Letter to the Editor

Editorials featured in the Forum section are solely the opinions of their individual authors.

I am president of the Rifle and Pistol Club. Unlike Mr. Greenberg, I own firearms, I shoot them regularly, and I carry firearms on my person for defensive purposes at all times except, of course, when going about my business on campus. Mr. Greenberg?s editorial contains factual errors that betray an admitted lack of experience with firearms. However, I presently have space to address neither these errors nor the concerns I have about the carrying and possession of deadly weapons on campus. Instead I address the main point of Mr. Greenberg?s editorial.
I do not question the University?s wishes for its own property, but the weapons policy does present me a major difficulty. I am legally entitled to possess a pistol in my home. I am licensed to carry a pistol on the Commonwealth?s streets. However, I am forbidden to have a pistol on campus. Therefore when traveling to campus I may be armed at the beginning of my trip and during my trip, but what am I supposed to do once I get there? This difficulty is compounded by the frequency of violent attacks that occur in the area of campus and seem to target college students. Because of the University?s policy, I am disarmed when I am most likely to be the object of violent aggression.
We in the Club would like to see the University accommodate those in similar situations. An amendment to the weapons policy ought to be made to allow individuals to secure their weapons once they arrive at campus by locking them in their vehicle. Additionally, in the late ?90s, William Kaiser, then a sergeant with CMU-PD, implemented a procedure to store weapons with campus police. If this policy were resurrected, it would have the double benefit of accommodating pedestrians who carry weapons for personal protection and giving those who live in University housing a secure location to store weapons. We believe that the institution of these two policies would provide a reasonable balance between the University?s interests in pursuing a safe community and individuals? interests in pursuing their own safety.

Joshua J. Born
President, Rifle and Pistol Club