By Dr. Bill Bosher, NBC12 Educational Specialist - email
RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - House Bill 91 has recently been refereed to the Committee on Militia, Police and Public Safety of the Virginia General Assembly. Certainly in response to the tragic shootings at Virginia Tech, the proposed law would permit full time college and university faculty who hold a concealed weapon permit to carry their gun on campus.
At present, the higher education boards of trustees are permitted to prohibit firearms on campuses. Having owned and used firearms since I was a teenager, I tend to be a 2nd Amendment kind of guy who believes that people, not guns, knives, sticks, or rocks, kill people.
When unbelievable acts like those at Tech, a Baptist church in Texas, an Amish school in Pennsylvania, or homes in Hanover County occur, we look for answers… and for help. A seductive allure in public policy is to respond to an act that challenges reason with a counter action that equally challenges sensibility. The recent Commonwealth Education Poll asked Virginians if they felt that college campuses were safe. Even though the poll was taken following the last shooting at Tech, the respondents, young and old, overwhelmingly said, "yes".
There will always be a tension between being open and secure. You cannot build walls high enough and thick enough to prevent deviant behavior. Will the first case of a deranged faculty member shooting someone evoke legislation that permits students to be armed? Let's add some common sense to this one… and, oh, I have been a Dean, I certainly don't want the faculty "packing heat".