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Gun-free CU-Boulder dorms are target areas for criminals, student group says

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While some professors are not happy with a policy change that allows students with concealed-carry permits at CU-Boulder to bring guns into their classes, one gun-rights organization has an opposite concern. The most unsafe place on campus, according to Students for Concealed Carry, is the one place where guns are not allowed.

The dormitories.

Gun debates at Boulder were first sparked by a Colorado Supreme Court ruling in March ordering CU to allow concealed-carry-permit holders to have guns on campus. More recently, the campus has made headlines for new rules announced last month that restrict students from having guns in undergraduate dorms and events, though they can still carry them pretty much everywhere else on campus.

These more recent changes have gotten a lot of attention in part because CU-Boulder announced that it would allow students to apply for family housing units where guns would be permitted, prompting some outlets to report them as segregated dorms for gun holders. That's not really the case, and last time we checked, not a single student had taken advantage of this policy.

And while CU-Boulder professors speaking at a town-hall style meeting this week expressed fears about students having guns on campus, the student group that pushed the university to lift the gun ban in the first place is more concerned with safety in the gun-free dorms.

David Burnett, Students for Concealed Carry.jpg
Courtesy of David Burnett
David Burnett, public relations director for Students for Concealed Carry
"By having the dorms be the one place where guns are not allowed, you are creating a vulnerable area where criminals can target and where folks wouldn't be able to fight back," says David Burnett, director of public relations for Students for Concealed Carry, a national gun-rights group that filed a lawsuit against CU in 2008 arguing that the ban against concealed weapons contradicted state laws.

"Any criminal is going to go to a place that is easier for him or her to engage in an act of crime," says Burnett, 26, a 26-year-old University of Kentucky student. "Naturally, criminals will gravitate toward places where victims are defenseless."

He says he is pleased with the Colorado Supreme Court ruling allowing gun owners to legally carry their guns on campus, but remains concerned that the policy has essentially shrunk "the gun-free zone to a dorm-sized dot on the map."

"If I'm a criminal, I'm gonna home in on the one place where nobody can fight back, and right now that's the dorms," he says.

The restriction on dorms can also be frustrating for those with concealed-carry permits, he says: "I must forcibly disarm myself and abide by the dormitory gun-free zone, even though I'm a responsible, licensed individual."

In response to Burnett's concerns, Ryan Huff, a spokesman for the CU-Boulder Police Department, says campus dorms have always been safe and remain so.

"The residence halls have been free of guns since they were founded, so I don't think the announcement of there being a lack of guns in the residence hall really changes [anything]...from a security perspective," he says.

As we've noted before, concealed-carry permit holders have to be 21 or older, and the majority of students who live in the dormitories are younger -- so even if guns were allowed in dorms, it's likely that it would be a very small percentage of residents anyway.

Continue reading for more of CU-Boulder's defense of its safety record in dorms and classrooms.



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17 comments
Steven M Palmer
Steven M Palmer

In the dorms as well as in every other campus building there are fire extinguishers handy in many spots even though there are probably no fires currently burning. Guns are essentially the same plan, better to have one and not need it than need one and not have it.

William Scott
William Scott

I didn't know dorms were unsafe? Watch your shit and be vigilant, no guns necessary

RobertChase
RobertChase topcommenter

Burnett & Co. meet Einstein's definition of insanity.  Guns facilitate killing.  While armed defenders can stop crimes, keeping guns to hand, on average, results in more deaths and injuries to homeowners and their friends and families than to the criminals the guns were intended to shoot.  There is every reason to think that an increased presence of guns at public gatherings will result in more misuse of them there through operation of the same causes which make it more dangerous to keep a gun for self-defense in the home than not:  negligence and the heat of passion.

Scarifying
Scarifying

 @RobertChase  Yeah, that ban on open AND concealed carry worked great recently in New York City, when Whackball #4 shot his coworker then calmly walked down the street until NYPD opened up on him, killing him and hitting 9 uninvolved civilians in the process. By your logic, Robert, the police should be disarmed as well. They fire their guns more often than civilians and tend to kill more people with gunfire. Then you anti gun ninnies can feel safe and skip hand in hand down the primrose path of life singing 'Kumbaya, My Lord'. If there's one thing anti gun zealots have proven beyond a shadow of a doubt, it's that those intent on doing harm are universally brought to heel by the threat of signage designating 'gun free' zones. What maniac would risk their freedom by challenging one of those no man's lands of implied consequence? "Oh, shit, it's a SIGN! I better take my slaughter somewhere  else, the risk of prosecution for my actions here are FAR too high!!"

 

 

Monkey
Monkey

 @RobertChase The only people who want guns banned are people who don't like guns. Like a vegetarian who thinks we should ban meat. Or a KKK member who would like to ban black people. There are less accidental deaths by firearms than drowning Robert, where do you get your statistics? There are no published academic studies by economists or criminologists that find gun bans reduced murder or violent crimes. There is no evidence that any State gun bans reduced murder or violent crime rates either. Even research done for the Clinton administration didn’t find that gun bans reduced crime. You should research Switzerland, teenage girls riding their bikes with what we call "assault rifles" on their back is not uncommon. They don't shoot each other, they have respect for guns and their fellow citizens, something people who are scared of guns could never understand.

pacifist
pacifist

 @RobertChase how's that gun prohibition working out for mexico?  prohibition does not work.

RobertChase
RobertChase topcommenter

 @Scarifying Training in gun-safety helps reduce the number of wrongful deaths associated with gun-ownership, so the statistic (i.e. a fact, not something idiosyncratic to my reasoning) does not necessarily apply to the police.  Absolutely most police should be disarmed!  Britain issues guns only to some officers, is not overrun with crime, incarcerates only 1/5 as many of its people per capita as does the US, and suffers less than 1/20 the rate of fatalities related to firearms per capita.  The US is right behind Mexico in its rate of gun-fatalities.  Of course, with ~270,000,000 guns floating around the country, we are too far down the road to Mogadishu to turn back.

leon
leon

 @Monkey

 

RobertChase supports prohibition, no wonder he is voting yes on A64.

RobertChase
RobertChase topcommenter

 @Monkey Gun-nuts absolutely hate that statistic about guns being more dangerous to their owners than to criminals!

RobertChase
RobertChase topcommenter

 @Monkey You left off "per capita".  I doubt your statistics are accurate even with its inclusion, but how anyone could conclude that living in a place where you are twenty times more likely to be shot and killed than in Britain is less dangerous defies reason.  Prominently missing from your list is the relative risk of murder in the two countries -- guns facilitate killing.

Monkey
Monkey

 @RobertChase Britain? 133% more assault victims than the U.S., 125% more rape victims, 25% more total victims and 326 times more drug offenses. Surveys show 17% more people feel safer walking at night in the U.S. vs the U.K. They might not kill each other as much as we do, but it's clear the U.K. is a more dangerous place to live.

RobertChase
RobertChase topcommenter

 @leon  @Monkey Right -- the Amendment which declares that it shall no longer be unlawful for adults to grow and use some cannabis supports Prohibition, pigs have wings, and the Sun rises in the West and sets in the East..  Some people should not even try to think, because they will always get it wrong.

RobertChase
RobertChase topcommenter

 @Monkey I am more interested in how you have managed to avoid taking in the fact I have recounted (but not so interested that I want to read your response).

Monkey
Monkey

 @RobertChase  "Gun-nuts", "insanity". Anyone who owns a gun must be crazy. You're not the only ignorant person I've tried to help, I have real statistics if you're ever interested in facts. 

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