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


Huff says the campus police department has many safety measures in place for dorms. There are typically attendants in the lobbies, students need identification cards to get into buildings and their rooms, there's a full-time police force that is certified with the same training as the City of Boulder's police officers, and these officers are able to respond quickly to any incident that may arise.

CU Boulder dormitory.jpg
housing.colorado.edu
Baker Hall dormitory at CU-Boulder
Huff also says he's not aware of any gun violence that has happened in residence halls.

As another spokesman for Boulder told us last month, dorms involve specific contracts, which is why the university is allowed to restrict guns there.

Huff says one reason for this policy involves concerns over having guns in a dorm environment and how they might be safely stored -- and what could happen if another student were able to get access to such a weapon.

ryan huff.jpg
Ryan Huff.
"People who live in the residence halls who are gun owners are typically pretty responsible," Huff says, noting that gun-owners are allowed to check in their guns with the campus police department.

"I don't believe changing firearm laws on campus is going to make a difference," Burnett says in response to the university's concerns that students without permits could access guns. Burnett argues that an individual who wants to commit a crime would illegally obtain a gun some other way, like taking one from a relative's house or breaking into a car.

(That argument resembles comments from Governor John Hickenlooper in the immediate aftermath of the Aurora theater shooting, when he said he doesn't think stricter gun laws would have stopped alleged shooter James Holmes).

In response to concerns from professors about guns on campus, Huff says he also doesn't know of any problems with guns in classrooms or professors asking the police department to check permits.

"While it can be concerning that there's the potential to have a firearm in the classroom, we have not had reports of any problems with that," Huff says, noting that there were no issues before or after the March ruling.

For his part, Burnett says worried professors are missing the bigger picture.

"I think they are legitimate feelings, but they are misinformed feelings," he says. "I'm assuming that none of these professors fear for their life when going out to the grocery store or shopping mall or movie theater or restaurant. And these are places that permitted citizens have carried in for years without incident."

More from our Education archive: "James Holmes, aka The Llama: Bizarre photo, impressive docs from grad school application"

Follow Sam Levin on Twitter at @SamTLevin. E-mail the author at Sam.Levin@Westword.com.



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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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