It’s such a bad idea that in a day of enlightened General Assembly leadership it would have made it to the dust bin before introduction. But these days, a bill to allow concealed-carry permit holders to carry their weapons on public university and community college campuses could actually make it through Dysfunction Junction, which is on Jones Street.
Republican Rep. Kyle Hall of King, one sponsor, says his bill is a “safeguard,” that campuses will be more secure if people can carry guns around. That’s absurd, and the claims that some shootings such as the one at Virginia Tech in 2007 could have been stopped if others had been armed don’t work. That killer had serious mental health issues. And police in university towns are the only ones who should have guns on campuses, which “need to be a place for learning,” says Becky Ceartas, head of North Carolinians Against Gun Violence.
Hall’s measure came, he said, after a concealed-carry permit holder asked why he couldn’t carry his gun while attending classes at Appalachian State in Boone. Rather than introduce legislation to accommodate the permit holder, Hall could have said, “Because that’s the way the university wants it, and the university makes the rules.”
Now comes a test for Republican leaders: Will they have the good sense to listen to university leaders and the good judgment to end this measure before it slips into law?