TCU campus assesses allowing concealed weapon carry
Chancellor Victor Boschini Jr. and members of the TCU Police Department give their opinions on the issue of gun control on campus
In response to President Barack Obama's proposed gun control policies, Texas lawmakers filed legislature to allow students to carry concealed weapons at public universities.
However, some college presidents have opposing views on the dangers that come with carrying weapons.
TCU is a private university and is therefore exempt from the bill, so the decision is up to the discretion of the university.
After the tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary, two college presidents created a petition called College Presidents for Gun Safety. Presidents of many universities are taking action in order to make campuses safe from these tragedies.
This document follows the same rules that the university has right now, which does not allow any weapons on campus.
Chancellor Victor Boschini Jr. has not signed this document.
"As of yet I have not made up my mind on this issue. I am waiting to see how it unfolds and what evidence each side presents before coming to a final conclusion," Boschini said.
Dr. Lawrence Schall, president of Oglethorpe University and one of the creators of the College Presidents for Gun Safety petition, said the petition has been widely distributed and has 340 signatures.
Schall said that in his view, students are encouraged to speak out and think critically and it’s unusual that people stay silent on an issue that’s life or death.
TCU Police Chief Steven McGee said that he believes allowing concealed weapons on campus would be more dangerous.
TCU currently has a vault at the university police station where students who are licensed gun owners can store their guns. McGee said this allows officers to get a chance to talk to the students and assess what they’re doing.
Pam Christian, a crime prevention specialist with the university police, also said she believes allowing students to carry a concealed weapon would make the campus more dangerous.
“All of our students are very young and they’re experiencing some of their first things in life, one being alcohol, and alcohol has a tendency to change the judgment of someone when they have a bit too much and I would hate for them to ever make a mistake” said Christian.
One of the safety measures stated in the petition is, “Ensuring the safety of our communities by opposing legislation allowing guns on our campuses and in our classroom.”
Christian said she hopes TCU sticks with no guns on campus for students.
“Having to learn how to carry a weapon and be a protector is not something they should have to do at this time,” said Christian.