way to fulfilling the accommodation. The number of students asking to move into the special dorms in the last three months stands at exactly zero.
The lack of interest among students could have something in to do with a gun incident that occurred on the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical campus in early November. Mary Loeb, an employee–or should I say, ex-employee–of the School of Dental Medicine, brought her revolver onto campus. While showing it to a co-worker, she accidentally shot the other woman in the leg and injured herself. Despite the fact that Loeb had a permit, charges of unlawful conduct have been filed. A few days after the shooting, the School of Medicine Faculty Senate voted 28-0 to ask CU president, Bruce Benson, to attempt to return control of gun policy to the Board of Regents.
Perhaps CU students are wiser than either the adults who ruled that carrying guns on campus is okay or those who somehow feel the need to carry them. Perhaps they don’t like the idea of being sequestered with one another when all of them will be packing heat in the halls of their dorms. Or perhaps, like defenders of the law argue, there just aren’t enough of them who are over 21–a requirement for obtaining a permit–and who also want to live in dorms.
Whatever the thinking on the part of students, the faculty has had enough. Even if the Supreme Court was legally correct in its ruling, philosophy professor, Chad Kautzer, told the faculty senate:
“What we’re trying to do is get the university on board … to ask for an exception for CU.”
Before any more guns go off.