The carrying of firearms on college campuses remains hotly debated these days. Recently, that debate has centered on two prominent Colorado universities.
Last week, the Colorado State University (CSU) Student Senate voted overwhelmingly (21-3) to continue allowing students with valid state-issued carry permits to carry concealed firearms on campus. The local Sheriff endorsed the students' decision. But the nine-member CSU Board of Governors overruled the decision, voting on Friday to strike down the proposal.
A final decision by CSU President Dr. Anthony A. Frank on the proposal is expected soon. In the meantime, Frank will review recommendations from both the student government and his public safety and cabinet members.
Former Colorado Congressman Tom Tancredo (R) reportedly called the CSU decision "stupid." Tancredo has proposed a 2010 ballot measure that would ask voters to recommend to Colorado's state officials that they oppose all forms of gun restrictions. A December 7, 2009 State Bill Colorado article reports that Tancredo said the issue is about self-defense, stopping "horrendous" incidents and protecting the Second Amendment.
"Do you want to protect people, or do you want to be politically correct? Which is your goal?" Tancredo asked.
"You do realize that there are about 300 million firearms in the United States in private hands. If the opponents of concealed-carry and of private ownership of firearms were right, every city in the United States would be Beirut," he said.
Tancredo went on to note that statistics indicate gun violence in the United States has been going down over the last decade, as gun ownership has been increasing.
Meanwhile, the University of Colorado (UC) also took up the issue of banning firearms on campus last week when they confirmed a ban on¾drum roll¾Nerf guns! Yes, Nerf guns. You know, those toy guns that shoot soft spongy balls? The ones kids play with in the family room? Yes, those Nerf guns.
It seems that the game of "humans vs. zombies" has become a national craze on college campuses. The game involves "zombie" students attempting to eliminate "human" students by pelting them with spongy Nerf balls or balled-up socks. When campus security officials got wind of the game, they moved quickly to ban the Nerf guns. Students using the play guns could be charged with violations of the student-conduct policy or even arrested on charges of unlawful conduct.
So, while Nerf guns may be safe to sell in "Kids R Us," and safe for use by children in their home, apparently they are seen as enough of a grave danger for college students that UC has banned them."We told them that the violation of the weapons policy is a serious thing," said CU spokesman Bronson Hilliard. "If a third party happened upon this and called 911, we'd have to respond as if it were a real incident."