Traverse City Record-Eagle

Region

October 25, 2009

Campuses center stage in weapons debate

(Continued)

Scott McNees, a second-year culinary arts student, thinks the legislation could lead to trouble.

"If guns are more prevalent, it ends up being one of those things where maybe (people) are quicker to use a gun," he said.

Even if a person with a gun doesn't intend to harm anyone, the weapon could fall into the wrong hands, McNees said.

"If a person has a gun, you don't know how secure it is," he said.

Dan Mills, of Maple City, isn't a fan of the proposed legislation.

"We are protected without having to protect ourselves," he said, referring to police. "I don't feel like I've ever been in any type of danger that I'd have to carry any type of concealed weapon."

Cichowski, who studied with Mills in NMC's Osterlin Library, agrees.

"I just don't really see the point of carrying concealed weapons at school, other than maybe protecting yourself from other students with concealed weapons," she said. "Obviously, you're not going to go hunting on campus; there's no reason to have a weapon."

Like McNees, Mills is concerned that adding guns to the mix could cause problems.

"We're all human beings, and dumb mistakes are made; accidents happen," he said. "Sometimes accidents happen with guns just because they're present.

Jim Watson is an adjunct professor of English composition at NMC.

"I would be absolutely opposed to it on any college campus," he said. "There's a volatile mix of students of varying backgrounds, emotional strengths and weaknesses, and pressures."

The presence of guns also poses a risk to instructors, Watson said. A teacher's message, tact or tone could anger a student, he said.

"Who knows what could set someone off," he said.

Ryan Wright expects to graduate soon from NMC's police academy. He said he respects a citizen's right to carry a weapon, but he doesn't believe that right should extend to college campuses.

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