In light of increasing concerns over campus safety, some community colleges are banning firearms this fall. The move has renewed debate over whether guns should be allowed on campus, whether carried by students, faculty or both. While there are arguments to be made in favor of either position, the trend for this year appears to be focused on keeping guns off campus in hopes of keeping students just a little safer during the school year.
California Community Colleges Say No to Guns
The Los Angeles Times
reports that all nine campuses in the Los Angeles Community College District
in California will become gun-free zones when students head back to class this fall. The Board of Trustees for the schools recently voted unanimously to ban firearms in nearly all circumstances for this school year.
“It is our responsibility to provide a safe environment for our students, allowing them to feel secure and able to totally focus on their academic goals,” Scott Svonkin, vice president of the board, told the L.A. Times. “They must never be fearful about setting foot on one of our campuses,” Svonkin added.
Previous Shootings Spur Decision
The reasoning behind the ban was a string of violent school shootings
, with the most recent occurring at Santa Monica College
in June, 2013. During that incident, another Los Angeles Times
article reported that five victims died, along with the shooter. The 10-minute rampage began when the shooter killed his father and older brother and set their house on fire.