Gun Safety: Preventing Violence On Campus

By Jennifer Lawrence
Senior Editor

   Many misconceptions surround school shootings. Some of these include school shootings are on the rise, they are solely an “American” problem and they are tv_Around Campus 10dbrecent problems.

   In fact, the opposite is true for each point. Of each of the 64 worst school shootings, only 17 were in the US and only eight since 2000. School violence dates back to as early as 1700. This proves school violence is not a new issue, but rather a continuing one.

   Since the start of the 2010 fall semester, 14 community colleges in Colorado began to allow people with concealed carry license to carry their gun on campus. As of June 2011, 71 campuses in three states allowed concealed carry. None of these campuses have seen any type of gun violence. The University of Arkansas at Monticello does not allow individuals to carry concealed weapons on campus.

   If you come onto campus with a concealed weapon or a hunting rifle, you can check it in to the gun reserve.  The gun reserve at public safety locks the guns away. This helps prevent them from falling into the wrong hands.

   As an open campus, UAM doesn’t have any visible type of deterrent such as metal detectors, but we do have an active shooter policy.

   “We practice each year and have for years,” John Kidwell, chief of public safety, said. Although he can not elaborate on the policy, it is put into place to respond in the case of a gunman on campus.

   If you are on campus in the event of an emergency, you will be notified by text, e-mail and voice call if you are registered through Rave. This can be done via the public safety’s page on the UAM homepage. If you get this notification, get to a safe location, close and lock the door. This lets the officers know the room is secure on their sweep through.

   “Everybody should be concerned, but we have plans in place and practice to try to keep guns out of hands of people who don’t need to have them on campus,” Kidwell said.

   If you are suspicious of someone who may become violent, contact public safety at 460-1000. They can’t help an individual if they are unaware of the situation. We also have the anonymous tip line. Send a text message to 67283 containing UAMTip and your message. There is a person of concern form online you can fill out if you have reason to believe a student needs guidance or support. This can also be done anonymously.

   The best way to protect our campus is to be aware of what is going on around us. Having students and faculty who are actively involved in preventing gun violence on campus are vital to ensuring our campus is not the next one on the news due to a school shooting.



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