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Allowing guns on college campuses in Oklahoma is a bad idea

by The Oklahoman Editorial Board Published: August 5, 2014

BAD ideas live forever at the state Capitol. Such is the case with renewed interest in allowing concealed weapons on Oklahoma’s college campuses.

Higher education leaders have vehemently and consistently opposed this idea. So has The Oklahoman. Far be it from lawmakers to take no for an answer.

Rep. John Enns, R-Enid, Sen. Ralph Shortey, R-Oklahoma City, and Sen. AJ Griffin, R-Guthrie, are leading an interim study on the issue. They say the state needs to look at “the facts” and at best practices for allowing concealed weapons on campus. We can’t help but wonder why the fact that the higher education community is united in its opposition to this idea is completely ignored.

“Placing guns on campus, except in the hands of highly trained law enforcement officers and professionals, would be a serious mistake and would lead only to tragic results,” University of Oklahoma President David Boren said recently. “To put our university students, faculty and staff at risk in this way makes absolutely no sense.”

We suggest Griffin follow her own advice about dealing in facts rather than fear when it comes to concealed weapons on campus. College campuses aren’t inherently dangerous places. Much of the danger that does exist links to the fact that young adults enjoying newfound freedom don’t always make wise choices.

Campus safety is an important issue for families of college students. But trying to scare people into believing college campuses are dangerous places in need of armed faculty and students is disingenuous. Even living in a gun-loving state such as Oklahoma, we seriously doubt that the idea of allowing concealed weapons permit holders to bring their weapons on campus would bring families much peace. In fact, we suspect it would do the opposite.

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by The Oklahoman Editorial Board
The Oklahoman Editorial Board consists of Gary Pierson, President and CEO of The Oklahoma Publishing Company; Christopher P. Reen, president and publisher of The Oklahoman; Kelly Dyer Fry, editor and vice president of news; Christy Gaylord...
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