Where Western Sensibilities Clash With Modern Fears

December 29 2009, 11:34 AM

Forget the incident at Virginia Tech, in which an armed student shot 32 people on April 16, 2008. Colorado State University is one of the few public schools in the country with no policy banning firearms: If you have a concealed weapons permit, you can also carry on campus (via The Associated Press). After all, proponents reason, this is the West, where there's a strong tradition of guns and hunting. But earlier this year, CSU's Board of Governors, citing a study by campus police chiefs concluding that private firearms can't help protect schools, ordered campuses in Fort Collins and Pueblo to draft policies restricting firearms. The plans could be finalized by early next year. CSU student government President Dan Gearhart, however, is among student activists voicing their concerns. "Let's say you have another Columbine or Virginia Tech," he explains to the Los Angeles Times. "People want the ability to protect themselves." Nearly all U.S. college campuses ban concealed weapons, but the Virginia Tech rampage sparked proposals to lift the bans in dozens of states. None of those efforts have been successful, notes The Christian Science Monitor.