Cameron Campus Ministry (CCM), an ecumenical faith-based organization of cooperating area churches, has for 53 years focused on providing safe and secure programming and social witness opportunities for all Cameron University students, faculty, staff, and volunteers. CCM’s goal has always been to nurture intellectual and spiritual growth.
It is with that goal in mind that the CCM Board of Directors on Saturday, February 20, 2021, voted to oppose legislation pending in the Oklahoma State Senate that will permit any person with a valid handgun license to carry a firearm into or upon any public college, public university, or public technology center school property, or building in which the person is authorized to be.
According to Dr. James Heflin, Chair of the CCM Board of Directors and Associate Professor, Cameron Department of Communications: “The Cameron Campus Ministry Board of Directors is concerned that the enactment of this or similar legislation, would be a serious challenge to the safety of the student body, faculty, and staff. An additional concern is that high school graduates searching for a college to attend, high school students concurrently enrolled in higher education classes, current faculty considering continuing to teach at Cameron, new applicants for teaching positions at Cameron, and CU staff would make plans to enroll or work elsewhere over safety concerns.”
CCM is known in Southwest Oklahoma for its annual Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday celebration and additional events through the year grounded upon the wisdom and leadership of Dr. King. In November 1963, Martin Luther King Jr., after the assassination of President Kennedy by gunfire, is reported to have said: "By our readiness to allow arms to be purchased at will and fired at whim, by allowing our movie and television screens to teach our children that the hero is one who masters the art of shooting and the technique of killing, by allowing all these developments, we have created an atmosphere in which violence and hatred have become popular pastimes.”
For those reasons, we urge our legislative delegation to strongly oppose this legislation.