As you’ve probably already heard, State Rep. Charlie Collins’s “Campus Carry” bill was narrowly defeated yesterday in the House Education Committee.
The meeting took nearly 3 hours, much of it filled with ranting testimonies of anti-gun zealots and cautious-to-a-fault campus bureaucrats (sometimes it’s hard to tell the difference between the two).
One brief exchange, however, caught my attention.
That exchange occurred between state Rep. Nate Bell and UALR Chancellor Joel Anderson, who spoke against the “Campus Carry” bill.
It can be found around the 2 hr. and 33 minute mark here.
Long-time readers of our blog might remember a June 2013 post regarding helpful safety tips from UALR’s Department of Public Safety for those worried about crime on campus.
Basically, “public safety” bureaucrat Sharon Houlette emailed students and instructed them to “glance or nod” at others if they found themselves in a sketchy situation. According to Houlette, these actions would “help you show anyone who might think that you are not paying attention” that “you are aware of their presence.”
Houlette also recommended attendance at a “crime prevention workshop” — where, presumably, you too can learn how to glance and nod more intimidatingly.
Bell asked Anderson about the University’s safety tips Thursday, asking if the “glance or nod” policy was still the University’s advice to students who thought they might be faced with potential danger.
That’s not the policy of the University of Arkansas at Little Rock; I can’t speak to that beyond that. What I would say in response is that our campus has a safety record that is on par with Fayetteville, Jonesboro, UCA and is often better in the FBI statistics year after year. We’ve not had anyone killed on the campus from a gun in 40 years. We had one shooting 7 or 8 years ago, and that was an off-campus circumstance that was moved to a parking lot. Nobody was killed in that case.
Bell asked again:
But you’re not aware of any such policy of nodding?
No, no. I don’t know where that would’ve been picked up.
The story, of course, was “picked up” directly from the UALR Department of Public Safety! You’d think Anderson would have some knowledge of what goes on in his own campus.
Also, contra Anderson, just because nobody has been murdered on campus in 40 years doesn’t mean there isn’t room for improvement.
In the most recent three years that crime statistics for UALR were compiled (from 2011 to 2013), UALR has had four robberies, 25 burglaries and 16 motor vehicle thefts.
I guess Anderson would just tell those victims to glance and nod harder next time, but that would mean he’d have to know what’s happening on his campus.