background of concealed carry guns on campus

i am writing a essay about concealed carry guns on campus and the thesis statement is “People should not be allowed to carry concealed guns on college campuses in United States of America since it is likely to affect not only learning environment, mental health and behavior, but also it causes increased legal demands on colleges.” and i need to have a paragraph with two references. i wrote them down and my professor said it is all irrelevant. she said the background should define campus carry/ concealed carry, provide statics (how many campus shootings have happened in the past few decades, how many deaths and injuries etc), and show what state laws are currently. i used only one source to support but i need one more to support. i attached what i wrote for the background and source that i used. please edit or rewrite the background for full one page. and please use easy word like me. you don’t need to have date, student name, professor name on the top of the paper.


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To better understand the debate on concealed guns on campus in United States of
America, it is important to have a look at when it all started and how it develops. The
issues surrounding guns on campus dig deep into the 1970s when they first caught the
attention of people. Back then, the relationship between colleges and students was
parental in nature owning to the fact that most colleges students were still young and
irresponsible. Therefore, it was necessary for colleges to limit the freedom of their
students in a bid to protect them and allow them grow in to responsible person (Cramer
411). Some of the means through which colleges limited the freedom of students was by
passing rules that checked their access to various weapons including guns and their
freedom to carry them around (Cramer 411). Back then, the age of majority was set at
21. Since most of college students were under this age they were considered infants. In
1971, the 26th Amendment reduced the age limit to 18. Soon after the Amendment,
students between the ages of 18 to 20 who were previously considered as “infants” were
no longer to be infants. In fact, they became adults with rights similar to their parents by
law. This young group of adults regarded themselves as old enough to make their own
decisions including voting, when to come home and whether to have guns or not. In
addition, throughout the colonial and revolutionary periods students could be allowed to
be armed while in college for military readiness. Colonies had varying age limits on
who should be armed. In many colonies students as young as 17 were allowed to carry
guns around in college (Cramer 411). It is not until cases of increased crime and
violence on campus shoot up that people begun to be keen on gun control in college
students. Incidences such the one at Virginia Tech campus serve to remind people how
dangerous allowing guns on campus can be. In fact, it reminds people to control the
entry of guns on campuses not only by students but also by visitors and staff.
See discussions, stats, and author profiles for this publication at:
Guns on Campus: A History
Article in Academic Questions · December 2014
DOI: 10.1007/s12129-014-9451-2
1 author:
Clayton E. Cramer
College of Western Idaho
All content following this page was uploaded by Clayton E. Cramer on 31 August 2016.
The user has requested enhancement of the downloaded file.
Guns on Campus
The Current Concern
In the last few months, discussion of the wisdom or folly of allowing guns
on college campus has erupted, as several state legislatures have discussed
bills to allow concealed carry permit licensees (including not only employees
and students, but also visitors) to be armed on campus.1
Some public
universities have already lost legal battles with their state legislatures on
this matter; faculty, staff, and students are now free to carry on campus at
the University of Colorado.2
The University of Utah lost a similar suit, but
students are prohibited by the student conduct code from possessing a
firearm on campus.3 (Employees and visitors do not appear to be similarly
Claire Simms, “Guns on Georgia Campuses Could Be Allowed July 1,” Georgia
Public Broadcasting, May 28, 2014,, last accessed June 1, 2014; Adam Strunk,
“House Bill Would Allows Students to Carry Guns on Campus,” Wichita [Kans.]
Eagle, February 13, 2012,, last accessed June 1, 2014.
2 Monte Whaley, “Colorado Supreme Court affirms that CU students with
permits can carry concealed guns on campus,” Denver Post, March 5, 2012, , last accessed February 11,
2014; Regents of Univ. of Colorado v. Students, 271 P.3d 496 (Colo. 2012).
3 University of Utah v. Shurtleff, 144 P.3d 1109 (Utah 2006); Ben Gose, “Dispute
Over Guns at the University of Utah May Test Academic Freedom,” Chronicle of
at, last accessed June 1, 2014;
University of Utah, “Policy 6-400: Code of Student Rights and Responsibilities
In the case of the University of Oregon system, the Oregon Court of
Appeals overturned the system’s ban on carrying guns because the “Only the
Legislature can regulate the use, sale and possession of firearms.” 5
University of Oregon decided to reimpose the ban on students, employees,
contractors, and all others through contract.6 These contractual prohibitions
do not apply to visitors to the campus. If an insane person walks onto a
University of Oregon campus with a rifle, he will not be technically outside
the law (until he makes threats or opens fire); students or faculty who defend
themselves from a criminal attack with a gun could be subject to expulsion or
(“Student Code”),” § III(A)(7),, last
accessed June 9, 2014.
4 University of Utah, “Policy 6-316: Code of Faculty Rights and Responsibilities,”, last accessed June 9, 2014 has no
references to firearms or weapons; University of Utah, “Policy 1-004: Violence in the
Workplace and Academic Environment,”, last accessed June 9, 2014, defines “Weapons” and “Violence in the
Workplace or Academic Environment” but these apply only to “approaching or
threatening another with a weapon.”
5 Allie Grasgreen, “Guns Come to Campuses”, Inside Higher Education, October
09iB0Fi.dpbs; Bill Graves, “Oregon University System will not appeal court decision
allowing guns on campus,” Portland Oregonian, November 8, 2011,
ll_1.html, last accessed June 8, 2014.
6 Bill Graves, “Oregon State Board of Higher Education Resorts to Policy to Ban
r_e_7.html, last accessed June 1, 2014.
Wisconsin law allows universities to prohibit concealed carry inside of
buildings, although it appears that the statute also requires the university to
“Post signs in prominent place near entrances where entrant can see them.”7
In Idaho, public colleges expressed great disapproval with the actions of
state legislators in legalizing concealed carry, but recognized that in such a
legal and political battle, they will lose.8 The new law takes effect July 1,
Are Institutions of Higher Learning Different?
At the core of the current struggle over whether institutions of higher
learning may prohibit firearms on campus is the question of whether colleges
are fundamentally different from the larger society.
Complicating this
matter is that the larger society’s view of gun possession has changed in the
last several decades.
In most of the United States, a concealed weapon permit is now readily
available to most adults who pass a criminal and mental health background
Mark R. Hinkston, “Wisconsin’s Concealed Carry Law: Protecting Persons and
=85&Issue=7&ArticleID=8710, last accessed June 8, 2014; University of Wisconsin
Carry,”, last accessed
June 9, 2014.
8 Scott Maben, “Idaho Colleges Get Ready for Concealed Weapons on Campus,”
accessed June 1, 2014.
check, complete a training class, and pay a generally modest license fee. In
the last twenty-five years, most American states have replaced discretionary
concealed handgun permit laws (which allowed sheriffs, police chiefs, or
judges great discretion as to whether to issue a permit) with what are widely
known as “shall-issue” laws.
These strictly define who must be issued a
license, and who is prohibited.9
As of December 31, 2011, at least eight million active concealed carry
permits are active in the United States.10
This astonishing expansion of
licensing starting in 1987 has been accompanied by a dramatic decline in
national murder rates.11
Whether this decline in murder rates is simply
coincidence is an arguable point. What does seem clear is that widespread
issuance of concealed weapon licenses has not endangered public safety in the
larger society: at the ballgame; at the supermarket; at the movie theater. A
pretty large fraction of Americans clearly feel that there is some purpose in
having a license to carry a concealed handgun for self-defense.
Somewhat dated now but an introduction to the history of and initial effects of
these laws can be found in Clayton E. Cramer and David P. Kopel, “`Shall Issue’:
The New Wave of Concealed Handgun Permit Laws”, Tennessee Law Review 62:3
[Spring, 1995] 679-757.
10 General Accounting Office, “States’ Laws and Requirements for Concealed
Carry Permits Vary across the Nation,” GAO-12-717, “Highlights” and 75-77,, last accessed June 8, 2014.
11 FBI, Uniforme Crime Reporting Statistics, U.S. Murder and Non-Negligent
following from 8.3/100,000 population in 1987 to 4.7/100,000 in 2012.
College campuses, however, are one of the places where, in most states,
such licenses are not valid. In some cases, state law specifically excludes
college campuses from the ambit of these rules. In other cases, the university
imposes restrictions on students, faculty, staff, and other visitors through
contract or trespass laws.
In general, college campuses are much more
limiting on firearms possession than the larger society.
Restrictions on possession of firearms on campus fall into the following
categories: prohibitions in dorms and university-owned housing (both oncampus and off); and prohibition on the carrying of weapons on campus. The
restriction on keeping firearms in university housing would seem pretty
obvious to most. But in many rural campus settings, hunting is a common
student pastime. At least into the early 1970s, it appears that students kept
hunting guns in their dorm rooms on some University of Alaska campuses. 12
Even today, the University of Alaska allows limited possession of firearms on
campus, although they must be secured.13
Comment, Bob Spencer, on Russ Newell, “Guns on Campus: Letter to the
2014,, last accessed June 8,
13 “Guns on university campuses: Whether to allow the concealed carry of
firearms is a potent topic,” Fairbanks (Alaska) News-Miner, February 25, 2014,, last accessed June 8, 2014.
One of the arguments for colleges limiting possession of firearms in dorms
and university-owned apartments is that while the U.S. Supreme Court has
found that a right to keep a firearm in one’s home is protected by the Second
Amendment, university-owned housing is not the equivalent of one’s home: a
person who merely rents an apartment conditional on attending college “has
no title, interest, or estate in the University-owned housing.”14
By this
reasoning, the university as landlord may prohibit possession of firearms,
even in off-campus housing.
A contrary point of view is articulated in a recent law review article,
which points out that while student housing may seem fundamentally
different from a private residence in terms of its permanence, the courts have
generally recognized dorm rooms as being equivalent to a “home” from the
standpoint of privacy expectations concerning the Fourth Amendment.
University-owned off-campus student apartments are analogous to a
privately-owned apartment, suggesting that a ban on student possession of a
firearm violates the right to have a firearm in one’s home.15 If this model is
correct, the only basis for a university to impose gun prohibitions in student
housing would be a return to the doctrine of in loco parentis.
Tribble v. State Board of Education, Case CV-2011-0069 (Latah D.C. Idaho
2011), 24,,
last accessed June 8, 2014.
15 Michael L. Smith, “Second Amendment Challenges to Student Housing
Firearms Bans: The Strength of the Home Analogy,” UCLA Law Review (2013),
For those who prefer the “no title, interest, or estate” approach, consider if
the courts treated the rest of the Bill of Rights in university housing in the
same way. It would be quite easy to construct justifications for why freedom
of speech and the right to be secure against warrantless searches by those
living in university-owned housing could be considered inimical to a “safe,
respectful… and orderly environment that is conducive to education and
learning…”16 Hate speech, pornographic materials, or illegal drugs, would
seem sufficiently incompatible with a “safe, respectful… and orderly
environment” to justify restrictions on what students kept in their dorms.
Does the Bill of Rights apply to dorm rooms or not?
If regulation of possession of firearms in university-owned housing seems
reasonable, what about employees, students, and visitors carrying concealed
weapons on campus?
The pressure for such freedom comes largely from
organizations such as Students for Concealed Carry, which came into
existence after the Virginia Tech massacre in 2007.17 Many students (and
increasingly, some faculty and staff)18 became convinced that the general
prohibition of possession of firearms on college campuses had created a
Ibid., 9-10.
Associated Press, “Va. Tech Killings Underscore Guns-on-Campus Campaign,”
WTOP 103.5 FM, August 12, 2007,, last accessed June 8, 2014.
18 See testimony of Professor Kimberly McAdams in George Prentice and Jessica
Murri, “Idaho Senate Committee Pushes Through Guns on Campus Bill Without
Hearing Testimony from U of I, Law Enforcement,” Boise Weekly, February 12, 2014,, last accessed June 8, 2014.
dangerous situation.
Inadvertently, such general prohibitions with no
effective method of enforcement told mass murderers that here was a
situation where the chances that anyone would fight back were very limited,
because the only people armed on campus would be police officers.
number of officers would be small, and when they appeared, they would be
obvious targets because of their uniforms.
SCC’s theory is that in the absence of these prohibitions, some faculty,
staff, and usually older students would be armed with concealed weapons.
While the odds of any particular victim on a college campus being armed and
able to stop such an attack seem small, the risks of allowing concealed carry
by those licensed to do so seem even smaller.
A History of Weapons & College in Europe
Digging into the history of weapons regulation on college campuses
presents a curious and sometimes startling history.
There was a long
European medieval tradition of “town and gown riots” in which townspeople
and students (and sometimes faculty) engaged in often bloody fights, often
with fatalities.
One of Oxford’s first such incidents involved “a scholar
practicing archery [who] killed a woman. Townsmen captured and hanged
three of his colleagues.” Other Oxford “town and gown riots” over the years
involved students attacking townspeople, with loss of lives.19 Students were
apparently armed; a thirteenth century account tells us that 3000 students
and teachers attacked the townies, “[a]rmed with bow and arrows, swords
and bucklers, slings and stones…”20
Some of the sources of the European town vs. gown conflicts were simply
not present in America: “The degree of privilege enjoyed by medieval
universities and the intensity of town-gown conflict have no parallels in
Still, there were occasional riots, such as happened in 1812
“when city residents and Yale students armed with clubs and knives clashed
with each other.”22
Town vs. gown riots are not the only reminder that European university
students appeared to have weapons at their disposal. World War II movies
often used the stereotype of a noble German officer with a monocle and a
“Heidelberg dueling scar”–and like many stereotypes, it had real world
origins. As one nineteenth century traveler observed, Heidelberg University,
“like most other German universities, has always been famous for dueling
among the students. Indeed, no student has any standing as such, unless he
“Town and Gown,” Karen Christensen and David Levinson, ed., Encylopedia of
Community: From the Village to the Virtual World (2003), 1388-9.
20 Cecil Headlam, The Story of Oxford (1907), quoted in Jackson Spielvogel,
Western Civilization, 9th ed., (2014), 258.
21 Blake Gumprecht, The American College Town (2008), 297.
22 Dorceta E. Taylor, The Environment and the People in American Cities, 1600s –
1900s: Disorder, Inequality, and Social Change (2009), 65.
bears a scar received in a duel. Many men are met in Europe with ugly scars
on face and head who regard their disfigurement as their greatest honor.”23
In America, while almost everyone knows of the Hamilton/Burr duel, few
can name many others–and this is for a reason. Dueling in the United States
as a whole was a short-lived fad brought over by the European military
officers who participated (on both sides), in the American Revolution. After
the death of Alexander Hamilton, Christian opposition to it caused its quick
death, except in the South, where it expired more slowly in the years before
and after the Civil War.24 While dueling among military officers, lawyers,
and newspaper editors was certainly common in the antebellum South, it
appears to have left few footprints as a pastime of college students.
Weapons Regulation on Campus: The American Experience
One of the great difficulties in determining what rules colleges historically
applied to students concerning weapons is that institutions of higher
learning, well into the 1970s, regarded their relationship with students as in
loco parentis: “Like a parent, the college set the limits of students’ freedom—
in dress, in deportment, and in curfew hours. Like a parent, the college
Orrin Z. Hubbell, A University Tramp (1889), 98; Mrs. John Philip Newman,
European Leaflets for Young Ladies (1862), 73.
24 See Clayton E. Cramer, Concealed Weapon Laws of the Early Republic:
Dueling, Southern Violence, and Moral Reform (1999), 50-62, for an overview of the
regional nature of dueling in early America.
strove to be flexible yet firm, benevolent but not indulgent.”25 Nor was this
surprising; throughout much of American history, the “age of majority”
unless altered by statute, was twenty-one ye …
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