Concord, NH - In case you missed it, the Republican legislature's plan to force college campuses to allow guns on their campuses has received widespread and intense criticism, including more than 20 letters to the editor and multiple editorials in opposition to the reckless proposal.
Concord Monitor: Guns on Campus is a Maniacal Idea
"The year 2011 is shaping up to be the Year of the Gun in New Hampshire, and citizens are none the safer for it.
"Lawmakers began the year by overturning the ban on carrying guns in the State House complex. They went on to pass a 'stand your ground' law that allows citizens to use deadly force rather than first attempt to retreat when in any place they are lawfully entitled to be.
"Steps to eliminate the need for a concealed weapons permit, and thus a criminal background check, failed. So did a plan to form a state 'defense force' comprised of citizens charged with defending the state 'from invasion, rebellion, disaster, insurrection, riot, breach of peace or imminent danger thereof.' But an idea that's even worse, forbidding colleges and universities from banning guns from their campuses, lives on, thanks to its embrace by the House Criminal Justice and Public Safety Committee."
Valley News: Misfire on Campus Guns; N.H.'s Assault on Student Safety
"Hoell also subscribes to the notion that allowing possession of firearms on campus would head off incidents of mass murder like that which occurred at Virginia Tech in 2007. Nick Halias, chief of the UNH police force, provided a dose of reality to counter that delusion. He points out that police officers are trained to react to "the active shooter, to eliminate that shooter as fast as possible. To have other students with weapons, where you don't know who is the bad guy and the good guy, would be a dangerous situation." The chief evidently has a master's in understatement."
"It's probably fruitless to hope that our gun-loving representatives in Concord will think better of this, but worried parents might want to take a shot at persuading them to be reasonable for once."
Keene Sentinel: The Legislature Mulls a Plan to Let Guns on College Campuses
"In a widely circulated complaint last March, House Speaker William O'Brien said that college students were intellectually and emotionally deficient, at least so far as voting was concerned; they allegedly lacked the maturity to grasp the substance of important things. The speaker's point was partisan, in that at the time he was trying to beef up residency requirements for people whom he said tended to vote liberal. Doing such "foolish" things, he remarked, was 'what kids do.'"
"The answer from advocates of ending the gun ban is an emphatic yes - otherwise campuses become "killing zones," in the words of one enthusiastic proponent of the change.
"One has to wonder why, then, college and university presidents are lined up against the initiative. Presumably, they value campus safety. Ed McKay, the chancellor of the University of New Hampshire, explained in a letter to legislators that campus life can include "impetuous behavior" that, were guns in the mix, could lead to "dangerous and potentially catastrophic" consequences."