Allowing Guns on Campus Will Prevent Shootings, Rape
A graduate student leaving an evening class walks along the poorly lit sidewalk to the parking lot—it is a long, cold walk in the pitch-black night, and the student grows wary as shadows begin lurking in the distance. Suddenly, someone jumps out in front of the student, immediately threatening her with force. Before the student can react, she is raped and robbed. This is a very scary scenario, and one that happens on the SCSU campus every year. It seems like every week we get an e-mail citing another attack on students somewhere on or near campus.
However, all of these attacks could be prevented if we allow students to carry guns as a means of self-defense. Although safety is my biggest concern, there are other arguments that point to this solution as well. First, it is our Second Amendment right to bear arms. Although debates have gone on about how it should be interpreted, I believe it means that if law abiding, trained and eligible citizens would like to carry a gun with them in self-defense, they should be able to. Right now, that does not include campus.
“The law, as it stands now, does not prohibit carry on campus,” said Terence McCloskey, SCSU campus leader for Students for Concealed Carry on Campus (SCCC). “It allows universities to establish rules restricting carry on campus by students and staff. ” According to the March 2007 Safety and Security bulletin in section 2. 1, “Alcoholic beverages, non-regulated drugs, explosives, guns and ammunition are not permitted on SCSU property. ” This rule, I believe, is a violation of my Second Amendment rights.
The second reason guns should be allowed is because it will give students, such as the one in the scenario, a sense of security and comfort when they are in a normally uncomfortable situation or area. The opposition would say that although the person with the gun is comfortable, it makes others around that person uncomfortable or afraid to speak up in class. Well, let me ask you this: How often do you feel uncomfortable or scared about someone near you having a gun when you go to a movie theater? Probably not too often.
However, McCloskey said that 1 percent of Minnesotans have a permit to carry guns. “That means that every time they go to a movie theater with around 200 people inside, they are sitting with two people that are carrying a gun,” McCloskey said. There are people all around us that have guns, and it seems to be handled just fine. After all, the 1 percent that do carry guns have to meet certain requirements—guns are not handed out to just anyone. Minnesota law requires everyone to have a permit in order to own a handgun, and to obtain one you must be 21 years of age, be a U. S. citizen, have training in the safe use of a pistol, not be a felon, not have a domestic violence offense in the last 10 years, not be a person convicted of stalking, as well as many other restrictions. You can find these laws on the State of Minnesota Web site. The final reason that guns should be allowed to be carried by students who obtain a permit is that it could prevent a tragic shooting like the one at Virginia Tech a couple of years ago. “Our best and our brightest are in an unprotected environment and are essentially being led to the slaughter,” said Keith Moum in an article in the Missourian.
“It’s not as graphic as that, but it clearly shows that there is an element out there that has targeted college students. ” If guns had been allowed on that campus, that tragedy may have been least minimized. So, in order to make the SCSU campus and other campuses nationwide a safe, comfortable environment for everyone, we need to allow the ability to carry a gun on campus. Not only will it make a student carrying a gun feel safe, it can prevent a tragic shooting, a robbery, or a rape. It is our right. Let us exercise it.