NO GUNS ON AZ CAMPUSES sign now

We strongly oppose the proposal that would allow concealed weapons to be carried on university campuses in the State of Arizona for the following reasons:

1. Knowing that students and some teachers could be armed would fundamentally change the way in which teachers interact with students.

Graduate students and professors often find ourselves exercising authority when interacting with undergraduate students. Professors and GATs teach classes and are in charge of assigning grades, mediating discussions and dealing appropriately with academic integrity and conduct issues. In these types of situations, our safety would be significantly diminished if our students were permitted to carry weapons. When an instructor needs to discuss a students performance, behavior or grade, it is essential that the s/he not feel threatened. In exchanges where students are often emotional, guns would turn common academic procedures into possibly deadly situations.

We do not believe that instructors carrying guns would be a viable answer to this problem because they are not usually trained to use weapons in stressful situations, nor should they need to be. Additionally, international students and instructors do not have the right to carry a firearm under the proposed bill, meaning that there is a potential that these individuals could be the only one in a classroom who is not armed.

2. Allowing concealed weapons on campus will certainly increase the risk of accidental shootings.

The proposed bill does not mandate any additional training in order to carry a concealed weapon on campus. Considering that even highly trained law enforcement officers have accidentally discharged their weapons, resulting in harm or death, we believe that this bill will increase the risk of accidental injury or death in situations where there is no conflict. Please keep in mind that many students, simply because of their lifestyle, may be inclined to carry weapons in a backpack or purse, which are often thrown carelessly on the floor in classrooms. The threat of accidental shootings will certainly be high when more weapons are introduced into this setting.

3. This bill will complicate police procedures.

Considering the number of alcohol and drug-related incidents the U of A police encounter every night, allowing those on campus to carry guns will certainly make these problems even more dangerous to law enforcement and bystanders. Sgt. Mejia of the U of A police has already commented on this issue to the University Daily Wildcat. In responding to reports of illegal activity, it will be difficult for the police to determine who is the perpetrator and who is the criminal if several parties are armed, increasing the risk that more people could be harmed or killed.

Firearms should not be allowed on Arizona campuses.

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