Letter to the Editor: Students deserve same rights on campus as they do at home


I am writing in response to the article about HB 1261 printed in The Collegian issue February 27. First I want to correct some of the things that were wrong in the article, to begin with in South Dakota you must be 21 years old to purchase a pistol or the ammunition for a pistol. However you need to be only 18 years old to get a conceal and carry permit. The article also asked the question of which state’s laws we would follow. States that are near each other grant those states what is called reciprocity, this allows that laws made in one state such as the conceal and carry permit, are legal in the reciprocated states. So for our campus if this bill were to pass we would allow those people who are able to get their permits from their home state, carry weapons in our state school. So the only students that wouldn’t be the same as in-state students would be from Minnesota. In all respects this law would only make what already occurs legal. While I now live off campus I know that many of my friends who still do live on campus have guns in their vehicles despite existing laws. Everyone is worried about the increase of people carrying guns to class, personally I have no motivation to bring a pistol to class but I do believe that if my friends want to have a gun in their dorms they should be allowed. People opposed to HB 1261 are worried that this will give more motivation to someone who is planning on shooting up a classroom. I have no doubt in my mind that a person wishing to shoot up Rotunda D will pay little heed to whether or not guns are allowed on campus. When confronted with the argument of having an on campus gun storage area, open and monitored 24-hours a day, I wonder where the money will come from to pay the people working these hours. Couldn’t this money go to something better like solving the parking problem on campus. I feel that this house bill is a step in the right direction for the protection of our rights. As students are entering and progressing through college they are beginning their adult lives, and as such the students should be allowed their adult rights one being the possession of a firearm. With a slogan like Our Halls Your Home, students should be allowed the same rights on campus as they are at home.

Aaron Hoff