I don’t claim to have the answer to campus violence, but I do know one thing. It is an important enough issue to merit the attention of our best minds.
Instead, folks like Arizona Senator Karen Johnson are stepping forward with their proposed solutions. Johnson is not one of our best minds. Don’t expect to find her shooting rockets into space during her spare time. But, you might find her shooting, because she carries a gun. That’s her right, I guess, but it makes me think we need to administer IQ tests to folks who wish to walk among us with weapons. If we did, Johnson might not have her gun.
And, if Arizona legislators had to achieve minimal IQ scores, perhaps Johnson’s recent guns-on-campus bill would never have gotten out of committee. But, it did. Four Republicans voted “yes”, three Democrats voted “no”. If the bill becomes law, everyone with a permit could carry a gun on any college campus in Arizona.
That, Johnson and others believe, will make our campuses safer. Could anyone make this up?
As you might expect, the police chiefs on the three Arizona public university campuses oppose Johnson’s bill.
By the way, Johnson’s original bill would have allowed weapons in public schools as well. According to The Arizona Republic, Johnson is not fully satisfied with her now modified bill because she thinks, “our kindergarteners are still sitting there as sitting ducks”.
The Vice President of the Arizona Defense League, another person not destined for a career at NASA, is quoted by The Arizona Republic as saying, “By limiting the bill to colleges and universities, it says that school-age children aren’t as valuable as college students”.
I hope everyone reading this who has a friend or family member on a college campus anywhere will email the Arizona governor and urge her to veto Senate Bill 1214 if it survives the legislative process.
Then, you might contact the governor of Utah, a state that already has the kind of law being proposed in Arizona.
Maybe, as some believe, educational communities are a microcosm of society, and everything that occurs off campus will inevitably occur on-campus. Maybe the problem of campus violence is more complicated.