Arizona Regents Professors on SB 1467

I received the following email today at my university email:

The Regents Professors (RPs) at the UofA, ASU, and NAU have launched a campaign to signal to ABOR (and the state’s legislature and governor as well) our deep concern about, and fervent opposition to, the pending legislation that would permit the carrying of concealed handguns on our campuses and prohibit the Universities from limiting that right. See attached a recent editorial in the Arizona Republic regarding SB 1467 as well as the key provision of the bill itself.
We believe that guns have no place in an academic setting and fear that passage of this ill-conceived legislation would result in great and lasting damage to our Universities. We believe that we must act to try to prevent our Universities from becoming armed camps where all of us would be less safe and secure, less willing to engage in open and honest discourse, and less able to do our work and therefore less likely to continue to work and study.
As a first step, the tri-University RPs have produced a “Gun Safety Charter” that now is online and available for affirmation or rejection by all University faculty, students, and staff.

There is a link to a survey for university-affiliated persons (and I won’t post the link, as that would skew the results which are already non-scientific as they are and don’t need the whole internet involved) that describes the “charter”. The charter is included below in its entirety:

We affirm that no student should be obligated to be in the presence of an armed faculty or staff member, and no faculty or staff member should be obligated to be in the presence of an armed student on the university campuses of Arizona. In the event that SB 1467 is enacted into law, we request action by the Arizona Board of Regents to segregate the campuses into armed and weapons-free communities. When such segregation cannot be enforced, protective action should include the provision of police protection, the substitution of electronic communication for personal interaction, and the cancelation of classes as a last resort.

So, professors are encouraging the state to segregate campuses because of people wanting to exercise their rights? Would these segregated facilities also be “separate but equal”? (( I’m extremely reluctant to compare the gun rights movement with the civil rights movement, as the civil rights movement encompassed numerous rights that were being actively denied to large numbers of Americans, as well as violence committed against many people. The gun rights movement is nowhere near as pivotal or important as the civil rights movement, and I’m hesitant to mention them together in the same article lest people get the idea that I consider them to be on the same level of importance. While gun rights are a key freedom in the US, putting the two movements on equal standing would be grossly unfair to the civil rights movement. Still, there are troubling similarities nonetheless. ))

16 thoughts on “Arizona Regents Professors on SB 1467”

  1. For those interested in the original: [link redacted -AZR]
    Ben: I intentionally did not include the link to the survey. I apologize for editing your comment to remove the link, as it’s something that I do with only the most extreme hesitation, but I felt it important in this case. -AZR

  2. I saw that – best of luck to them, as it ain’t gonna happen that way. Poll results aside (talk about skewed), ABOR is unlikely to push back against the current state administration on a politically charged issue like this.
    We shall see.

  3. It’s not the guy who wants to legally carry a firearm at school you need to worry about, it’s the guy who doesn’t care if it’s illegal to carry one. No rule, policy or law is going to stop a determined criminal from committing their crime. I for one support this piece of legislation because not student or faculty member should be obligated to be unarmed and unable to defend themselves in the presence of a violent criminal intent on doing harm to others.

    1. Do you really want a group of poorly trained individuals on campus(albeit law abiding) carrying weapons that they don’t know how to safely use? That can result in unwanted discharges of firearms and innocent bystanders being injured.

      1. Not all, but many of the “civilians” are better trained than many police officers. Most of the shooters that I know, do significantly more training than the local police officers, yet you have no qualms about officers carrying on campus.

      2. Andy: I disagree with your suggestions that permit-holders are “poorly trained” and carrying weapons “that they don’t know how to safely use”.
        Being that these very same people can carry their firearms essentially anywhere else in the state that they wish (including populated public places like restaurants, movie theaters, shops, etc.) and there’s not been a rash of shootings by such people, I can only conclude that in general the people going armed are reasonably responsible people.
        I don’t really see why a law-abiding, permitted person should have their right to self-defense seriously curtailed when they’re on campus, but it’d be perfectly all right for them to carry a few feet away on a public sidewalk.
        If they’re safe and follow the rules, that’s fine with me. If they’re unsafe or irresponsible, throw the book at them.

  4. In the poll, I voted against the “Gun Safety Charter” as it seems ridiculous. Canceling classes over this, really? On the other hand, I lean against the idea of concealed carry on campus despite my sympathy to the self-defense argument. Banning concealed carry will almost certainly have only a negligible effect on the ease of carrying out a planned shooting. However, one thing attending college has shown me is that college kids are stupid… really stupid. And I don’t think it’s a stretch to think that some who, unlike determined killers, would be deterred by a no-CC policy might acquire a weapon. As the number of college kids with guns increases, so does the chance of an accidental or alcohol-related shooting. In the end, what really matters are a few empirical questions: To what degree do concealed weapons offer protection in the case of a school shooting? By what amount does permitting CC on campus raise the risk of an injury or death?

    1. If a student has a concealed carry permit, that student can carry anywhere that is legal. What makes them more dangerous on campus than off? It would seem that you are saying that the student leaves any responsibility behind when they cross the line onto campus. I would surmise that many of the alcohol parties take place off campus, so that would mean that the danger is there also, yet I doubt that you can show data that proves that students with carry permits, carrying off campus, are shooting each other.

    2. Current Arizona law requires a CCW permit applicant to be 21 years of age or over, eliminating the majority of younger college students from carrying legally. It would, however, allow for faculty and staff, as well as older undergraduate and graduate students whom in my experience (I work in higher education BTW) are considerably more level-headed than the average 19 year old, to carry.
      I also agree with Dan that if one has a CCW permit they can already carry anywhere that is legal to do so – steeping onto a college campus doesn’t suddenly make them an out-of-control deadly threat.

  5. I have never heard of anything so ridiculous as this. Talk about an accident waiting to happen. Thank God I’m Canadian. Stupid Stupid Stupid!

    1. JP Jones: While I appreciate your skepticism, the lawful carriage of concealed firearms in public by private citizens in the US is relatively common, and has been for nearly 25 years. Statistically, armed private citizens are less likely to misuse their firearms than police officers and the general public.
      Since it’s perfectly legal for armed citizens to carry their firearms off-campus (e.g. in movie theaters, shopping centers, public parks, restaurants, and even bars [so long as they do not drink while armed]), and there’s been no increase in accidents of violent crimes or accidents, why should these same people be prohibited from carrying on a university campus?
      Also, many other states (such as Utah, to name one), allow the lawful carriage of arms on university campuses, and there’ve been no incidents that are due to this “accident waiting to happen”.
      Most universities in the US have their own police department with armed officers. While they tend to be quite good at what they do, there’s no assurance that they can protect an individual person. That responsibility lies with the individual, and right now individuals who happen to be on a university campus are prohibited from possessing the most effective means of self-defense. This bill would change that.
      I understand your concern, and if I were in your shoes I would likely have the same fears (particular if there was no previous data to suggest it would be safe), but there’s ample data from decades of lawful concealed carry that should set your fears to rest.

  6. I agree with Chris–it isn’t about the people who are legally carrying concealed weapons that we need to worry about. The criminals will carry whether legal or not. Andy–one of the best ways to keep everyone safe is if people who do carry guns (concealed or not) have adequate training: gun safety courses are a start.

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