LARIMER COUNTY, COLORADO — Who knows what the heck Daniel King, 49, was thinking when he walked into the Morgan Library of Colorado State University with a replica gun modified to look real. Colorado State University Police wasted absolutely no time tracking him down to the table he was sitting and arrested him at gunpoint.
This wasn’t an issue as to whether CSU’s existing gun policies work (they don’t, but we’ll get into that later) — this was an issue of an idiot brandishing an object “in a manner to cause a person to reasonably believe that the article is a deadly weapon” or, as charges by CSUPD allege, indicating he was armed “in a public place in a manner calculated to alarm.”
However, it has brought on a much-needed discussion about that.
According to an affadavit released through the Coloradoan, King believed no one would believe the gun was functional because the upper slide had been removed. He was charged with a Class 2 misdemeanor.
Larimer County authorities confirmed that King does not appear to have a record of criminal involvement in that county, though they are investigating to ensure this issue is properly resolved.
A lot of students, following the incident, took to social media to discuss their feelings — specifically as it relates to CSU’s existing weapons policies.
Clearly stated in CSU’s policies and guidelines is a requirement that concealed carriers may only reveal their firearm with the express intention of defending themselves or another and must always maintain their concealed carry weapons permit on-hand.
CSU also greatly restricts the possession of weapons – including firearms – in the residence or dining hall areas. This includes permitted concealed carriers.
Does CSU’s gun policy work? Is this the sort of event that will bring the type of discussion sorely needed? Firearms restrictions don’t affect criminals and the extremely daft, they only affect law-abiding citizens whom already have a legal right to carry a concealed firearm.
This issue ties closely with another story we covered discussing a professor who is suing the University of Missouri over unconstitutional infringements of his 2nd Amendment right to maintain a firearm on his person or vehicle.
No statement from King has emerged as to whether there was any ulterior or political motive connected to his brandishing of a fake gun. Certainly, it appears from the initial proceedings that he just appeared to be too sorely incompetent to understand how others would interpret his actions.
CSU is not Mizzou. Colorado is not Missouri. But beyond that looms a discussion that needs to be had — now.
An unconstitutional limit placed on legal adults licensed to carry a firearm is ridiculous. What is the point of having a concealed carry permit if arbitrary limits are placed on where that carriage may take place? There is room to responsibly discuss this issue and institutes of higher learning are certainly a great place to start. Imagine the incredulity of telling the nation’s future of innovation and education that they are not allowed a simple liberty afforded to every other concealed carry permit holder in their state? Imagine going to work or class knowing you don’t have the legal ability to defend your life?
That is precisely what policies such as CSU’s reinforce. If a man can walk into a library with a fake gun, a man can walk into a library with a real one. The core question is — why not allow those students, employees, and faculty the ability to defend themselves?