Essay about Guns on Campus

Guns on College Campus Should guns be allowed on college campus? Kenton L. McGowen Abstract This paper will determine whether guns have a place on college, and school campuses. The conclusion that the paper reaches is that students who have guns will be tempted to use them, especially at universities and colleges that are full of drug use, stress, and anxiety. The mixture of guns into a formula like that is simply not conducive to a safe environment.
This paper will take evidence from experts, as well as state rulings to show the two sides of gun control in regards to school campuses in order to answer the question: Should guns be allowed on college campuses? The constitution of the United States guarantees our right to bear arms in order to defend ourselves, but where does the line fall where it is ok and not okay to carry weapons? The debate has shifted from restaurants, to stores, and now to schools.
It is recently that the question has come up, should college campus students be allowed to have guns? The question is a safety issue and mostly centers around a need for the preservation of life on these campuses, and whether or not the guns are absolutely necessary to have. It has been spurred on by the recent slew of school shootings that have hit areas of the country, most notably Virginia Tech in 2006. There are valid argumentative points to both sides, however.

As previously mentioned, the constitution of the United States guarantees the right to bear arms and also that no laws should be made abridging that freedom, so while some cry for safety and moderation, others simply say that it is unlawful to prevent guns from being anywhere at any time. Of course, it is unlawful as well to murder with those guns, and the penalties tied to that are seen as a deterrent in themselves to gun violence. The crimes committed with guns are already a violation of gun laws in themselves, so it is beneficial, in some thought to carry guns on campus to protect and deter against such crime.
This is especially true when you consider the amount of school shootings that occur on campus’s in modern times. That is where the question stems from in the first place. It is, however, conducive to gun violence to have guns around. Many of liberally biased media and their followers argue that guns have no place on college campuses. They dispute that these campuses are meant to be institutions of higher learning and not places to harbor fears of being shot by someone.
Someone who is going to commit a crime with a gun has no respect for gun laws to begin with (which say that you cannot commit a crime with a gun and therefore we cannot expect them to abide by societal norms and not commit crimes with guns). This is especially true on college campuses because campuses are meant to be learning institutes and thus guns do not have a place in them or are a necessity at them. Also, it is my opinion that fighting crime should not be dealt with by the average citizen and that that is why we have police that we pay taxes for.
The citizens should not have to engage in a shootout, when there are trained policemen to deal with that issue and that should be utilized in such situations. Society does not need to take it upon them to deal with a deranged minority, and should have their tax dollars utilized to do so, as it should be. Also, when you consider the low amount of shootings that do occur at schools nationally, it almost comes off as illogical to allow gun carry to happen on campuses when the need for them is miniscule.
An entire policy shift is not needed to deal with a deranged minority, but in order is a possible restructuring of policy to make campuses less vulnerable to the possibility of an attack occurring. Alternatives exist to controlling gun violence that does not include allowing a completely armed society or student body to deal with it. A completely new policy is not what is needed to stop gun violence from occurring on campus’s, but a strengthening of the old policies is definitely needed in order to prevent future attacks on student bodies, as we’ve seen in recent years.
Gun Massacres do have an end to them but the steps to end them must be taken before we can say that we will have come close to eradicating the problems that cause gun violence to occur in the first place. Perhaps new policy could include keeping police stationed at strategic points on campus to better respond to threats right when they are called in, or arming security guards better, or perhaps doing random gun sweeps to make sure that no guns are on campus. These things would be more effective than arming, or allowing, an entire student body that could use he guns for anything. However, those opposed may see this as an infringement against gun rights, as Colorado found it recently to be in violation of state law. There is no evidence that says a well armed society is a polite society sans a quote popular amongst right wingers, and in this case it makes no sense to arm a society that would possibly not react in the way that is foreseen, especially if the consequences could be a lot worse than is intended. On the contrary, schools are generally safe areas, as evidenced by the isolated incidents of school shootings. Rubino, 2012) When the sheer number of schools in the United States is brought into account, and how few gun violence incidents there are, it makes sense not to arm a student body against a threat that likely will never occur within 50 miles of them, an overwhelming likeliness. A gun free campus is preferred to one with an abundance of guns and an atmosphere of paranoia that would follow suit in the case of it. The absence of guns on a school campus, or university campus would generally render a safer atmosphere, as well as one bereft of paranoia and anxiety from those who so choose not to carry guns with them.
Additionally, forcing guns into places where drinking and drug use is common may increase victims to gun violence, as alcohol impairs judgment and may not be the safest thing to have weapons around. (Brady Campaign, 2012) The policy that protects students should be changed, but as far as allowing guns to be everywhere, it may be too much to ask that an army of students be at the disposal of a school that likely will never in its existence see an incident in which guns are used against the student boy from a deranged lunatic bent on absolute chaos on the campus.
Proponents of gun laws for schools that would allow open carry to be an acceptable practice on school campuses cite that schools violate state laws, in some cases, when they do not allow students or faculty to concealed carry while on campus’s. This was the reason for the decision from the state of Colorado recently to allow guns to be carried by students and faculty on campuses, as long as they have a concealed weapons license.
The law previously did not extend to the University of Colorado, and the court recently ruled that it is unlawful that it does not. (Coffman, 2012) That raises the question of whether guns should be allowed on campuses in every state with laws allowing for concealed carry practices. Is it unlawful to deny those the right with a concealed weapon license to be able to carry guns on campus’s, regardless of their intention? It seems that the law could have some holes in it, notably it would if the licenses to concealed carry were not checked.
If concealed carry became a norm, how would anyone be able to tell the difference between those with a concealed weapon license and those without who brought the guns to commit less than noble acts upon a student body or a faculty member? The line easily could be blurred between who is there with honest intentions and who is there without. It could be, due to open concealed carry on campus’s, that one would be ‘undercover’ through a norm of concealment, in which they too brought a concealed weapon and it was not thought anything of due to others around having concealed weapons.
In this scenario, no one would question the legality of the weapon and it would then become a matter of guessing who was there with a license and who was not. This kind of guessing game is dangerous, and if weapons were forbidden on campus’s, or only allowed to faculty members, it would then be easier for law enforcement, the student body, and faculty to determine who was there with the wrong intentions. All they would need to do would be to look for the gun. School shootings have been in the news in recent times, especially the massacre at Virginia Polytechnic Institute (Virginia Tech) which claimed over 30 lives.
The question was raised “should students be allowed to have guns in order to prevent attacks like this from happening? ” some said that if someone would have been armed that the attacker would have been subdued and many lives would have been saved. The argument is made, essentially, that a well armed society would be able to engage in a shootout on an attacker that was committing gun violence and that it may deter the attack from happening in the first place.
Recently, 13 states are considering legislation that is aimed at creating concealed carry laws on college campuses. (Smalley, 2008) As of current, Arizona is trying to pass a bill to allow concealed carry on campuses, and Utah is the only one that does allow. (Edwards, 2011) This may not be entirely true, however, as someone committed to gun violence is going to commit the act anyway, and lives will still be lost. As a college student, the thought of someone going crazy with a gun is scary to me and is something that I worry about from time to time.
It is naive to think that there are no guns on college campus’s right now, and their legalization may just give law enforcement one less thing to worry about so they can focus on who is a threat with weapons and who is not. Additionally, school shootings have been stopped before due to teachers carrying guns, and it may be useful to allow them to continue to do so. (Hanford, 2008) However, as was pointed out earlier, it does not necessarily mean that everyone should have a gun.
A college or university is meant to be a place of learning and it is no place for guns to be had at by the students, unless their intention is to cause problems with them. What is the point of having guns there, anyway? To me, it makes no sense to have one on a college campus and any reason that one would have one besides being law enforcement is completely invalid. As was stated earlier, if guns were banned on campuses across the country, it would be easy to determine who was there with the intention to act as an assailant against a student body, and who was not.
A good balance between these though may be allowing staff members to have one in the classroom just in case a Virginia tech incident were to occur again, but arming the student population is not necessary at this time nor will it accomplish anything that would see fruitful results for a country with a relatively low amount of school shootings when compared with the amount of schools there are in the country. It will lead to more gun violence and make the campus’s a much less safe place than it was before the days of students being allowed to have guns on them freely.
In conclusion, guns have no place in the school environment and there are plenty of opportunities to defend students before another disaster strikes the campus’s like happened at Virginia tech or other schools in the past. The alternatives that exist are possibly arming the staff which would make campuses safer by acting as a deterrent to any armed attacks that might occur, but a learning facility is just that, for learning, and it should not incorporate the allowed carry or use of guns on them.
A school should remain a school, and it should not be a place that others fear getting shot at or being attacked, and if guns are allowed then the likelihood just goes up for that kind of senseless attack to occur on a campus, so it is in the best interest of everyone if guns are not allowed on campus’s. Though it is an abridgement of the second amendment, sometimes things must be abridged in order to achieve safety for all. Personally, I feel rights should sometimes be subverted in the interest of public safety.
The benefits of allowing guns on university campus’s are only that of stopping a potential attack, but those come up only once in a blue moon and entire policy should not be changed to accommodate it. The debate will always rage, as long as the constitution says that gun rights extend to everyone. There will never be a final solution to this problem, but the track record of safety for schools so far must be taken into account and for the most part they are safe. Whole new policy is not needed, but an understanding that sometimes shooters fall through the cracks.
It is an understanding of humanity and its side effects of existing that will plague us for as long as the species of humans is around. Humans are by no means perfect, and neither will their shooting track records, but human life is invaluable and a restructuring of policy to better protect it is something that could be in order very soon. Works Cited Coffman, Keith. “Colorado court says students can carry guns on campus. ” Reuters. Reuters News Agency, 5 Mar. 2012. Web. 5 Mar. 2012. . Edwards, D. (2008, January 17). After Tucson shootings, Ariz.
Republicans push for guns on school campuses | The Raw Story. The Raw Story | America’s #1 completely independent news and politics source. Retrieved February 29, 2012, from http://www. rawstory. com/rs/2011/01/17/shootings-ariz-republicans-guns-school-campuses/ Hanford, D. J. (n. d. ). Does Concealed Carry Make Sense In Schools And On Campus? – Facilities Management Educational Facilities Feature. Facilities Management Cost-Saving Ideas, Jobs, Experts, Technologies, Products, Articles, News, Education and more for Industry Professionals.
Retrieved February 29, 2012, from http://www. facilitiesnet. com/educationalfacilities/article/Does-Concealed-Carry-Make-Sense-In-Schools-And-On-Campus–10070 Rubino, T. (2012, February 19). Should guns be allowed on school campuses? – CBS 5 – KPHO . CBS 5 – KPHO – CBS 5 AZ KPHO | Phoenix, Arizona, breaking news, weather,channel. Retrieved February 29, 2012, from http://www. kpho. com/story/16955378/should-guns-be-allowed-on-school-campuses Smalley, S. (2008, February 14). More Guns on Campus? The Daily Beast. The Daily Beast. Retrieved February 29, 2012, from http://www. thedailybeast. com/newsweek/2008/02/14/more-guns-on-campus. html Woods, J. (2011, March 27). Allowing guns on campus won’t make schools safer – Houston Chronicle. Houston News, Sports, Business, and Entertainment – The Houston Chronicle at Chron. com – Houston Chronicle. Retrieved February 29, 2012, from http://www. chron. com/opinion/outlook/article/Allowing-guns-on-campus-won-t-make-schools-safer-1690745. php

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