Campus Concealed Carry Laws and Colleges

Campus Concealed Carry & Safe Schools

Several states recently passed legislation related to campus concealed carry. In one form or another, these laws allow students and campus employees with a concealed firearm permit to carry a gun on campus. These laws caused considerable concern among some. There are questions about good Samaritan laws and how those would apply. There are dire predictions about tragic events that would occur, and equally dire predictions about what would happen if we not allow concealed carry on campuses. Quite simply, the predicted chaos and carnage has not occurred.

I generally take a middle-of-the-road stance on this highly emotional topic for some very pragmatic reasons. On one hand, there have been several campus shootings that have been stopped by citizens with guns: a high school dance shooting in Edenborough, Pennsylvania, a potential shooting at a university sorority dance Macon, Georgia, and the high school shooting in Pearl, Mississippi, to name a few. At the same time, I am not convinced that campus concealed carry would impact the overall numbers of shootings and victims that take place each year in educational facilities.

A Shift in Public Thinking on Campus Concealed Carry

The pressure to allow concealed carry will increase significantly if we continue to see mass casualty attacks with firearms and edged weapons by terrorists. This will be even more true if there are any more attacks on K12 and higher education targets. Educators in other countries like Israel, Thailand and Kenya are allowed to carry firearms as a response to school terrorism. We may see this evolve into a bigger discussion in the United States as well.

Focusing on active shooter incidents can leave us unprepared for everyday events, particularly when it comes to campus concealed carry as a preparedness tactic.

Focusing on active shooter incidents can leave us unprepared for everyday events, particularly when it comes to campus concealed carry as a preparedness tactic.

My primary concern a bit different than those often highlighted in media stories. I am concerned about the focus on extremely rare events like active shooter and active killer incidents. These types of risks are easy to focus on because they are so tragic when they do occur. I worry that people who carry a gun will train with a focus on neutralizing an active shooter. Their mental space is thus focused on an event that is statistically unlikely.

The More Likely Scenario

In reality, school staff will probably face a split-second use of force decision for a more mundane event. An intoxicated person waving a knife or an act of interpersonal violence will happen much more frequently. In schools, an active shooter situation is statistically less likely than many other situations that might prompt a use of force. Anyone who carries a gun for self-defense should be fully prepared to make the decision to take a human life – and not just in extreme situations.

Additional information on Campus Concealed Carry:

Eight Victims Stabbed in Canadian School

Knife Stock Photo

Safe Havens International Stock Photo

School Violence in Canada

The attack occurred at Dunbarton High School. Like their U.S. counterparts, Canadian K12 schools have experienced significant problems with violence in recent decades. Canadian schools have experienced a number of shootings, edged weapons attacks and other acts of violence in relation to the nation’s population of approximately 36 million. With a population of 223 million people, acts of violence in U.S. schools, it is difficult to contrast American rates of school violence with countries that do not tally school homicide in the same manner as U.S. schools where school mandatory reporting of school homicide data has been in place since the late 1990’s.

School Violence Abroad

In our work in Canada, we have found that while the nation has lower per capita homicide rates overall than the United States, Canadian schools often face similar concerns relating to school violence, weapons incidents and gang activity. Safe Havens has been receiving an increasing number of requests for assistance from schools in other countries in the past two years.   Typically, our overseas clients have been concerned with school shootings, edged weapons assaults and acts of terrorism. While many Americans perceive mass casualty school attacks to be a problem unique to U.S. schools, our experience has been that school and public safety officials have been concerned about school weapons attacks in every country where we have worked.

School Terrorism Web Courses

Coming Soon – School Terrorism Web Courses

Photograph taken during filming of the first 30 seconds, weapon scenarios. - See more at: http://safehavensinternational.org

Photograph taken during filming of the first 30 seconds, weapon scenarios. – See more at: http://safehavensinternational.org

Safe Havens Analysts Authoring School Terrorism Web Courses

Last year, Safe Havens agreed to author a series of web courses on terrorism prevention and preparedness for Scenario Learning Incorporated.  Safe Havens analysts have authored a number of school safety web courses for Scenario Learning, including the six recently released active shooter web courses for K12, colleges, and work places.  We have also authored an active shooter course for students at institutions of higher learning.

 

Comprehensive Topical Coverage

Scenario Learning now offers more than 300 courses for the K12 sector and adds new course offerings each year.  Scheduled for draft completion in January 2016 the six new terrorism prevention and preparedness courses are based on the book Innocent Targets When Terrorism Comes to School, which is now in its eight print run, as well as our experience working with schools in terrorism prone regions such as Nigeria and Kenya.  In light of the recent series of terrorist attacks and thwarted attacks globally, Safe Havens and Scenario Learning will be completing the courses well ahead of the original publication date.  We had discussed and planned for this possibility more than six months ago.

School Terrorism Web Courses Authoring and Editing

Safe Havens is honored to be selected to author these School Terrorism Web courses which are sadly now very timely. Feedback from our clients and from insurance carriers about Scenario Learning has been excellent.  The short time format of the awareness level courses, combined with excellent tracking capability, low cost, ability for school officials to create custom web courses and features that allow school officials to document the distribution of critical policies and crisis plan components, have been very popular with dozens of our clients.   Our authoring team has been working closely with the Scenario Learning Companies editorial team to produce accurate, concise, actionable and informative courses on these relevant topics.

 

Full Disclosure

Safe Havens does not receive any form of royalties; our analysts author courses for Scenario Learning for a one-time nominal fee.   While our analysts can generate far more revenue through other forms of service delivery, we have found the approach utilized by Scenario Learning Incorporated to be highly practical for our clients.  Safe Havens never accepts any form of monetary compensation for recommending any product or service.