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Guns on Campus: Support your protection vs Firearms over students?

Support your protection

By Matthew Renton, '20

|Cartoon: Tabitha Geiger, guest artist

After several recent high-profile mass-shootings in this country, the gun debate has intensified, especially with reference to the legality of the concealed carry of firearms on campuses. Currently, students who possess an LTC (License to Carry, formerly a Concealed Carry License) are legally allowed to carry concealed firearms on TAMUG property. Many students disagree with this policy; however, I’d like to explain why I continue to support the policy.

First of all, I’d like to suggest that if you feel threatened by guns on campus, maybe instead of trying to change the policy for other students, you should carry a gun yourself. Have you ever tried to get a professor to change a policy in their class? It’s a lot harder than just preparing for the class in the first place. Now try the same thing with guns, but with the weight of university, local, and state bureaucracy behind it. No really, go ahead; I’ll wait.

If you are scared that a fellow student might snap one day and just open fire on everybody or if you’re a faculty member who thinks a student may seek to get revenge on you for failing them, you have an obligation to protect yourself with as much force as is required to quell the situation. That means meeting force with equal or greater strength i.e. discharging a firearm if your life or the life of another is in immediate danger.

Second of all, if you feel threatened by guns on campus but believe that guns are an immoral solution, might I ask how you plan to respond to an active shooter? You can try to talk the shooter out of, you know, shooting, but once they’ve decided to open fire, there’s a slim chance of that actually working. If somebody intends to come to campus and open fire on students and faculty, you can either wait until they’ve run out of ammunition or wait for security to step in and end the problem with...wait for it...more guns.

And if you think that tighter security is a better option, guess again: every second that security doesn’t arrive on the scene and quell the situation is another second that a shooter has to open fire on another human being. If your moral positions get in the way of saving lives, you might want to rethink those moral positions, because they might not be as moral as they are a kind of virtue signaling.

Lastly, laws only exist insofar as they are enforced. Even if we are not allowed to carry guns on campus, that won’t stop guns from entering the campus. It doesn’t matter how much you increase the security around here; you’ll never prevent all crime, so why should we be prevented with the best tool to defend ourselves with?

It would be better for one person to enter with a gun knowing that the odds are good that dozens of students and faculty are armed at all times than for one person to sneak a gun onto the campus knowing that the odds are low that there is enough force to stop them before they can cause some serious damage. If you’ve ever been to a gun range, you’ll know that everybody there is polite because literally everybody in the building is carrying around something that can kill you.

The bottom line is that we are constantly looking to our institutions to protect us when in reality we have the power to protect ourselves. The word “empowerment” gets thrown around a lot, but few things are as empowering as the ability to protect yourself. Therefore, in the interest of empowerment and safety, the policy of allowing concealed firearms on campus should continue.

Firearms over students?

By Emely Cruz, '22

|Cartoon: Tabitha Geiger, guest artist

Will guns make us safer? Guns are an uncontrollable variable with the capability to injure and take lives. Despite this known fact we are allowing weapon to easily be placed in the hands of college students. The result is an outrageous amount of incidents on college campuses across the United States. As students of these communities it is our responsibility to prevent the level of tragedy taking over our country.

Many say that guns are not the problem that they are just objects. If this is true than the problem must be those allowed to carry and gain access to weapons. It is also well known that college students are in possibly the most vulnerable mental state in their lives. Academically these students already have a large pile of stress, throw in relationships, family and jobs and you have a person ready to fall apart. The Association for University and College Counseling Directors took note of the main concerns of college students. The AUCCCD noted that the main ones came out to be “Anxiety (48.2%), followed by stress (39.1%), depression (34.5%), suicidal ideation (25.2%), specific relationship concerns (22.9%), family concerns (21.2%), interpersonal functioning problems (18.8%), sleep problems (15.8%), and loneliness / social isolation (15.5%)”. This goes to show that college students are not in the correct mindset to have or be near fire arms.

With these statistics in mind, I believe it is important to understand that this is not simply about guns but about their effects in our school environment. For example last year there was an incident at Texas Tech where a police officer was shot and killed as a result. I spoke to Ronnie Figueroa a student at Texas Tech who was a block away from the location of the active shooter. When asked how he felt being so close he stated “ I wasn’t scared just a little anxious ,but I was confident in the police.” He went on to explain that “[His] perspective changed when [he] found out the shooter managed to kill an officer”. He explained that he believed he had to be more aware from there on while walking through his campus. He also explained that “ a taser or pepper spray may be useful on campus but guns are excessive”. He said he feels this way because as shown in the incident their is to much unknown when it comes to guns.

Also, many would agree that a weapon is not necessary on a college campus. In truth college is supposed to be a gateway to finding yourself before working in the real world. For so long the culture of college has been inviting and exciting. By allowing weapons to enter we are ruining this culture. The last thing students need is to be worrying about is if someone has a weapon in the classroom or whether that person knows how to handle the weapon. A study conducted by Brinker in 2008 showed that “approximately 80% of female students and 65% of male students opposed concealed guns on campus”. They went on to explain that they simply did not feel safe with guns on campus.

Vladimir Lenin once said that “One man with a gun can control 100 without one”. Which further proves that guns are not fit for campuses. This is because no one should feel superior or inferior to anyone in a setting meant for learning.