I suppose I understand a certain level of apprehension around guns for people who have never been exposed to them. Like a chainsaw, they can certainly be dangerous and care is needed to handle them. However, I will never understand the pathological fear that some people have of gun owners and the lengths to which they will go to make life difficult for us who exercise our rights.
The University of Colorado at Boulder and Colorado Springs are now segregating gun owners in separate dorms allocated for students 21 and older who have gun permits. This comes in the aftermath of a Colorado Supreme Court ruling that held that the school cannot bar students from legally carrying firearms.
As is usually the case when a court reaffirms the right to bear arms, the new rule is narrowly crafted to attempt to work within the most liberal construction of the ruling, opening itself up to further litigation. The new rule allows students with concealed carry permits to live in dorms off of the main campus and have guns in their rooms so long as the weapons are kept in a gun safe when the students are not carrying them. I know what you’re thinking: “Oh, is that all?”
A refresher course: The Second Amendment states: A well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.
In 2010, McDonald v. Chicago held that the individual right to keep and bear arms extends to the states. Therefore, the aforementioned constitutional right to keep and bear arms without infringement extends to each and every student.
In this day and age, can we really be segregating a population of people from the rest of the student body for their willingness to exercise a constitutional right? What’s next? A dorm only for those who refuse to quarter soldiers or a dorm that requests to be free from unreasonable searches and seizures?
Chancellor Phillip DiStefano claimed that the rule is a “reasonable” way to create a safe atmosphere for students and staff while still adhering to the ruling. I would hate to see what his definition of “unreasonable” is.
James Manley, an attorney for the Mountain States Legal Foundation that has litigated on behalf of the students who have concealed firearms permits, stated,
“We’re going to take a hard look at the language, and if it conflicts with the concealed carry act ruling of the Supreme Court, all options are open to us, including continuing the litigation that CU lost in March.”
It is absolutely absurd that I even have to say this: The University of Colorado cannot resort to segregation to ostracize and punish students for their desire to protect themselves and their home and exercise a constitutional right. Furthermore, in what universe is it not an infringement to segregate them, and further insist on the separate purchase of a gun safe in which to store the firearm?
This is a university; surely there must be a constitutional scholar somewhere on campus who can give administrators a crash course on the basics of constitutional law.