The Student Newspaper of Mississippi State University

The Reflector

The Student Newspaper of Mississippi State University

The Reflector

The Student Newspaper of Mississippi State University

The Reflector

Reader writes MSU’s policy legally, morally wrong

 
Editor’s Note: This letter was written in response to the articles regarding the amended gun law in Mississippi published in the Aug. 23 edition of The Reflector.
In the article “Guns on Campus?” appearing in the Aug. 23 edition of The Reflector, Dean of Students Thomas Bourgeois said the new law would not be affecting MSU’s campus policies on guns.  I have not heard Mississippi Attorney General Jim Hood give a statement that either agrees or disagrees with Dean Bourgeois’s assessment.
However, I expect if or when that statement does come out, it will be in concurrence with Dean Bourgeois’s opinion.
But my purpose in writing this letter is to explain why MSU’s policy is both legally and morally wrong.
First of all, police protection from criminal activity is for the community at large and not for the individual citizen. 
I could go through a whole battery of court cases in which individual citizens attempted to sue local police departments for failure to provide adequate police protection from criminal activity. The number of cases in which the plaintiff has won is exactly zero.  A simple quote from the memorandum opinion in the case of Warren v. District of Columbia (District of Columbia Court of Appeals, 1981) makes my argument quite clear: “For the reason that the District of Columbia appears to follow the well-established rule that official police personnel and the government employing them are not generally liable to victims of criminal acts for failure to provide adequate police protection.”
There’s one very obvious reason why this is the case: the ratio of citizens who are employed as police officers against those who aren’t is skewed to the point that the job is rendered impossible.
Secondly, guns are simply tools that can be used for either the right or wrong reasons. The current university policy is the real threat to the safety of faculty, staff and students, not guns on campus.
As a parking services officer, I go all over campus writing tickets to violators. In particular, when I work in Zacharias Village, I try to keep my eyes peeled and watch for dogs that may be roaming the lot. I’m a big guy, and I certainly am not going to outrun a pit bull that has decided to have me for lunch. 
My only option, short of being able to a pull a gun and shoot the dog, would be to attempt to climb on top of the tallest vehicle I am closest to.
It appears we have learned absolutely nothing from prior school shootings, most of which involved shooters who failed to meet legal and appropriate minimum age requirements for carrying a gun.
I’m not going to rehash second amendment arguments about this subject here. I’m going out on a limb and arguing from a fourth amendment perspective instead.
 The law describes three situations pertaining to carrying a gun in public: they are concealed-in-whole, concealed-in-part and open carry.  Concealed-in-whole carry means the gun is completely hidden from public view and cannot be identified as such by the imprint left in clothing. 
Certainly under those conditions, the gun is an extension of the person carrying it, and the person has a reasonable expectation of privacy. While we’re on the subject of privacy, someone wrote in the editorial “Gun Law Amendments Bring Contradiction” that “the government should make the requirements for licensing stricter.”  The licensing requirements are, in and of themselves, unconstitutional governmental invasions of privacy that allow the government the ability to obtain information about private citizens that the fourth amendment says it is not allowed to have, which is exactly why I do not have a carry permit. 
The decision to carry a weapon in public is an individual choice.  If you don’t want to carry, then don’t.
However, I am of legal minimum age and, through due process rights, have not been convicted of a criminal felony act nor been declared mentally unstable.  The administration of this university and the local, state and federal government simply need to get their noses out of places they simply don’t belong. 

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The Student Newspaper of Mississippi State University
Reader writes MSU’s policy legally, morally wrong