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AUTHORIZING CONCEALED FIREARMS ON CAMPUS
The Virginia tech university massacre steered a reactionary idea that birthed the students for concealed carry on campus movement, and a litany of lawsuits aiming to coerce the universities to permit students and faculty to carry their licensed weapons on campus. But was this move acquainted or misled?
Previously, a state such as Utah authorized the carrying of licensed firearms to schools and institutions of higher learning. Since then Wisconsin followed Utah and eleven colleges permitted it. (Lott 325,326) Mr. John Lott in his book more guns less crime gives empirical examples in the U.S whereby a licensed civilian gun-holder arrested a situation which would have easily turned into a slaughter, recounting examples such as the Colorado Springs church shooting in 2007, Appalachian law school or even the high school shooting of Memphis and Mississippi. (Kopel2009) Mr. Kopel cites considerable instances globally where government-backed and trained civilians with guns helped arrest terrorist attacks in Israeli schools and in southern Thailand schools. While such instances set precedents for a strong pro-gun movement and strongly rationalize the reasons behind permitting adults with licensed guns into college campuses, it also is blind to the imminent danger extended by having almost every licensed adult in academic institutions armed. According to the American journal of public health, the perpetrators of the Virginia, Tucson and aurora shootings were persons suffering from serious mental health illnesses, which includes schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. With the sky-rocketing number of young people getting diagnosed with mental health-related problems in the United States, it is a motivation to reconsider permitting concealed firearms on campuses.
(Lott 2010) Mr. Lott brings up several critics that do not subscribe to the very arguments enshrined in his book. With most of them picking fault with the very title of his book, more guns less crime. It could be argued that what stops the same licensed civilian with a gun from harming fellow civilians either intentionally or in a crossfire with an attacker. While this is highly hypothetical the notion of more guns assures a safer society is solely pegged on the very precarious moral responsibility and discipline of the gun holder, which ebbs when a person is drunk or high on drugs or even when a person has a serious mental disorder. More often than not the most prominent offense by gun violence perpetrators is by far not a mass shooting, pinnacling the records are homicide, suicide, burglary, gang violence and rape. According to a survey conducted by Michael R. Cavanaugh et al, that sought to get students opinions on this topic, and an overwhelming majority felt reasonably uncomfortable with the college permitting students and faculty to carry concealed guns on campus, what also came out of the survey was that students most probable to carry guns on campus were predominantly white, male, engage in binge drinking and other risky behaviors. This statistic consequently, is very reflective of what an on-campus permit would look like and therefore feel like. The permit would work to the advantage of the majority groups disenfranchising the minorities and its aftermath will be the complete opposite of what is originally thought of as the antidote. Authorizing firearms on campus is an idea that requires a lot of considerations and should not be taken as a spontaneous solution to the insecurity problem of the students and faculty on campus, if anything there is a great chance of it turning into a security threat. while it may have worked in previous cases it does not guarantee us the very fundamental solution to gun violence in the country. Instead a lot should be underlined on preparing the security personnel and implementation of stricter gun control laws.
American journal of public health December 2012, Vol 102, Michael Cavanaugh et al,
American journal of public health February 12, 2014, Ph.D. Emma E. McGinty et al,
Connecticut law review, Vol 42, December 2009, No 2, David B. Kopel
More guns less crime; understanding crime and gun control laws third edition, John R. Lott