Arkansas Murder/Suicide by Faculty Member Underscores How Deeply Problematic Campus Carry is for College Environments
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
(Croton Falls, NY) – The Campaign to Keep Guns off Campus issued the following statement in connection with the tragic murder/suicide of the Wilbanks’ family and calls for the defeat of House Bill 1077 (Faculty Carry):
“We want to first extend our deepest condolences to the Wilbanks’ family and also to the University of Arkansas at Little Rock (UALR) community for this tragic loss of life that took place last Friday in Maumelle.
So now we know: Professor James Wilbanks, Assistant Professor of Management at the College of Business, University of Arkansas-Little Rock, was the shooter. On Friday, February 20th, he shot his wife, his sister, his two dogs, and himself. He also set his house on fire. Professor Wilbanks, a popular teacher, tragically exposes, once again, the popular myth of the “good guy with a gun.”
The two photographs below of Professor Wilbanks are from his Instagram account where they show him on the left, firing a M249 Squad Automatic Weapon (SAW, for short) in front of a backdrop advertising The Vegas Machine Gun Experience (part of Discount Firearms – Las Vegas), while on the right, Professor Wilbanks is wielding an AK-47 type assault rifle at a shooting range.
In light of Arkansas Representative Charlie Collins’ introduction of HB1077, a bill that would allow concealed-carry weapons for faculty and staff on college campuses, Professor Wilbanks’ murder-suicide underscores again how deeply problematic campus-carry really is. Without the proper, long-term training in firearms and what security professionals call “de-escalation” and “judgment” instruction, we are entrusting the safety of our loved ones to amateurs. And we are creating the conditions for an unnecessary tragedy to visit Arkansas’ campuses. With Professor Wilbanks’ murder-suicide and arson, Arkansas residents should have all of the evidence that they need to demonstrate that faculty are not infallible heroes and that concealed-carry on Arkansas’ campuses only increases the likelihood of accidents, robberies, and murders.
Arkansas college and university campuses, whose police officers have an unblemished record of safety when it comes to mass shootings, deserve better than giving untrained amateurs, who are potentially unstable, the role of security enforcement. Consequently, Arkansas college administrators should now clearly see campus-carry as a distinct liability for campus communities.
A far better investment of our time and money lies in the cultivation of preventive measures, from developing an increased security presence to psychological monitoring and counseling to early identification of troubled students, faculty, or staff. We call on House members to vote no on HB 1077″.
The Campaign to Keep Guns off Campus Issues Statement in Opposition to Texas SB 11/HB 937, Which Would Force Loaded, Concealed Guns Onto Public University and Community College Campuses
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
(Austin, Texas) – Tomorrow morning (9am), the Texas Senate State Affairs Committee will hold a hearing on SB 11, a bill sponsored by Sen. Brian Birdwell (R), Granbury, to allow loaded, concealed handguns on college campuses.
The Campaign to Keep Guns off Campus issued the following statement in connection with SB 11 and tomorrow’s hearing before the State Affairs Committee:
“We strongly oppose Senator Birdwell’s legislation (SB 11), which would change current law and allow loaded, concealed handguns to be carried in most places on Texas’s public university and community college campuses including classrooms, libraries, and cafeterias. Currently, Texas law forbids the carrying of concealed weapons on campus grounds and buildings (excluding parking lots).
We believe allowing non-law enforcement personnel to carry loaded, concealed handguns on campus will only create an unsafe and volatile environment for all Texans.
College campuses are generally safe environments. In fact, in Texas, according to 2013 Clery Act and 2013 FBI Uniform Data Reports, on campus crime rates for the four major categories are dramatically lower than off-campus incidents. Our colleges and universities should be havens for learning, where students, faculty, staff and visitors should not need to worry about the threat of gun violence on their campuses. The campus environment should be one where additional risks are not created, such as adding loaded, concealed handguns that can be carried by students, faculty and staff.Read More»
Texas Senate Bill 11 (Sen. Birdwell) and House Bill 937 (Rep. Fletcher) are before the state legislature. This legislation would expand the carrying of loaded, concealed handguns on campus to buildings, libraries, and other places once restricted.
We believe that Texas’ higher education officials and campus police are most qualified to determine the safety requirements for their campuses. Contact Governor Abbott and your state legislators now to tell them to keep guns off campus >>
Recently, UT System Chancellor and four-star admiral William McRaven stated in opposition to the bills, “There is great concern that the presence of handguns, even if limited to licensed individuals age 21 or older” will make campuses “less-safe.”
On February 1st, the Texas Association of College and University Police Administrators spoke out against the bill, noting that there are “too many uncertainties” of college life.
If you believe, like we do, that our colleges should be places of learning, not for carrying weapons, please contact the Governor and your State Legislators, TODAY. Tell them that you don’t want guns on campus.
With your help in 2013, we were able to defeat guns on campus in Montana with a veto by Governor Bullock. On Thursday, February 5th, the Montana State Senate narrowly passed legislation that would virtually strip the Board of Regents’ authority to regulate loaded, concealed weapons on college campuses. The bill has moved to the House. Please Contact your State Housemember today to oppose SB 143.
If you believe, like we do, that our colleges should be places of learning, not for carrying weapons, please contact your State Housemember, TODAY. Tell the State Senate that you don’t want guns on campus and that the Board of Regents should determine school safety issues.
This past Tuesday in Tallahassee, the Criminal Justice Subcommittee heard testimony on HB 4005 and voted 8-4 to move the guns on campus bill forward despite strong opposition from student leaders, faculty, administrators, professional associations, parents and concerned citizens. The bill is now before the Higher Education & Workforce Subcommittee and could be heard as early as the week of February 2nd.
During the hearing one member of the subcommittee in favor of forcing loaded, concealed handguns on campus made this outrageous comment:
“I heard about expanded drug and alcohol abuse on campuses and out-of-control parties. Folks, if you’re living in that kind of environment, you better carry a firearm because you could get raped, beaten or worse.” Rep. Dennis Baxley
This is the type of thinking that we are up against! Click here to send a message to your legislators.
The vast majority of Florida’s students and faculty don’t want guns in their classrooms or other buildings on campus. We can defeat H.B. 4005 / S.B. 176, but will need your help to fight the powerful and well-resourced Florida gun lobby.
Please take action today. Thank you.