Brady Center Report Describes Risks of Guns on College Campuses

May 03, 2007, 01:00 ET from Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence

    WASHINGTON, May 3 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Brady Center to
 Prevent Gun Violence is releasing a new report today -- "No Gun Left
 Behind: The Gun Lobby's Campaign to Push Guns Into Colleges and Schools" --
 that draws attention to the gun lobby's efforts in recent years, and since
 the horrific tragedy at Virginia Tech, to change college campus rules
 prohibiting firearms. The report describes gun lobby efforts in Utah,
 Maine, South Carolina and other states to force colleges to allow the
 possession and use of firearms by students and others on campus.
     The Brady Center report contains, for example, a letter written by the
 National Rifle Association Institute for Legislative Action to Maine
 legislators on April 2, 2007 -- two weeks prior to the Virginia Tech
 massacre -- opposing "[l]egislation to allow any college or university to
 regulate the possession of firearms on the property of the college or
 university." The report also describes the gun lobby's support for a law
 passed in Utah that expressly prohibits public school districts, public
 schools, and state institutions of higher education from keeping guns off
 campus. Similar legislation was offered in Virginia last year.
     "Our schools should be sanctuaries, not armed camps," said Paul Helmke,
 President of the Brady Center. "Institutions of higher education already
 have chosen policies either banning or tightly controlling guns on campus.
 That is as it should be. These institutions are responsible for the safety
 of their campuses and must continue to have the right to control firearms.
 After the massacre at Virginia Tech, we should make it harder, not easier,
 for dangerous people to get guns, and harder to acquire the high-capacity
 firepower wielded by the Virginia Tech shooter."
     The report details the reasons why bringing guns onto campus would
 dramatically increase the danger to students and faculty alike. For
 example:
     -- Drugs and alcohol.
        Binge drinking is highest among 18-24 olds, and college gun owners are
        more likely than other students to binge drink, need a drink first
        thing in the morning, use cocaine or crack, be arrested for a DUI,
        vandalize property, and get in trouble with the police.
     -- Suicide and mental health issues.
        Every year about 1,100 college students commit suicide, but another
        24,000 attempt to do so. Given that 90% of attempted suicides with guns
        are successful, how much more frequently will temporarily-depressed
        youths commit suicide if guns are available?
     -- Gun theft.
        Stolen guns are a key source of guns used in crime. Guns stolen from
        homes have been used in school shootings in Jonesboro, Arkansas,
        Springfield, Oregon, and elsewhere. Does it really make sense to put
        guns in open college dorm rooms?
     The report, co-authored by Brian J. Siebel, Senior Attorney of the
 Brady Center Legal Action Project and Allen K. Rostron, Associate Professor
 of Law, University of Missouri-Kansas City School of Law, also explains how
 guns and academic freedom don't mix. It further addresses why arming
 teachers is a bad idea.
     "No Gun Left Behind: The Gun Lobby's Campaign to Push Guns Into
 Colleges and Schools" follows on the heels of a November 2005 Brady Center
 report titled "Forced Entry: The National Rifle Association's Campaign to
 Force Businesses to Accept Gun at Work." Together the reports explain the
 gun lobby's step-by-step plan to push guns into every nook and cranny of
 society. Both reports are available at http://www.bradycenter.org/reports.
     The Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence is a national non-profit
 organization working to reduce the tragic toll of gun violence in America,
 through education, research, and legal advocacy. The programs of the Brady
 Center complement the legislative and grassroots mobilization of its sister
 organization, the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence and its network of
 Million Mom March Chapters.
     CONTACT: Peter Hamm of Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence,
 +1-202-898-0792
 
 

SOURCE Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence
    WASHINGTON, May 3 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Brady Center to
 Prevent Gun Violence is releasing a new report today -- "No Gun Left
 Behind: The Gun Lobby's Campaign to Push Guns Into Colleges and Schools" --
 that draws attention to the gun lobby's efforts in recent years, and since
 the horrific tragedy at Virginia Tech, to change college campus rules
 prohibiting firearms. The report describes gun lobby efforts in Utah,
 Maine, South Carolina and other states to force colleges to allow the
 possession and use of firearms by students and others on campus.
     The Brady Center report contains, for example, a letter written by the
 National Rifle Association Institute for Legislative Action to Maine
 legislators on April 2, 2007 -- two weeks prior to the Virginia Tech
 massacre -- opposing "[l]egislation to allow any college or university to
 regulate the possession of firearms on the property of the college or
 university." The report also describes the gun lobby's support for a law
 passed in Utah that expressly prohibits public school districts, public
 schools, and state institutions of higher education from keeping guns off
 campus. Similar legislation was offered in Virginia last year.
     "Our schools should be sanctuaries, not armed camps," said Paul Helmke,
 President of the Brady Center. "Institutions of higher education already
 have chosen policies either banning or tightly controlling guns on campus.
 That is as it should be. These institutions are responsible for the safety
 of their campuses and must continue to have the right to control firearms.
 After the massacre at Virginia Tech, we should make it harder, not easier,
 for dangerous people to get guns, and harder to acquire the high-capacity
 firepower wielded by the Virginia Tech shooter."
     The report details the reasons why bringing guns onto campus would
 dramatically increase the danger to students and faculty alike. For
 example:
     -- Drugs and alcohol.
        Binge drinking is highest among 18-24 olds, and college gun owners are
        more likely than other students to binge drink, need a drink first
        thing in the morning, use cocaine or crack, be arrested for a DUI,
        vandalize property, and get in trouble with the police.
     -- Suicide and mental health issues.
        Every year about 1,100 college students commit suicide, but another
        24,000 attempt to do so. Given that 90% of attempted suicides with guns
        are successful, how much more frequently will temporarily-depressed
        youths commit suicide if guns are available?
     -- Gun theft.
        Stolen guns are a key source of guns used in crime. Guns stolen from
        homes have been used in school shootings in Jonesboro, Arkansas,
        Springfield, Oregon, and elsewhere. Does it really make sense to put
        guns in open college dorm rooms?
     The report, co-authored by Brian J. Siebel, Senior Attorney of the
 Brady Center Legal Action Project and Allen K. Rostron, Associate Professor
 of Law, University of Missouri-Kansas City School of Law, also explains how
 guns and academic freedom don't mix. It further addresses why arming
 teachers is a bad idea.
     "No Gun Left Behind: The Gun Lobby's Campaign to Push Guns Into
 Colleges and Schools" follows on the heels of a November 2005 Brady Center
 report titled "Forced Entry: The National Rifle Association's Campaign to
 Force Businesses to Accept Gun at Work." Together the reports explain the
 gun lobby's step-by-step plan to push guns into every nook and cranny of
 society. Both reports are available at http://www.bradycenter.org/reports.
     The Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence is a national non-profit
 organization working to reduce the tragic toll of gun violence in America,
 through education, research, and legal advocacy. The programs of the Brady
 Center complement the legislative and grassroots mobilization of its sister
 organization, the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence and its network of
 Million Mom March Chapters.
     CONTACT: Peter Hamm of Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence,
 +1-202-898-0792
 
 SOURCE Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence