Horror struck the Henry Ford Community College today in the form of an apparent murder-suicide in which two students were killed by gunshot. This is a difficult time for all involved and to a much lesser degree even those watching, but the incident does bring up a question.
How could this happen, in an age in which enlightened institutions of higher education have prohibited dangerous firearms from campuses across the country?
Surely, the small college in Dearborn, Michigan must be behind the times, and simply not have a gun-ban policy in place? The “gun-nuts” in Michigan – and there a lot of them, relatively speaking – must have prevented this type of progress, and now two people are dead as result?
In fact, HFCC Student Policies and Procedures – Student Code of Conduct, Section II, Item 13, specifically prohibits “possession of firearms or dangerous weapons.” It also states that “a collegiate community should be free from intimidation, discrimination, and harassment, as well as safe from violence,” and contains other general prohibitions against disrupting a peaceful learning environment.
What are we to take from this? For one, it is painful proof, once again, that gun bans on college campuses don’t work. They don’t stop killers, many of whom probably acquired and possessed the weapons illegally in the first place. They DO take away the freedom of responsible students and other individuals to exercise their constitutional right to keep and bear arms.
No, I’m not saying that had other students been carrying guns, the tragedy could have been avoided. That’s always possible, but we don’t know enough yet about the details to conclude any such thing.
Media reports are thin and shaky but there are a lot of them published already. Having skimmed about a dozen of them from the big sources, I have not seen any that mention HFCC’s gun ban.
Perhaps it’s not yet the time for that kind of reporting, but I wonder if we’ll hear that reported much at all over the weekend or early next week. It certainly bears keeping in mind, as we continue to debate the rationality of restricting individual rights on campuses across the nation.