Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Common Sense Comes to the "U" [Update]

Rambix reader and commenter and gun trainer, Andrew Rothman, is featured in this KARE 11 News story for his campus safety event today: "U of M Ban on weapons being challenged by petition".

Students on the ground level of the Coffman Union Center on the campus of the University of Minnesota were invited Wednesday to sign a petition to end the ban on weapons policy at the university.

Andrew Rothman stood guard at the table where students could sign their names to support the effort to allow weapons on campus.

"We would like the administration to hear what we're saying, but even if we got 40,000 signatures, the administration could still say no," said Rothman.

But not all students agree with Rothman. Freshman student, Danielle Schuler, said, "it will provoke more violence if you have something on you and you get upset with someone, you'll have it available to use it."

Speaking on behalf of the administration, University Police Chief Gregory Hestness said, "On campus per se which is what the regents policy regulates, there's been no change in a need to further defend yourself."

Crime, including aggravated assaults, robberies and burglaries are on the increase on campus. In 2005, there were 28 burglaries. At the end of September 2006 there have already been 35 burglaries.

Chief Hestness agrees there should be more anti-crime awareness efforts, and said part of the solution will include hiring more officers to police the campus area.
Nice job, Andrew, and congratulations on getting some media exposure.

You can contact Andrew regarding gun training here.

[photo courtesy KARE 11 News]

UPDATE: Thanks to Andrew Rothman, here's a copy of the petition:


We, the undersigned students, staff, faculty and alumni of the University of Minnesota urge President Bruininks and the Board of Regents to abolish University policies that endanger all members of the University community.

Violence is exploding on and around the University. Gangs of thugs are attacking and viciously beating our fellow University community members. There are over 1,000 University students for every University police officer. The promise to add two officers per year is clearly insufficient.

In spite of these facts, and in spite of the clear evidence, presented by the FBI, that the single best way to defend against violent crime is to resist with a firearm, the University specifically bans students, staff and faculty from carrying these effective tools on campus, even when they have secured the necessary training, background checks and permit required by law.

For the thousands of us who walk, bike or bus to campus, these policies also endanger us as we come and go from campus through some of the worst neighborhoods in the city.

Minnesota permit holders are overwhelmingly law abiding, are 21 years of age or older, have been thoroughly trained and investigated, and have been found by their county sheriffs to have clean criminal, drug and mental health histories.

Recent experience clearly shows that the ban on legal carry does not keep the criminals away from us, but it does keep us helpless against them.

We strongly urge the University to end these dangerous and immoral restrictions on self-defense.