Kent State college in Ohio is no stranger to on campus crimes including the shooting of students by Ohio National Guard members in 1970 sparking the famous song written by Crosby Stills Nash & Young ‘4 Dead in Ohio’.
Wednesday night, police were alerted to more shots fired. This time a single shot, fired by Quavaugntay Tyler, 24 year old freshman student of Kent State, shot himself in the hand during a domestic dispute. Tyler shot himself then went to a residence hall to ask a friend to help him hide the gun before going to the hospital. Tyler claimed he was a victim of a robbery before he was taken into custody.
The recent shooting at Kent State has brought into spotlight a slowly climbing statistic of shootings and other crimes on college campuses. Last weekend campus police at Columbus State University in Georgia fatally shot a man, Zikarious Jaquan Flint, after chasing him on foot. Flint was not a student at the university and his actions on campus have not yet been reported with the exception of witnesses seeing Flint loading a gun.
The Huffington Post reports there were 27 shootings on or near college campuses in 2013. These 27 shootings were documented shootings by local media outlets. This number does not include unreported shootings. Many on campus shootings, like at Kent State, are not reported on by national media outlets and this issue, a growing problem for colleges across the country, is becoming a major concern for on campus police officers.
Many of shootings, such as the Kent State shooting, are calculated. Only two of the 27 shootings were classified as ‘active shooters’, where the gunman fires his weapon in an indiscriminate manner attempting to hit as many people as possible in a confined area.
States are starting to debate whether to lift bans of guns on campuses. In 2012 Colorado Supreme Court declared that college students are allowed to carry firearms on campus. Coloradans can vote to enact this into law through a ballot initiative this year. Surveys find that Americans are largely split on the issue of guns on campus, highlighting that in 15 Midwestern states 4 or 5 would prefer guns not be on campus.
The gun debate rages on in one capacity or another. Many believing that more guns allow for more injury, while others debate that the presence of more guns will prevent injury by deterring shooters from committing their crimes. Many conclude that an additional firearm would not have prevented this, most recent Kent State shooting.