On August 27, Donald Taylor sent an email informing the Lyon community of the college’s new policy on firearm possession prohibiting the open or concealed carry of any gun on campus. This extends to anyone who holds a concealed weapons permit, whether they are a student, faculty member, or just a visitor on Lyon’s campus. There are only two exceptions: all law enforcement officers are authorized by state law to carry weapons, and the college’s trap shooting team is regulated by a separate gun use policy that allows for the storage and limited use of firearms for recreational purposes. Anyone who violates the policy is subject to disciplinary action, and if the case is extreme enough, legal action. The policy was implemented in the interest of providing a safe environment for everyone on campus.
How do the students feel about this new policy? A few student interviews revealed that some weren’t even aware that the policy had been enacted, despite the college’s efforts to communicate the change. Most students commented that they already felt safe on campus before the policy was established, but harbored no strong opinions regarding the change.
One upperclassman put it this way: “I don’t have a gun, I don’t have a permit to carry a gun, and I definitely don’t feel like I need to have a gun with me on campus.” Another student offered a different point of view. “There was a lot of violence in the city I grew up in. If all guns were banned from the city, I don’t think it would make much of a difference in the crime rate there, people would just have guns anyway, or find some way to get them in spite of the ban. That being said, Lyon has a much different atmosphere. I don’t think violence is something I have to worry about as much here.” Several students expressed the opinion that while they did not personally own one, they would feel less secure if they knew someone else on campus was carrying a concealed firearm. “Gun-related violence isn’t my main concern,” says one freshman. “I’m more concerned that someone will cause a gun-related accident because they have one on campus in the first place.”
A handful of students aren’t thrilled about the policy. “I have a constitutional right to bear arms, and so does everyone else. I get that there’s no reason for a student to have a gun on campus, but what about visitors? My grandma isn’t paying tuition here, so why can’t she carry the revolver she bought last year for self-defense when she comes to see me?” Overall, however, the majority of student opinions ranged from indifferent to positive, rather than negative.
Thanks to everyone who offered their thoughts on the subject. All comments were recorded anonymously.