Kansas professors worry about ramifications of concealed carry o - KCTV5

Kansas professors worry about ramifications of concealed carry on campus

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Concealed carry on college campuses across the state of Kansas has been a reality now for about three months. (KCTV5) Concealed carry on college campuses across the state of Kansas has been a reality now for about three months. (KCTV5)
LAWRENCE, KS (KCTV) -

Concealed carry on college campuses across the state of Kansas has been a reality now for about three months.

The Kansas Personal and Family Protection Act took effect July 1, and, while there’ve been no major incidents, the fear is still very real. The controversial law had students jumping to other schools and even staff looking elsewhere for a job.

“It's so absurd. The absurdities of this, you just can't make it up,” Kevin Willmott said.

Willmott has been at the University of Kansas for more than 20 years teaching in the film department. 

Willmott, who wrote the Spike Lee film Chi-Raq about the gun violence in Chicago, made headlines again when he started wearing a bulletproof vest to class.  And he’s still wearing it, every day.

“To me, it's kind of the new normal is what I'm trying to get across. It's like usually, I would come in with my books and maybe a laptop, but now, the new normal is books, laptop and bulletproof vest,” Willmott said.

Willmott says he thinks what this boiled down to was legislators making decisions not based on what’s best for students in Kansas but what’s best for the National Rifle Association.

“I think they think that guns everywhere it's just the way we should live. I think they think that makes us safer," Willmott said.

Susan Lindhal recently retired from Kansas City, KS Community College.

“We have implored the legislatures to keep guns out of our school ... let us be about learning. Let us deliver our academic mission which is without guns on campus,” she said just before the law went into effect.

Lindhal was worried about the ramifications of concealed carry from day one -- ramifications that went beyond potential classroom danger, some that started months before the law took effect.

“Our insurance carrier dropped us because they no longer want to ensure us because we can no longer have that sign up on the door saying no guns on campus. So there's not that assurance that this is a safe place,” Lindhal said.

University of Kansas sports fans have already seen metal detectors go in at Memorial Stadium, and you can expect the same at Allen Fieldhouse from now on.

Incidents, since the law passed, have been few and far between but did include the discovery of a loaded gun left in the bathroom of Wescoe Hall two weeks after classes started.

Willmott worries about the potential for an uptick in suicide, young people dealing with bad breakups or bad grades or even a bad reaction to dealing with difficult classroom topics. But, he says more than anything, he worries about accidents.

“That's the thing that really makes me afraid for what could happen is someone drops her book bag ... you know someone kicks someone's book bag,” he said.

More than 30 two- and four-year colleges in the state of Kansas now allow concealed handguns on campus.

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