The president of the University of Charleston joins 300 other college and university presidents nationwide in calling on Congress to enact tighter restrictions on guns in the United States. Joining UC President Ed Welch in adding their names to the open letter were Davis & Elkins Chancellor Michael Mihaylo and Bethany College President Scott Miller.
“Can we find some middle ground to devlop policies and practices that protect the right individuals to have and use guns and limit the capacity of what those weapons might do,” Welch said during a discussion of the subject on MetroNews Talkline.
Welch said he realizes the many facets of the argument and admits he’s no constitutional scholar. He says in reading Constitution he believes the thinking of the founding fathers in 1787 could not have concluded the opportunity for arms today.
“I’ve got to believe the term ‘arms” referred to every type of weaponry available,” said Welch. “Now we have weaponry which far surpasses what was available in 1787.”
Welch makes the argument the Second Amendment was put into place right after the revolution and crafters of the Amendment were concerned about a government takeover. He says if you apply that standard today, it would be arguable citizens should have access to missiles and nuclear weapons. He agrees such a notion is preposterous, but also connects to limits on other weaponry available to the public.
“Seems to me we need to redefine or update what we mean by that amendment,” Welch said.
The president’s comments come at a time when the debate over the second amendment is at a fevered pitch. Vice-President Joe Biden is expected to deliver his task force’s conclusions about ways to end gun violence to President Barrack Obama on Tuesday.
Welch says guns are not allowed on the University of Charleston campus and even security are limited to one armed person on duty.