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ERIC Number: EJ801446
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2008-Jun-6
Pages: 1
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: N/A
ISSN: ISSN-0009-5982
Colleges Must Be Forearmed with Effective Policies on Weapons
Alger, Jonathan
Chronicle of Higher Education, v54 n39 pA32 Jun 2008
By the end of June, the U.S. Supreme Court will issue its first decision in many decades on the meaning of the right to keep and bear arms under the Constitution. The ruling could have a significant impact on federal gun-control regulations. The Second Amendment has historically not been held to apply to state regulations, but a decision by the court could influence the tone and substance of debates at the state level. In light of that impending decision, and in the wake of the shootings at Virginia Tech and Northern Illinois University, those who work at colleges should be reviewing their policies regarding weapons on their campuses. The composition of the Supreme Court and the questions asked during the oral arguments have led many experts to believe that the court will reinforce the notion that the Second Amendment protects an individual's right to own guns, and perhaps will make it more difficult to justify some of the more-stringent prohibitions in gun-control regulations and policies. "Context matters" when applying constitutional standards, as former Justice Sandra Day O'Connor stated in "Grutter v. Bollinger", the affirmative-action case concerning University of Michigan Law School admissions. When it comes to the regulation of weapons, the context of higher education is not the same as that of hunting, or even city or rural life. In academe the context is meant to protect vigorous, open, safe debate about ideas like those at stake in the Supreme Court case itself. Many people, including the author, feel that lethal weapons do not belong in that context, other than in the hands of trained law-enforcement professionals, with limited exceptions for specific purposes as he discusses here.
Chronicle of Higher Education. 1255 23rd Street NW Suite 700, Washington, DC 20037. Tel: 800-728-2803; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Opinion Papers
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Illinois; Virginia