Students and faculty display mixed feelings on concealed carry

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Aaron Rhodes

Staff reporter

arhodes2@jccc.edu

In July of 2017, the Kansas law exempting college campuses from allowing concealed carry of firearms expires. The new law allowing concealed carry was passed back in 2015 by the Kansas legislature. Since then there has been a lot of discussion on college and university campuses about whether or not it was a good decision and how it may possibly be changed.

Some students believe allowing concealed carry will allow students and faculty to quickly end a violent situation before more people are injured.

“I think people that have the training to know how to handle a gun and react in those sorts of situations are definitely a good thing to have on campus,” said student Aaron Simpson. ”Even if it’s not necessarily a campus-sponsored thing, it’s still something that I think would be a benefit for student safety.”

Other students believe it is not the place of other students to be carrying guns when the school employs police officers for that purpose.

“I feel safe enough with the police department that we have here on campus,” said student Kevin Robertson. “They do pretty well at being everywhere on campus and I feel safe with them around.”

History professor Jim Leiker said he thinks the classroom environment may suffer if concealed carry is allowed.

“In my classes and a lot of other instructors’ classes we deal with controversial subjects,” said Leiker. “That requires open dialogue. It requires sometimes people saying things that are a little bit risky. So I’m afraid that the presence of firearms or even the suspicion that there might be a concealed firearm in the classroom is going to have a really bad effect on the learning environment.”

Emergency Preparedness Manager Alisa Pacer mentioned the importance of taking advantage of the college’s safety resources that include the Keeping Our People Safe crime-reporting line, JCCC Alert system, JCCC Guardian app, A.L.I.C.E. shooter response training and the surveys the college emails to students, in addition to the college’s new concealed-carry web page http://www.jccc.edu/student-resources/police-safety/concealed-carry.html, which will be updated as decisions are made.

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