Monday, May 6, 2013

Life In The Ivory Tower

The Faculty Senate at the university where I teach as an adjunct instructor is all bent out of shape by HB 937 which is being considered by the North Carolina House of Representatives. Section 2 of the bill would allow concealed carry holders and employees who live on campus to lock their handguns in their cars while on campus. Currently, North Carolina law makes it a felony to have a firearm on any university or community college campus.

The Faculty Senate wants to adopt a resolution supporting the continuance of the school as an official gun-free zone. Their resolution below makes it clear that they think it will make the university safer. As anyone who has attended any institution of higher learning will attest, professors live in their own (imaginary) world.
Resolution to Support the Prohibition against Possession of Firearms on Campus

Whereas, North Carolina State code § 14‑269.2, “Weapons on campus or other educational property” prohibits the possession of firearms on campus, and

Whereas, the North Carolina Legislature has introduced House Bill 937 that would allow individuals with concealed-carry permits to bring guns onto UNC and other college and university campuses, thus removing the prohibition against the possession of firearms on campus, and

Whereas, in 2010, the Western Carolina University (WCU) Faculty Senate passed a Resolution for Campaign to Keep Guns Off Campus (April 7, 2010; passed by electronic vote: 26 Yes, 1 No, 0 Abstaining), and

Whereas, on April 29, 2013, UNC President Thomas Ross released a statement noting his concerns with HB 937 and encouraging the General Assembly “ remove the provision that would allow guns to be brought onto UNC and other college and university campuses” (See President Ross’ statement* below.)

Therefore, the WCU Faculty Senate resolves to:

  1. Restate its support for the 2010 WCU Faculty Senate resolution against guns on campus, and
  2.  Show support for President Ross’ April 29, 2013 statement in opposition to House Bill 937 in which he expressed serious concerns as indicated below*, and
  3. Encourage the NC General Assembly to remove the provision in HB 937 that would allow firearms on campus.

*April 29, 2013 Statement Released by University of North Carolina President Ross:

“We have an obligation to provide a safe environment for our students and employees, and every UNC campus has a trained police force charged with promoting the safety of all people who come onto our campuses. All UNC Chancellors and Chiefs of Police believe allowing guns on campus would increase the risk to public safety and hamper our ability to protect not only our students, staff ,and faculty, but also campus visitors, including parents, siblings of students, and summer camp participants. Vehicle break-ins are one of the leading crimes on college campuses, and even guns brought lawfully onto campus, as contemplated by this bill, could fall into the wrong hands and result in serious injury or death.

“In addition, a number of UNC campuses house early college high schools, middle schools, or summer camps for younger children. The presence of these young people further heightens our concerns about the safety risks that come with guns getting into the wrong hands. Moreover, when responding to an armed robbery or active shooter incident, our officers would often be hard pressed to distinguish between a criminal suspect and well-intentioned bystanders with weapons drawn, particularly in the heat of the moment. The potential for tragedy far outweighs any potential benefit or convenience to concealed-carry permit holders. We encourage the General Assembly to remove the provision that would allow guns to be brought onto UNC and other college and university campuses.”
There is no word yet if my fellow faculty members will stomp their feet and hold their breath until blue in the face if the General Assembly just ignores this resolution and passes the bill intact.


  1. Last time some University authority said something similar, a year later Virginia Tech happened.
    Bad juju.

  2. As a former WCU student, I can tell you that many students already violate the law. No one stays there over the weekends and they carry while they travel. I hope the the new bill passes and legalizes what already happens.

    1. @Chris: You've hit the nail on the head. It already is happening and no one stays around Cullowhee on the weekends. You just need to drive on Hwy 107 on a Friday afternoon to see that.

  3. Even funnier considering NC has two community colleges with gunsmithing programs.

  4. John, I hope you will speak up and oppose the bill. I hope you will oppose it formally and ask them to include a minority opinion, and I hope you will write your opinion and ask the college newspaper to publish it.

    1. This comment has been removed by the author.

    2. I just checked the list of Senators. I'm meeting with one on business on Wednesday and I know he is pro-gun. He and I talked about his buying an AR-15 just before the big post-Newtown rush.

  5. Ignorance IS bliss... at least for them...