Miles: No guns at CWRU, but choices don’t kill

The Salt Pile


A sign notifying CWRU affiliated individuals and visitors that firearms are not permitted in the Kelvin Smith Library.

A bill to grant universities the option of allowing concealed handguns on campus is currently being deliberated by the Ohio Senate.

House Bill 48 passed the Ohio House of Representatives in November of 2015. It allows concealed handguns to be taken into day-care centers, public buildings and airports (outside of security checkpoints).

At present, the bill is under deliberation in the Ohio Senate. As the bill was passed by strong margins in the Republican House, it is likely that it will also be passed by the currently Republican Senate, barring unexpected events. As a student at one of these universities, I have to say that I’m more than a little wary, but I’m not against this outright.

I’m not the most ardent supporter of gun rights. My hometown, while technically suburban, is rural relative to the hometowns of almost everyone I know at Case Western Reserve University. It has its fair share of the stereotypical gun-totin’, tobacco-chewin’ rednecks, and these are the kinds of people that I immediately associate with the NRA and gun rights.

I’m by no means against the Second Amendment, but I definitely think that people try to take this constitutional right much too far. In fact, I know multiple people who practically have their own armories. To be frank, I’m not a big fan.

Yet, even with these kinds of people in mind, I’m rather mixed about this bill. Concealed carry is a controversial topic, and it’s the kind of issue that will never fully be resolved; as long as there’s someone who wants to own a gun, they’ll want to carry that gun.

I do not support concealed carry, particularly in the areas permitted by House Bill 48. On the other hand, I can see why someone might want to have a gun on them, especially when living in a city like Cleveland.

The key to this bill, I think, is that it offers universities a choice. If the CWRU community doesn’t want guns on its campus, then they still won’t be permitted. The law simply allows universities to make their own decisions, and I don’t think that’s inherently a bad thing.

I think the bill in its current form is less than ideal—I don’t really see the need for carrying when you ‘re going to the post office—but it’s hard to be vehemently against offering communities a choice. I don’t like House Bill 48, but I also don’t like people being so anti-gun that they are willing to take choice out of the equation entirely. Issues like these are very delicate, and being militantly for or against only entrenches bad blood and lengthens these disputes.

I think it’s time that we get to make these choices, together.

Danny Miles is a second-year student who won’t own a gun either way, but he’s pretty sure he’s still allowed to talk about it.