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The Verde Independent | Cottonwood, Arizona

home : opinions : letters July 27, 2016

2/7/2012 1:05:00 PM
Letter: Keep guns away from NAU campus


NAU provides a vibrant campus community right in the heart of Flagstaff with a student population of 17,000. About half of these students live on campus and all of them learn, exercise and eat on our campus. We are entrusted with a huge responsibility, and as president, I take that first priority of providing a safe place to live and learn very seriously.

Allowing firearms on Northern Arizona University’s campuses jeopardizes the safety of our students, faculty and staff and disrupts our educational mission. No one on our campus has requested to exercise the freedom to bear arms on campus. None of our visitors has felt the need to be armed when coming to our campus. Despite the lack of uprising for such ability, the Arizona Legislature is considering legislation that would allow individuals to carry guns onto our campuses. Introducing weapons into an environment where young adults are often living on their own for the first time increases the risk of unintentional incidents and does not enhance campus safety.

Our campus is a safe place. University law enforcement professionals are well equipped and well trained to handle unpredictable situations that may threaten public safety. We partner with the Flagstaff Police Department. The university employs campus safety aides to escort students, faculty and staff to their cars or residence halls. All residence halls require a magnetic card to enter and a key to enter individual rooms. NAU also has invested in emergency notification systems, including an on-campus phone network and emergency text alerts.

Northern Arizona University is a significant part of this rural community where residents respect the proper use of firearms. As president of Northern Arizona University, I also respect the opinions of my constituents about where the appropriate parameters of this right should be drawn. The NAU chief of police, NAU faculty and students and numerous local officials have expressed a desire to keep the campus free of guns. I join with them in requesting the Legislature allow the universities to adequately address campus safety and prohibit guns moving freely on campus.

John Haeger, President

Northern Arizona University

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Reader Comments

Posted: Thursday, February 9, 2012
Article comment by: Bad Gremlin

Remember, remember, December 2010. Zachary Marco was shot to death on ASU campus.

Posted: Thursday, February 9, 2012
Article comment by: Armed Liberal

i support the second amendment as much as the next person, but this is nothing more than a cheesy ploy to garner votes from the foaming at the mouth NRA types. It is perfectly possible to determine that there are places where guns do not belong without abridging constitutional rights to gun ownership. College campuses are one of those places.

Posted: Thursday, February 9, 2012
Article comment by: Its Howdy Dowdy time

Why not firearms safety training in public grade schools and we can have American (sorry Glock you're Austrian even if we love your automatics) firearms manufacturer PR people come and speak to our kids with colorful multi media displays and coloring books of famous American firearms throughout our history?

Posted: Thursday, February 9, 2012
Article comment by: TL671 3per

There are at least 71 campuses (more being added all the time) in several states that have allowed concealed carry on campus for many years. Would you care to guess how many crimes, or accidents there have been involving licensed carriers? Times up, the correct answer is ZERO. Not one drunken frat boy argument resolved with a hail of bullets. Not one parking lot shoot out, no love triangles ending in gunfire, no professors threatened for giving bad grades, none of it. Not one liberal, anti-gun/anti-rights fantasy has come to pass, and I dare say they are not likely to. Those that bother to go through the process of getting a permit to carry concealed are not likely to be the type of person to commit crimes. While those who are predisposed to commit crimes will not submit themselves to the scrutiny of law enforcement in order to carry their guns, nor will they be dissuaded by a sign, or a law, or an invisible line delineating campus.

Posted: Thursday, February 9, 2012
Article comment by: More Laws That Don't Help

I am beside myself trying to figure out what our "leaders" are thinking. I went to college. i drank, I partied, and I respected and trusted the law officers on campus. I am also an avid believer in gun rights, but college is not the place. I had a shotgun for hunting when I was in college, and it was in the college lock up til I signed it out. Never was a problem for me. This is another case of grandstanding and our politicians are just getting out of hand.

Posted: Wednesday, February 8, 2012
Article comment by: More of the Feed the Fear mentality spouted by our government

I have a novel idea! Let's tell our senators and congressmen to solve some of the actual problems facing Arizona, instead of wasting $$$ on stuff like this.

Posted: Wednesday, February 8, 2012
Article comment by: Judy Hendrix

President Haeger, thank you for your eloquent letter! Please send it to the Governor and the Legislature. Your opinions carry weight with these people, just like they did during the last go around. This bill must not pass!!

Posted: Wednesday, February 8, 2012
Article comment by: Peter, Yavapai County

Senator Gould of Lake Havasu City is grandstanding on a controversial issue which will cost taxpayers money but magically, will not actually solve any real problems. What a waste! He must be one of those who read the Brewer best seller, "Scorpions for Breakfast".

Posted: Tuesday, February 7, 2012
Article comment by: Richard Hertz

Thanks John. In the 90s, I worked for DPS at ASU. It was campus security, mainly events, football games and residence halls (dorms). With the college kids, it was mostly pretty harmless stuff, petty theft, fighting, but above all it was alcohol, alcohol and more alcohol. Why is this bill being pushed? I support home defense, but we are talking about a campus for higher learning. We are talking about fun-loving (and heavy drinking) college students. Further, why is this bill at the top of the agenda? I've seen only a couple college students speaking in favor of it. Let's ask them. Let's also ask them what they would like to see their legislature doing. Something tells me they would rather see some action on AZ tuition rates which have doubled in the last few years.

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