Just when we think the gun control issue is coming to a close, Liberty University, located in Virginia, makes a decision that stirs it all right back up.
Liberty is allowing loaded guns inside the classrooms and buildings as long as the students have a permit and permission from campus police, according to Huffington Post. And if that doesn’t sound crazy enough, staff and visitors can carry and walk on to campus with loaded guns, as well. The only restriction is that guns are not allowed in residential living areas.
Speaking as a college student, I can vouch that these years are emotional. So many stressful moments, but even more great ones. That being said, everyone handles his or her emotions differently. Sadly, as we have seen happen in the past, when a person’s depression or emotions gets the best of them, they can take it out on themselves and even others.
The Huffington Post article stated that they want their students and staff to feel protected in the case of a shooter coming on to their campus.
Let’s take a look at just a few of the horrific gun-related tragedies within the past years.
There was the Virginia Tech shooting involving a gun-man, Cho Seung-Hui, who we all remember shot and killed 32 people. What we later found out was that he was a student there himself.
And keep in mind this was before guns were starting to be allowed at schools. What will happen if students are actually given permission to have guns?
I feel that if schools want to find ways to protect students then there are countless other ways to go about it. Schools should have such strict security that students and staff shouldn’t even have the chance to feel unprotected.
When we hear about the tragic school shootings, many people are curious as to how the shooter was brought up or what his family situation was like. In some cases, the shooter might have bad blood with his family and take his anger out in the worst and most dramatic way possible at them. While others, raised well at home and at school, chose their own path and make a horrible decision.
In the case of Adam Lanza, the Sandyhook Elementary School shooter, Lanza killed 26 students, all aged six and seven, and six adults.
However, this specific situation isn’t fully due to bad security. The school locks all doors at 9:30 a.m. and then have all visitors buzz in upon arrival. CNN reports that the front entrance doors were, in fact, locked, and Lanza shot the lock enough times to get himself in.
These are just two of the gun related school tragedies that have taken place, and I believe that by Liberty University allowing students to carry loaded guns, they are allowing much bigger issues to take place.
What will stop a student from shooting up the school when he doesn’t get his or her way? What will stop emotionally unstable people from making a huge mistake?
“A student with a concealed weapon is unlikely to prevent a mass shooting or crime,” John Johnson, spokesman for the Campaign to Keep Guns Off Campus, told the News & Advance. “On the other hand, the unintended consequences of gun possession by students and others— a shooting during an argument or dispute, attempted suicide, unintentional shooting, etc.— are real and make the college campus more dangerous every hour of every day.”
Johnson couldn’t have explained it better. Liberty is practically handing all control over to their students, who I believe are not in a place to have that responsibility and control. So many negative things can, in fact, come from what Liberty believes is a hopeful and positive approach to safety.
I immensely respect the fact that Liberty wants the best for their students and staff, but I do not fully agree with the way they are going about it.
The one part of this new rule that I can’t get my mind to wrap around is the fact that visitors and guests are allowed to bring guns on campus, too. I just cannot understand that. What do visitors and guests need to protect themselves from? I feel in many cases, it is THEM who are the threat.
“Every year, an average of 9,200 Americans are murdered by handguns, according to Department of Justice statistics,” Ronald Reagan said during aquestion-and-answer session with high-school students on November 14, 1988. “This does not include suicides or the tens of thousands of robberies, rapes and assaults committed with handguns. This level of violence must be stopped.”
Yes, I know this was over 20 years ago, and yes I still think it is relevant. Guns have not magically become better over the years, but in fact, I feel we can all see based on history that they do more harm.
Let’s leave our campuses weapon-free, and leave it to the police and security to keep us safe and not rely on other students to do so.