letter to editor

The incident that occurred in Wescoe is a scary reminder of the world that we live in today. Our campus community must recognize this incident for what it was: a criminal act.

Understandably, a lot of members of the community are concerned about what campus concealed carry will do to campus climate, especially in the light of what occurred in Charlottesville, Virginia. We must remember the facts of this incident, before rushing to condemn campus concealed carry.

An armed criminal left a stolen firearm, from Olathe, in Wescoe Hall. However, this criminal action was illegal before campus concealed carry came into effect on July 1 and is still illegal after July 1.

Conflating a violation of the law as an indictment of campus concealed carry is a dramatic conflation of what took place. Until we are aware of all the facts from the criminal investigation, it would be hasty to rush to judgement and what this means relative to campus concealed carry.

Students and faculty should be praising the legislature for allowing them to carry a concealed weapon if they are eligible to do so. This incident shows that armed criminals are not afraid to carry stolen weapons on campus, and concealed carry allows law-abiding citizens the opportunity to protect themselves if they choose to do so.

The University of Kansas was right in how it handled this situation, by waiting until the Public Safety Office began investigating in order to properly respond, so as not to complicate the likely criminal investigation occurring in Olathe.

Chancellor Douglas Girod’s handling of this incident has been commendable. It is obvious that the situation was handled delicately in order to address the public's need for information but not to stoke fear or misinformation. It is a testament to Chancellor Girod’s leadership ability and his smooth transition into his new position.

—Wyatt Hendrickson is a junior from Olathe studying civil engineering.