Guns on College Campuses have the Potential to Do More Harm than Good


Source: Washington Monthly

Handgun lying over a copy of the United States constitution and the American flag.

Lindsey Parker, Reporter

10/6/2016, Dunbar HS, Attack on other persons(s) resulting in injury or death
9/15/2016, Tarleton State University, Gun fired but no one injured
9/8/2016 Alpine HS, Attack on other persons(s) resulting in injury or death

The U.S. averages almost one school shooting a week according to EveryTown Research. Since 2013, that’s a total of 198 incidents, and since September, in Texas alone, there’s been three reported gun-related concerns.

Students are easy targets, and in Texas, where it became legal on August 1 to carry weapons at all four year, state colleges, voters essentially painted a bright red bull’s-eye that directs potential shooters to take aim on the students enrolled in the Texas educational system.

Taking in account the experiences of prior victims, and considering the political and social issues from LGBTQ harassment to Black Lives Matter protests, it’s not in the best interest of anyone to carry firearms in a place with such diversity and a lot of students already realize this fact.

For example at the University of Texas protesters have been choosing to express their concerns through interesting ways, such as carrying sex toys to mock what they consider an absurd notion, the idea that guns are allowed in an academic setting. “The campus doesn’t want them [guns on campus],” said UT protest organizer Jessica Jin in an interview for New York Times. “It’s absurd. So, I thought, we have to fight absurdity with absurdity.” Students have expressed that in a strong manner that they think issuing licenses to carry firearms on a campus with hundreds of people is ridiculous.

Yet, it is Texas, and for every protester who uses their first amendment rights to speak out against a law that doesn’t protect them, there’s another person to shout that the law supports their second amendment rights, a right to bear arms.

Students for Concealed Carry fully endorses the movement of Texas college students who wish to openly carry. Brian Bensimon, SCC director for the state of Texas, said in an interview by The Dallas Morning News responded to UT protesters like Jessica Jin by stating, “If carrying a phallus to class helps you express yourself, go for it. We welcome this demonstration that freedom of speech and concealed carry of handguns can coexist on the same campus.”

While Bensimon may be right, both first and second amendment supporters can exist in harmony, he is wrong in believing that a school campus is a responsible place for concealed weapons.

Students must follow Jin’s lead and take action now. There are growing petitions and protests, so current college students can sign and join groups to make Texas college campuses safer place for students and faculty.

As far as high school students, we must also get involved now. The law approved in August was just a start. In August 2017, every two year state college campus will also be required by law to allow concealed weapons. Yet, we can use our voice for something good and stand up for what we believe. Since the law allows colleges to determine certain sensitive areas and buildings where concealed weapons can continue to be prohibited and to make rules establishing the storage of weapons in school housing, students and their parents can make a difference. The voices of those concerned about campus safety must be louder than those who are holding to their second amendment rights to bear arms. The justification should be clear. A gun may be capable of protecting, but, in educational institutions where brains are developing, stress is high and students are fired up about social issues, the reality is easy access to guns on campus has the potential to do more harm than good.