BY MEGAN MCDONALD
Published January 29, 2013
On Jan. 22, four people were injured during a shooting on the Lone Star College campus in Houston, Texas. This comes in the wake of several other school shootings, including the tragic Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre. In the days following violent shootings across the country, two solutions have been proposed by both gun-control and gun-rights advocates that include reducing and increasing access to these weapons, respectively. The latter is a dangerous response advocated by some supporters of gun rights and may even lead to more destruction. While some legislators are pushing for an increased presence of guns on our campus, they’re not considering the possible repercussions of arming the student body. Proposed legislation in Texas would allow students to carry concealed weapons on campus, but would this really eradicate the problem? Or would it make it worse?
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After the shooting at Lone Star College, Texas lawmakers are pushing the Campus Personal Protection Act, a bill that allows concealed weapons on college campuses. The argument behind this proposal is if more of the “good guys” are armed, then civilians can protect themselves and prevent tragic incidents. The Michigan legislature also had this idea back in December, but thankfully, Gov. Rick Snyder vetoed the bill. In fact, Snyder related his opposition toward the bill back to his own days as a resident adviser at the University of Michigan, when a student began firing a shotgun, killing a fellow resident adviser and a student on Good Friday in 1981.
Fighting fire with fire only makes the issue worse. If students on our campus were armed, then I would feel more at risk, not safer. Yes, it’s true that those who will have a concealed weapon will have extensive training, but when thrown into dangerous situations people can be impulsive and extremely reckless, especially college students. Take, for example, the shooter at Lone Star College who was set off by someone bumping into him.
Adding guns to a college campus wouldn’t increase the feeling of safety — it would do the opposite. According to a recent study from the University of Toledo, nine out of 10 faculty members believed it would be a bad idea to allow concealed weapons on a college campus. The University of Toledo sent questionnaires to 1,125 faculty members at 15 randomly selected state universities. 97 percent of faculty members at Kent State, the University of Toledo and Ohio University felt safe on campus, 94 percent opposed concealed-carry and 82 percent said they would feel less safe if faculty, students and visitors were allowed to carry guns.
Our current firearm regulation system is not perfect and, as exemplified in countless other shootings since Columbine, gun control is a complex issue. The last thing schools need is an additional threat to their safety. If legislators want to look for a solution, they should take a look at the accessibility of guns. Instead of trying to add more guns to the equation, they should be increasing safety measures and taking steps to ensure guns don’t fall into the wrong hands.
Megan McDonald is an LSA junior.