Gun Control and O.D.U. Policy

-by: Juan A. Lopez and Elizabeth Rubi Murek

Gun control has been a divisive topic in the U.S. over the past year, and Old Dominion University is no stranger to these debates. In 2011, Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli declared that Virginia’s law prohibiting guns on college campuses does not apply to those who have a concealed-carry permit. In response, most state colleges and universities – including ODU – were quick to publicly maintain their no-gun stance. The debate here became somewhat divisive.

In modern times, gun control has become a political issue, but on college campuses, the approach should be practical. Does allowing students and faculty to (legally) carry concealed guns increase or decrease crime, and how do members of the ODU community feel about the banning of all weapons on campus?

Do you think ODU faculty members who have concealed carry permits should be allowed to carry guns on campus?

Faculty guns, Yes:

27

Faculty guns, No:

16

How about military students, or students who work in law enforcement?

Yes: 24

No:  13

“Not Sure”:  2

                                   *Survey taken on site at ODU during October and November of 2013

In a survey taken on campus during October and November of 2013, about 45 students and faculty were asked about guns on campus. By a fairly large majority, not only did most of those surveyed believe faculty should be allowed to carry concealed weapons with a permit, but believe students who are enlisted in the military or active in law enforcement, should also be allowed to carry concealed weapons.

One student, who said they knew it was against the rules, admitted to us that they “always carry their brass knuckles”.

Traditionally Virginia is a strong gun-rights state. The question of whether guns make us safer is one that has been debated for decades now amongst academics and legislators alike. Yet, fully a third of those surveyed were against guns on campus. As one ODU faculty member responded, “No. One could snap like a pit bull”.

So, the debate is not settled, at least on ODU’s campus. But for the moment, you don’t want to get caught with a weapon on campus– permit or no permit. And yes ladies, that includes pepper spray.

It would have been interesting to get a response from ODU PD, but multiple calls and emails to ODU Police Chief Rhonda Harris were not returned. Requests for an interview were ignored.

Further Reading