A January 19 survey of Ohio colleges and universities found most boards and presidents determined to prohibit guns for self-defense despite a new law allowing concealed carry permit holders to be armed on campus.
Ohio’s campus carry law was signed by Governor John Kasich (R) on December 19 after lawmakers passed the measure following the November 28 knife and car attack against unarmed Ohio State students. The law removes the state’s ban on campus carry, allowing each college and university system to allow or prohibit campus carry as they see fit.
The law takes effect on March 19, 2017.
Cleveland.com surveyed “every private and two-year college in Northeast Ohio and every public university statewide” and found the “general consensus” was that law-abiding students would continue to be disarmed on campus by college and university policies.
For example, Kent State University board of trustees chairman Lawrence Pollock said, “The university policy on deadly weapons as approved in September represents the Board’s position on this issue and we have no plans for further action.”
The policy Pollock references bars law-abiding students from possessing a firearm for self-defense “inside any university building, facility, or vehicle, that is owned, operated or leased by the university.” It also bars them “from possessing, storing, or using a deadly weapon while outside on university grounds, that is owned, operated or leased by the university.”
In other words, the Kent State system will continue to maintain a gun-free campus like Virginia Tech University had in place on April 16, 2007, when 32 unarmed innocents were shot to death.
Cuyahoga Community College President Alex Johnson used an email to explain that his college system will retain its gun-free policy as well:
I know this bill has been a topic of discussion across the College, and our faculty has brought various concerns to campus leadership and to me for clarification. I have been in close communication with Tri-C Board Chair Victor Ruiz and the other trustees about this matter. Tri-C’s Board of Trustees has no intention of taking action to permit concealed carry in Tri-C facilities.
In other words, Cuyahoga Community College will continue to maintain a gun-free campus like Umpqua Community College had in place on October 1, 2015, when nine unarmed innocents were shot to death.
The Ohio University faculty senate is urging the trustee executive committee to keep law-abiding students disarmed on their campuses too. The faculty senate submitted a resolution to the committee, saying:
Whereas the full and free discussion of potentially controversial ideas and knowledge is essential to the academic mission of the University; and Whereas the possible presence of concealed weapons in instructional spaces and faculty offices will have a chilling effect on the free exchange of ideas; BE IT RESOLVED that the Faculty Senate urges the Ohio University Board of Trustees to take no action that would allow concealed carry on any of our campuses in order to reaffirm our commitment to a weapon free campus.
In other words, the Ohio University faculty senate wants to maintain the same kind of gun-free policies that were in place at Sandy Hook Elementary on December 14, 2012, when a gunman entered the school and had over nine minutes without armed resistance to carry out his wickedness. He was able to kill 26 innocents during that time period.
AWR Hawkins is the Second Amendment columnist for Breitbart News and host of Bullets with AWR Hawkins, a Breitbart News podcast. He is also the political analyst for Armed American Radio. Follow him on Twitter: @AWRHawkins. Reach him directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.