Feature

Bringing guns to college

Idaho’s legislature thinks it will make us all safer if students can carry firearms.

Greg HampikianThe New York Times

Now that state legislators want to let armed students in my college classroom, said Boise State University professor Greg Hampikian, I have a practical question: “When may I shoot a student?” Until now, I’ve never considered bringing a gun to work. But Idaho’s legislature thinks it will make us all safer if students can carry firearms, so “to even the playing field,” I should get one, too. But what are “the rules of classroom engagement”? Over the years, I’ve been confronted by a fair number of angry and distraught students. If an agitated student reaches into his backpack while disputing a grade, may I stand my ground, whip out my weapon, and fire? Given my aging reflexes, “I’d like to be proactive.” If two armed students are arguing at the coffee bar, can I avert a serious firefight by shooting them in the legs? Admittedly, these are difficult questions, but “encouraging guns on campus makes so much sense.” What a fine way to teach responsibility to thousands of hormone-filled young people experimenting with drugs, sex, alcohol—and now, guns. Lock and load, everyone!

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