Okay, I guess I'll be the one to ask it. It feels like the elephant in the room, or the emperor's new clothes. Being both naive, and a glutton for punishment, I guess I'll be the one to point and ask: Will the guns-on-campus bill, if passed into law, impact collegiate athletics in Idaho? Notice that I'm not presupposing a negative impact, merely an impact of some kind. But, looking at Colorado and Utah, maybe even that's a risky assumption.
Knowing full well that this is likely to be a touchy issue, let me make a plea for civil discussion, not name calling, nor finger pointing, nor a churros-tossing food fight.
Also, let me add, before some of you peg me as an activist with a (pro- or anti-) 2nd Amendment agenda, that I'm not. I've done my military service time overseas. My "agenda" for this post is discourse on this issue from a sports perspective.
So, I have a couple of questions regarding the passing of this bill (Senate Bill 1254) into law for my fellow Boise State Bronco OBNUG sports enthusiasts (assuming it passes the house and doesn't get vetoed).
- Will it impact recruiting from the student athlete's perspective? If so, how?
- Will it impact recruiting, from the student athlete's parent's perspective? If so, how?
- Will it impact the tailgating experience (as I understand it, concealed weapons will be allowed in the parking lots, but not in the stadium itself). If so, how will the tailgating experience be impacted? Subquestion: Is legalizing the carrying of firearms, concealed or otherwise, at tailgating events where there are large crowds of family members, alcohol is consumed, emotions can be high, and where impulse control is sometimes questionable, really a good idea? In the spirit of transparency, this last inquiry qualifies as a blatantly leading question and would probably be tossed out in a court of law, though I'm not an attorney so I don't know for sure.
- Will it impact attendance at games at Bronco Stadium, the Taco Bell Arena, or other sports venues around the state? If so, how?
- Finally, what is likely to be the long-term revenue impact, if any, on Idaho's public colleges and universities? (Note: Private colleges appear to be exempt from the provisions of this bill for some reason)
Again, I know this is an emotional can of worms I'm popping the lid off of, so I've tried to (mostly) be neutral in my questions or to be at least transparent where I have an opinion. Civil responses only, please. I'd urge you, as I have done, to write your response, walk away from it for 30 minutes, then to come back and see if what you wrote still seems both reasonable and civil before you hit the "send" button. Actually, I waited more than 24 hours and that period of enforced reflection was still probably too short since you've clearly read what I have foolishly chosen to post. I do honestly, after all, want to hear what my thoughtful fellow OBNUGies have to say on this issue.