Will more guns on campus make safer?

| May 29, 2015 | Insurance Law

Guns are a contentious issue. Across the border from Louisiana in Texas, the legislature has been debating the issue of allowing concealed handguns in the classrooms of the state’s college campuses. The House passed legislation that would stop public colleges and universities from creating rules that would ban guns.

Proponents argue this would make campuses safer in the event of a shooter, allowing students to fight back. For insurance companies, however, the issue is one of liability, costs associated with any claim, and having to pay for the unintended deaths of bystanders killed by other bystanders. 

The difficulty with guns in the civilian population is that most individuals have little or no appropriate training that prepares them to deal with the often chaotic conditions that result from an active shooter incident.

Police and other law enforcement personnel, who are specially trained to handle firearms and may practice situations like an active shooter in a school setting still have difficulty reacting properly under such circumstances.

The Austin campus was the scene of one of the most infamous school shootings, when Charles Whitman killed 16 people in 1966, shooting from the school’s iconic clock tower with a high-powered rifle.

For insurers, any claim that someone’s life could have been saved by some other person having a gun is unlikely to survive in court, given the speculative nature of the assertion. On the other hand, ballistic evidence found in a body of someone inadvertently killed by another student attempting to intervene in the shooting would be anything but speculative.

Source: insurancejournal.com, “Bill Allows Concealed Handguns on Texas College Campus,” Lauren Etter, May 27, 2015