The Huffington Post Features an Op-Ed by Dean Victor Schwartz and Drs. Jerald Kay and Paul Appelbaum on the Dangers of Firearms on Campus
(The Huffington Post) Several states are currently dealing with well-organized efforts to loosen regulations prohibiting or limiting the ability to carry firearms on college campuses. The University of Colorado is now being sued by the group Students for Concealed Carry on Campus over the institution’s right to enact a campus-wide ban on concealed weapons. In Texas, the passage of pending legislation that would allow guns at colleges and universities is disconcerting. Noting that there are already far too many illegal weapons on campus, Gov. Rick Perry has said “I want there to be legal guns on campus. I think it makes sense – and all the data supports – that if law-abiding, well-trained, ‘backgrounded’ individuals have a weapon, there will be less crime.”
As longtime college health professionals, physicians and researchers, we politely but vehemently disagree. More students carrying guns at colleges and universities will lead to significantly more deaths than would be prevented by attempts to stop what are very rare mass attacks or even homicides.
In fact, the rate of homicide on college campuses over the past 15 years is one per million students. Yet, consider that the rate of suicide among college students is already 100 times the rate of homicides. Each year, some 10% to 15% of young men and women on campus seriously think about suicide and approximately 1 % to 3% of them will make a suicide attempt. Read full article on The Huffington Post…
Dr. Victor Schwartz is University Dean of Students at Yeshiva University and associate professor of clinical psychiatry at YU’s Albert Einstein College of Medicine. Dr. Jerald Kay is professor and chair of the Department of Psychiatry at Wright State University’s Boonshoft School of Medicine. Dr. Paul Appelbaum is the Elizabeth K. Dollard Professor of Psychiatry, Medicine, and Law and director of the Division of Law, Ethics and Psychiatry at the Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons.
Drs. Schwartz and Kay are the editors of Mental Health Care in the College Community(Wiley-Blackwell).