Editor’s Note: The following editorial was unanimously approved by the editorial board.
We are not writing this editorial on the latest gun bill to argue for or against the Second Amendment of the Constitution.
We, the editorial board of The Appalachian, are here to argue against North Carolina General Assembly House Bill 937, called An Act to Amend State Firearm Laws, on the grounds of practicality.
The bill, which goes into effect Tuesday, will allow those with a concealed carry permit to keep a gun inside a closed, locked motor vehicle on state property. This change affects all the campuses of the UNC system, Appalachian State University Police Chief Gunther Doerr said in an interview with The Appalachian.
Sure, this could make gun owners feel that they have found a victory in being able to conceal a weapon on campus, but how much does that help personal safety?
If a situation occurred where one would want a weapon for protection on campus, they would have to travel all the way to their vehicle in order to obtain and use their firearm.
And what if someone was attacked while walking around campus and their firearm was in their car?
It seems that having your weapon concealed in a vehicle ultimately does little to further personal protection.
To us, it seems impractical.
In addition to these concerns, SGA President Dylan Russell sent a letter to the General Assembly last summer expressing his concern for the bill, according to a July 17 article in The Appalachian.
Russell cited concerns about guns and alcohol consumption mixing, stating that the bill would offer a gateway for similar instances to occur on the campus of Appalachian.
Also, consider random car break-ins and the chance of someone stealing and using a weapon on college campuses.
Doerr also acknowledged the possibility of people looking for a gun and breaking into a car, but he told The Appalachian that it is something that can’t be predicted.
Cindy Wallace, vice chancellor for student development, said the bill puts at risk the notion of college campuses being healthy and safe living environments for students in an interview with The Appalachian.
“Every student affairs person in the UNC system opposed this bill, every chief of police on campus in the UNC system opposed this bill and many of our law enforcement folks opposed this bill,” Wallace said.
However, it seems as if the high amount of opposition against the bill did little to phase the General Assembly.
In our opinion, the General Assembly has given gun activists a small victory.
This bill seems to present additional danger to those on campus while ultimately doing little for the goal of personal protection at all times.