Campus Shootings Continue to Raise Concern for Florida Campuses

Another campus shooting rampage took place Thursday,  at Umpqua Community College in Roseburg, Oregon.  

Roseburg, Oregon is a small city with a very low crime rate and Umpqua Community college campus has approximately 13,600 students.

Shooter, Chris Harper-Mercer, lined students up and asked them if they were Christian.  Regardless of the answers victims were still shot.

The fatal shooting left nine dead and it was determined by medical examiner that the shooter later committed suicide.

The community college has a total of one unarmed security officer present on campus as the community voted against guards being armed at Umpqua.  

Like many other shootings that have occurred throughout the United States just within this year, these senseless incidents that continuously occur leave many concerned about the safety of college campuses.  

Republican Sen. Matt Gaetz introduced an open-carry bill to the House Criminal Justice Subcommittee on Tuesday to allow citizens to carry firearms openly.  The bill was approved on an 8-4 vote.

Gaetz maintains that the proposal of such bill is a public safety measure regardless of the voters in opposition that allowing firearms in more places will bring about more problems.  

Another consideration by the state legislation is to allow college campuses to carry concealed weapons in the state of Florida.  

Florida A&M and Florida State presidents are both strongly against concealed weapons being carried on campus.

Professor Gina Kinchlow, principles of marketing professor at FAMU , says it is time our nation starts placing gun control laws into place in order to protect and control the academia environment.

“As a professor it is very concerning for me because we do have a movement going on where students at certain universities are now really actively demanding the right to bear arms on campus. Students don’t feel safe on college campuses anymore and that’s unfortunate. It is a sign of the times, and it is a sign that we need gun control laws in this country,” Kinchlow said.

State universities and other officials believe it is very important that campuses maintain the authority that allows universities to prohibit concealed firearms on campus.  

“I would imagine if the laws are passed that allow students to bear arms I would imagine we’re going to see a lot of people rethink careers as college professors on college campuses,” Kinchlow added.

Fourth-year economics student, Asia Johnson, feels like security can be heightened a little more in places such as the library or the cafeteria.

"I feel like the law enforcement on campus could be improved a bit but at the same time I feel  they are doing the best they can with the resources that they have," Johnson said.

Chief Terence Calloway of FAMU PD, along with the rest of the FAMU Department of Campus Safety and Security, are working diligently to ensure that the campus is secure and knowledgeable on what to do in the event of an active shooter.

“With our department, we’re doing a lot of things. One, we’re making sure we speak to our students, faculty and staff to let them know if they see something to go ahead and report it. The second thing we’ve put together is an active shooter video, and by far it is probably the best in the country and we’re working to get this video released in the next couple of days,” Calloway said. “We’re doing seminars with our students, we’re going in classrooms, we’re going to each section and doing active shooter training to let our students know we’re here for you.”

State university safety officials continue to implement safety procedures and technologies to ensure the protection of its students, faculty and staff.