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Students need to know about concealed weapons

Photo: Harim Arjon/The Telescope
Photo: Harim Arjon/The Telescope

Guns and college campuses. These are two things that have never married well.

The political environment surrounding the gun control debate in this country is a hot one: mired in rhetoric, propaganda and neatly laid-out talking points on both sides of the issue. But whether you are pro, con or largely apathetic, this is definitely an issue you should at least be informed about.

Let’s face it: getting a carry concealed weapon (CCW) permit in this state is hard, and rightfully so. Any California citizen that actually possesses one probably has a really good reason for having it.

Because of the arduous process in getting one, it can be ventured that most CCW holders are lawful, respectful and acutely aware of the responsibility in carrying a firearm.

But firearms, and especially handguns, are inherently clandestine. A gun is not something you expect to see on a college campus unless it’s right before a shooting or some similarly horrible event.

CCW permit holders are historically not the type to shoot up schools. But students, faculty and law enforcement have no way of knowing that. The first reaction most people will have when they see a concealed gun is to panic. Panic leads to calling the authorities, whose resources are wasted when they respond to a non-incident.

This was pretty clearly demonstrated in the recent gun panic at CSUSM, where SWAT teams were called on a person who was carrying an umbrella.

Now imagine what could have happened if an actual gun was involved. Imagine if some well-meaning individual pulled a vigilante move to try and disarm a concealed weapon carrier. But if students knew that other students could be carrying, they would less likely to do something stupid.

Who knows. It might help deter potential school shooters if a school’s concealed carry policy was more well-known.

We’re not saying Palomar should ban guns on campuses. All we’re saying is that students need to be better informed about a school’s policy on guns. All it takes is a little information to help combat a potentially dangerous situation.

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Students need to know about concealed weapons