A new survey shows that most students at colleges in the Midwest don‘t want concealed handguns on their campuses.
The study from Ball State University found that 78-percent of students at 15 Midwestern campuses oppose allowing anyone to carry concealed guns while on school property.
“Firearm morbidity and mortality are major public health problems that significantly impact our society,” said Jagdish Khubchandani (JAGH-deesh koob-CHAHN-dah-nee), the study‘s co-author and a member of Ball State‘s Global Health Institute. More than 1,600 students were interviewed as part of the study, which was published in the Journal of American College Health.
Khubchandani says it was conducted because some lawmakers continue to call for loosening gun restrictions on campuses as a way to curb mass shootings. “The issue of allowing people to carry concealed weapons at universities and colleges around the U.S. has been raised several times in recent years,” he said. “This is in spite of the fact that almost four of every five students are not in favor of allowing guns on campus.”
Among the survey‘s findings:
· About 16 percent of undergraduate students own a firearm and 20 percent witnessed a crime on their campus that involved firearms.
· About 79 percent of students would not feel safe if faculty, students, and visitors carried concealed handguns on campus.
· About 66 percent did not feel that carrying a gun would make them less likely to be troubled by others.
· Half did not know whether their university had a policy regarding firearms on campus.
· Most students also believed that allowing concealed carry guns would increase the rate of fatal suicides and homicides on campus.
“The study also found that students who perceived there to be advantages to carrying concealed handguns on campus were significantly more likely to be males, firearm owners, victims of crime on- or off-campus and binge drinkers,” Khubchandani said. “However, the majority of woman said there were more disadvantages to carrying handguns on campus. These were women who did not own firearms and did not have a firearm in the home growing up.”