Some 15 months into the University of Kansas’s “controversial” campus carry law, the Lawrence Journal-World inquired to see how many violations had been reported.
LJW reporter Sara Shepherd found one. That violation was reported Oct. 2 at Smith Hall by a concerned faculty member. Reports Shepherd, “A student was carrying a gun in his backpack — but instead of being concealed from view, as required, the gun was in an outside mesh pocket of the backpack where it could be seen.”
That’s about it. “The student was informed of the policy and corrected the problem with no further issues,” public records custodian Jen Arbuthnot told the Journal-World. “No sanctions were imposed.” It should be noted that there were 14 weapons violations on campus in the years between 2008 and 2016.
Unreported is whether KU prof Kevin Wilmott is still wearing a bullet-proof vest. Wilmott made a national splash in August 2017 when he showily appeared on campus in his body armor. “Try to forget that I’m wearing a vest,” Wilmott said at the time to his imagined critics, “and I’ll try to forget that you could be packing a .44 magnum.”
During his 15 minutes of fame, Willmott worried that having guns “welcomed” on campus could “obstruct the free flow of ideas in classrooms when controversial topics like race and religion are discussed.” What most certainly did obstruct the free flow of ideas was having the professor wear his biases on his chest.
Willmot, among many others, fully missed the logic of concealed carry. Before the law was put into play, a would-be killer could have carried his weapon in a backpack. He or she or zhe (this is KU) still can.
Now, thanks to campus carry, at least a few law-abiding students are in a position to protect themselves and their fellow students should a shooting incident occur. As the saying goes, when every second counts, the police are just minutes away.