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Thread: MU lobbying against concealed carry. Recent college shootings spur call for law exemption.

  1. #1
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    Jun 2006
    Washington Island, across Death's Door, Wisconsin, USA

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    While the debate over carrying concealed weapons on college campuses has heated up this year, Marquette has maintained its position of opposing weapons on campus.

    The shooting tragedies at Virginia Tech University and Northern Illinois University have raised debates across the country over concealed carry on college campuses. Recent crime incidents on Marquette's campus could spur more discussion.

    Wisconsin and Illinois are currently the only states that do not allow concealed carry of weapons.

    Marquette would fight for an exemption on college campuses if legislation repealing the ban were introduced in Madison, according to Mary Czech-Mrochinski, director of governmental and community affairs in the Office of Public Affairs.

    "(We would) want an exemption consistent with university policies," Czech-Mrochinski said. "If new legislation regarding concealed weapons is introduced, we will continue to work with legislators to ensure a safe campus environment."

    The student handbook says students cannot "possess, use or store firearms, ammunition or weapons of any type … in the residence halls." Students can store weapons used for "recreational purposes" with the Department of Public Safety at an off-campus location, the handbook says.

    The university employee handbook prohibits staff from carrying weapons on university premises unless, like DPS employees, they are authorized to do so.

    No concealed carry legislation was introduced in the previous Wisconsin state legislative session, which ended in May, Czech-Mrochinski said. However, concealed carry bills were introduced in 2003 and 2005.

    The Office of Public Affairs successfully lobbied for an exemption on college campuses in both instances, Czech-Mrochinski said.

    Both bills included an exemption for buildings located on the campus of a private or public university, college, or technical college, Czech-Mrochinski said. The 2005 bill, however, would have allowed a licensed individual to carry a concealed weapon into a building under the jurisdiction of certain school officials, like the president.

    Both bills passed in the legislature, but Gov. Jim Doyle vetoed them, Czech-Mrochinski said. Attempts to override the vetoes failed.

    State Representative Spencer Black (D-Madison) said the recent concealed carry bills needed more restrictions.

    "The bills introduced (to this point) have been quite extreme," Black said.

    Steve Minore, a freshman in the College of Arts & Sciences, is in favor of legislation to allow individuals to carry concealed weapons with training and a background check. He believes college campuses should not be exempt from this law.

    "(Carrying weapons on campus) would act as a deterrent even without having to use them," Minore said. "If criminals know people have weapons on campus, they would be less likely to commit a crime."

    J. Gordon Hylton, a law professor, said the horrors at Virginia Tech and NIU have led some to advocate concealed weapons on campus. Proponents believe a gun in the hands of a victim could have helped avoid the tragedies.

    However, Black said the recent shooting incidents on college campuses reveal the need to prohibit guns there. He said keeping those areas secure is a necessity.

    Michael Desmond, a freshman in the College of Business Administration, agreed with the state representative.

    "If weapons were legal on campus, there would be more violence," Desmond said.

    Desmond said the added factor of weapons would only escalate violence.

    Hylton believes an exemption for college campuses in concealed carry legislation would be constitutional. He compared the exemption to similar bans in courts and at sporting events.

    Nevertheless, the first step would be to pass legislation.

    Hylton said Illinois legislators banned concealed weapons because of the high crime rate involving handguns in Chicago.

    He said Wisconsin's ban stems from a history of progressive legislation. For example, Wisconsin was one of the first states to abolish the death penalty, in 1853.

    Black said there's a good chance a new concealed carry bill will be introduced in the future. However, he believes it has little chance of passing.

    "In places where concealed carry laws have been passed, there has been no discernible effect on the situation," Black said.

    Madeline posted 10/02/08 @ 11:31 AM CST I think it is a wise move on Marquette's part to ban weapons on campus because, in my opinion, far from stopping any possible crime like VA Tech or NIU at Marquette, it would only escalate any conflict. If there is a gunman taking down students, do you really think someone else pulling a gun out is going to stop the situation or just escalate it and cause more panic, leading to more problems? I could also see guns used more frequently in normally unarmed fights. It would be too easy for a drunken student in a bar fight to pull a gun out and start hurting people. It would also be so easy for a gun to fire accidentaly and seriously injure or kill an innocent student. The last issue with this I have is that the more guns on campus, the easier for the wrong types of people to get hold of guns. What would stop an unbalenced student from taking their roommates gun and using it to hurt other students? I think Marquette is doing the smart thing and I hope their efforts succeed.

  2. #2
    Wisconsin Carry, Inc. Shotgun's Avatar
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    Aug 2006
    Madison, Wisconsin, USA

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    Wow, where do we begin?

    First, wouldn't Marquette University, as a private school, be able to disallow anything on campus it wanted to disallow-- just as any other private business can do?

    Next, the comment attributed to Spencer Black: "However, Black said the recent shooting incidents on college campuses reveal the need to prohibit guns there. He said keeping those areas secure is a necessity."

    Excuse me Spencer, but "keeping those areas secure?" One could only be keeping them secure if they are secure to begin with--- which of course they are not. (As clearly evidenced by you very examples.) [Note--- time to write to Spencer Black.]

    Finally, the statement attributed to "Madeline": "If there is a gunman taking down students, do you really think someone else pulling a gun out is going to stop the situation..." Um, yes Madeline, that's exactly what I think could happen. Do you not see that sending in the police is also a case of "someone else pulling out a gun?" Or do you advocate not sending in the police either? It makes little difference to perpetrators whether they are shot by a police officers or civilians. But it could make a difference how soon they are neutralized, saving lives.

    A. Gold

    Failure to comply may result in discipline up to and including termination.
    The free man is a warrior. - Nietzsche "Twilight of the Idols"

  3. #3
    Regular Member
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    Nov 2007
    Saukville, Wisconsin, USA

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