Boise State Professor Pens NYT Op-Ed Satirically Critical of Idaho's SB 1254 Allowing Guns on Campus


Senate Bill 1254 in Idaho will allow students to carry concealed weapons on the state's public college campuses, so one professor wondered if/when he may open fire on a student.

In an op-ed for the New York Times, Boise State University biology professor Greg Hampikian posed the question "When may I shoot a student?" A satirical piece, Hampikian also questioned why the senate would pass such a bill when students, the board of education and the police department all stood in opposition.

"I assume that if a student shoots first, I am allowed to empty my clip; but given the velocity of firearms, and my aging reflexes, I'd like to be proactive," Hampikian wrote. "For example, if I am working out a long equation on the board and several students try to correct me using their laser sights, am I allowed to fire a warning shot?"

According to the Associated Press, hundreds of people gathered with protest signs at the Idaho Statehouse to voice their opinions on SB 1254.

"I consider myself a responsible gun owner," Ron Enright, a retired statesman and an avid hunter, told the AP. "I believe guns have their place, but I don't think campus is one of them."

The bill now allows people with a concealed carry permit to carry firearms as long as they are reasonably kept out of sight. Enright said that people with such a permit are trained, but he does not think that training could ever prepare someone for a situation in which to use a gun.

"I don't think people with only eight hours of training -who I consider to be novice gun owners - would be able to confront someone who's terrorizing a school," he said.

Nick Ferronato, a BSU junior, disagreed. A part of a counter-protest, he said gun owners will take the responsibility seriously.

"People who take the responsibility to get concealed weapons permit train constantly," Ferronato told the AP. "They're lovers of shooting and they go out and shoot a lot. They take that responsibility very seriously."

A veteran who served in the military in Iraq, Andrew Cruz, a student at BSU, said criminals would be less likely to target a campus that allowed its inhabitants to carry concealed weapons.

Speaking with the Huffington Post, Hampikian said he takes issue with inviting firearms into a campus located in a metropolitan city in the middle of a mostly rural state.

"This has everything to do with a certain view of the Second Amendment and a narrowing view of a lobbying organization called the NRA. There was no safety threat on campus. There was no incident that triggered this," he said. "A lot of people in Idaho love their guns. It's just a natural part of love that's still at the frontier. But Boise, is a metropolitan city. There aren't any grizzlies here, the only reason you would need a gun here is to kill someone."

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