Packing heat at UVU

As the nation divides on the issue of gun control, UVU students and faculty find themselves in discord on how to handle guns on campus.

 

Due to the culture of Utah Valley, guns are commonplace. The assumption is that 10 to 20 percent of students are carrying a concealed weapon. Out of 10,000 students on campus at once, that means 1,000 to 2,000 guns.

 

There’s a strong debate between those who feel safer at the thought of having guns on campus and those who don’t see the difference between persons that would do harm and those who carry for protection.

 

“Most of the time those who carry guns are the people the rest of us wish wouldn’t,” said Michael Minch, associate professor of philosophy and director of the Peace and Justice Studies Program.

by Christina _web

 

The common wisdom behind choosing to carry a concealed weapon is that it makes for a safer environment, allowing carriers to protect themselves.

 

“Some people are scared by people carrying, but some people feel safer when they have a gun,” said Ethan Liston, UVU student. “[Having a gun] makes things safer. When someone is going to go somewhere and shoot people, they aren’t going to go where they know that there are 10 [to] 100 people with guns.”

 

Studies show that when a person makes the decision to act out in planned violence, they feel as if they’ve reached an end point, that it often becomes a suicide mission.

 

“It’s meant to be a statement,” Dr. Mark Sonneberg, psychological analyst of the Columbine massacre, reported in an interview with Time magazine. “Massacres are often designed to gain glory or prestige, a way to become martyrs to their cause.”

 

The idea that it is safer to have guns in the hands of good, law-abiding citizens in defense of guns in the hands of bad, criminally minded people is commonly used as defense for the right to carry concealed weapons.

 

“There is this false belief that there are good people and bad people, as if bad people have badness in their DNA,” Minch said. “Some think if a […]‘good’ person has a gun it’s okay, but it’s not if a ‘bad’ person has one. Humanity is not that black and white. It cannot be divided up in good and bad. A person may be a good, law-abiding citizen up until a single moment when that all changes.”

 

For Scott Carrier, who teaches journalism at UVU, the issue isn’t about whether or not people should own guns, it’s whether or not they should bring them to campus.

 

“I’m not trying to change any laws,” Carrier said. “I’m just trying to help people realize it’s a personal decision. I hope that the people who bring guns to school will make the choice to leave them at home.”

 

Utah State Law allows for concealed weapons to be carried on any state-owned university campus by those with the proper permit. For many UVU educators this presents a dilemma.

 

“As a teacher, it’s my job to create an environment that’s conducive to learning,” Carrier said. “A school is a place where ideas need to move freely; an idea doesn’t come into a closed mind. When you are worried about being attacked all the time, your mind is closed.”

 

In the wake of the demonstrations at the Utah State Capitol last month, many choose to carry guns because of their perceived Second Amendment rights.

 

“Some people carry because it’s their right and they can, so they do,” Liston said.

 

Others argue that the Second Amendment may allow for the right to own arms but doesn’t necessarily protect the right to carry wherever chosen.

 

“I think the only guns on campus should be law enforcement. I don’t think that’s in conflict with the second amendment,” said Dr. Robert Robbins, professor of biology and botany. “There is not place in the academic world for an instrument of death.”

 

Both sides of the argument echo fear: fear of falling victim to violence and fear of another’s choices.

 

“We live in fear,” Carrier said. “We walk around in fear, and to not act out of fear is really hard, no matter who you are.”

 

Because UVU is a state-owned university, it mirrors the policies of the government; as long as Utah’s legislature sees guns on campus being in the popular vote no major change is likely to occur anytime soon.

By Nicole Shepard @NicoleEShepard

9 Responses to "Packing heat at UVU"

  1. Christopher   March 5, 2013 at 12:54 pm

    I am tired of michael minch being quoted as an authority on basically anything. His comments are not based in fact and are so full of bias. Reading between the lines I guess he is saying the people that own guns are uneducated violent people. instead of the violent revolutionaries he is training up for a revolution so he can create his own little dystopian socialist wonderland. I sympathize with what this article(or even socialism in case you are assuming too much as to why I am posting this) is stating as much as the next morally conscious person but basing the article around the comments of some prejudiced/ultra-biased professor is not the best approach.

    Reply
  2. Damon   March 5, 2013 at 8:46 pm

    After reading this article, I can see the attempt at journalism here… the problem is that there are not any opinions from a firearms expert. NO ONE. Why are you seeking out those who know nothing about self-defense or even firearms. Quoting one student is the length of your research? I find that very unbalanced. What was your purpose for writing this article? “As a teacher, it’s my job to create an environment that’s conducive to learning,” quoted from Carrier is completely unrelated to whether someone chooses to carry concealed or not. Look up the definition of: Hoplophobia, and tell me that isn’t running rampant among a few faculty at UVU. If you want to write a well rounded piece of journalism… try talking someone who actually knows what they are talking about and has the experience and stats to back up their content.

    Reply
  3. Spence Davis   March 7, 2013 at 1:42 pm

    Maybe try interviewing some professors that have different points of view, like the criminal justice department. Most of them are a bit more familiar with this issue, and aren’t biased idiots.
    Getting real tired of these articles.

    Reply
  4. Ethan Dodge   March 8, 2013 at 8:07 am

    Now I’m no psychologist or anything but I personally don’t carry a firearm “out of fear.” I don’t go to school afraid that there’s going to be a shooting that day and I’m going to have to use my gun, in fact, most of us carriers would rather not use our guns. We’re just prepared. Why do you prepare a 72 hour kit? Or food storage? Are you constantly living in fear that an apocalypse or nuclear strike is going to happen any second? No. You do it to be prepared. Also, as pointed out, this article is pretty one-sided. Agreed that more opinions should be polled. As Spencer Davis stated, my CJ 1010 professor will, hands down, give a great quote for you next time you’re looking for it (as will probably over half of my professors.)

    Reply
  5. Xavier   March 18, 2013 at 10:21 am

    Proper permits don’t mean jack without proper training. Anyone can fire a gun but it takes hours upon hours of training to be a marksman and in the event of an active shooter on campus. These permit holders will not know what to do because the brain automatically set into the “Fog of War” mode when put in high level stress situations. The wrong people will be shot. I am a conceal & carry permit holder and being able to protect myself is my right but not at the risk of putting more innocent people in harms way if you are not properly trained to deal with an active shooter situation.

    Reply
  6. Xavier   March 18, 2013 at 10:21 am

    Also if you have a conceal carry permit and are carrying on campus then keep it concealed. Out of sight out of mind. There was an incident a few years a go here on campus where a student who had a conceal carry permit open carried on campus. As far as I know, there is no law prohibiting that here in Utah. The campus police received several phone calls from many students about a man on campus with a gun. When the student, I think his name is Nick Moyes, was confronted by UVU police, he was disrespectful and belittling to them. All the police were asking him to do was to conceal his weapon. They were not asking him to store it in his car. People like Nick Moyes are the kind of people we do not want carrying on campus. They get jumpy reach and for their gun at the sound of someone dropping their book, pen, or pencil in the classroom.

    Reply
  7. Anti-Xavier   April 2, 2014 at 9:33 am

    Xavier –

    You’re in idiot. Enuff said.

    Reply
    • Xavier   April 2, 2014 at 4:18 pm

      How am I an idiot? Please explain. FYI, enough is spelled e-n-o-u-g-h not E-n-u-f-f. How the fuck did you get into college?

      Reply
  8. Xavier   April 2, 2014 at 4:22 pm

    *addendum to my last comment. I believe you mean to say, “You’re an idiot.” If you are going to post on public forums at least know proper sentence and word structure.

    Reply

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