Now that it is permissible to carry firearms privately on public ways on campuses across this state, let’s pause to reflect on what if anything this new law accomplishes. Where before, campus police could charge with a misdemeanor anyone caught carrying a weapon anywhere on campus, now they cannot charge those whose carrying is limited to “public ways.” Certainly outside sidewalks and fields, perhaps even football stadiums, are public ways.
So how many shootings have occurred over the years on campuses in such public ways? None. All shootings have been indoors, in classrooms, likely, but one in a conference room or auditorium and maybe even a hallway. And if “public way” does not include hallways, there may be total restrictions indoors. But if not, who enters a hallway but then does not enter a room? For that matter, who, when possessed with some insane motive to do harm to others on a campus, pauses even momentarily to consider some threat of a misdemeanor? We may not know how to deter such violence, but certainly this new law accomplishes absolutely nothing for anyone, certainly not for the potential victim and certainly not for 2nd Amendment advocates who imagine themselves as carrying a firearm in some defensive mode. So who does this new law serve if not the politicians who passed it? No one. Just who do our politicians think they are fooling? Us! And that is precisely what this new law was meant to accomplish.