Firearms cause about 74 percent of all homicides in the United States according to a survey done by the National Institute of Justice.
Lewis and Clark has a strict no gun policy within its walls. However, off-duty police officers are allowed to open carry on school grounds because they have the proper training.
It is an Illinois State law that in order to conceal and carry one must pass a 16-hour training course, pass a background check and get permission from the state police to get the permit, according to the Illinois General Assembly.
In March of 2018, a school resource officer stopped a school shooting with his own firearm at Great Mills High School Maryland, according to The Hill. The resource officer was praised by the county Sheriff Tim Cameron for his heroism in stopping the shooter.
In a world where school shootings, as well as violence on school grounds, seems to be happening more than ever, according to rand.org, crime overall on school grounds has drastically decreased since the 1990s.
Lewis and Clark student Breanna Storey said conceal and carry is, “fine but scary.”
“I feel more concerned about students than conceal and carry,” she said.
She said that she would feel safer if it were the teachers with conceal and carry and not the students. But, she believes that students with prior military experience would be ideal for conceal and carry.
With a staggering 19 percent of the nation’s police force having served in the armed forces, according to The Marshall Project, some think it makes sense to have these trained professionals conceal and carry if needed.
Conceal and carry and violence would not correlate to all school grounds but mental health will Storey said.
Storey would feel safer on school grounds with weapons in the right hands of students and teachers with proper training. It would not affect her studies or attendance at the school.
A local police officer believes that conceal and carry on campus may not be a bad idea.
“The law dictates you should be able to carry weapons which should also include nonlethal in order to protect your person,” the officer, who wishes to remain anonymous said.
Nonlethal weapons are weapons made to not kill but injure or make an assailant uncomfortable to stop an attack.
The officer said if there was ever a situation where the police would have to respond to the school in a life or death situation that his “awareness would be heightened if there was conceal and carry of the grounds. That alone would reduce our response time to a call.”
To read L&C’s official policy, visit lc.edu/weapons-on-campus-policy.