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”.
ABOUT THE CAMPAIGN TO KEEP GUNS OFF CAMPUS
The Campaign to Keep Guns off Campus was founded in 2008 to urge colleges and universities to band together to oppose the gun lobby’s agenda to change state laws and force colleges to accept concealed handguns on campuses. To date, the American Association of State Colleges and Universities (AASCU) and more than 415 colleges and universities in 42 states have joined the Campaign. Follow us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/KeepGunsoffCampus or on Twitter at @KeepGunsoffCamp
Contact: Andy Pelosi: firstname.lastname@example.org (914) 629-6726
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