Written by Zenobia Harris, Copy Editor
To carry or not to carry—that has been a big part of the controversy surrounding guns on college campuses, and both recent and not-so-recent campus shootings have contributed to the debate, and justifiably has left people on both sides of the issue quite concerned for students’ safety. I’m sure both would agree that we have to do what is in the best interest of the students and faculty.
But is the solution to allow them to carry guns on campus? Not necessarily.
The website, Concealed Campus, argues that because police officers don’t have months of training to carry guns, students who carry don’t need months of training either. They just need to know how to protect themselves from an immediate threat. But shouldn’t this fact be part of the reason why students shouldn’t carry weapons? It should be noted that when a trained officer fires their weapon, they are in a high stress situation which makes it harder to hit their target. According to a study done by RAND Corporation, on average, officers hit their targets only 30 percent of the time. Imagine giving a firearm to a student who has had much less experience and far less training shooting a gun to protect themselves in an area where other students may be present. The chances of the student hitting their intended target is very slim, and could cause harm to other students who may be in the area.
Another argument that is made by gun lobbyists is that allowing students to carry firearms could help prevent many instances of sexual assault that happen on college campuses across the country. Michele Fiore, a Nevada legislator, made the derogatory comment that if “young, hot little girls” carried guns with them on campus, they would no longer be targets for sexual assault.
However, according to CNN article, “Say No to Guns on College Campuses” and Think Progress, campus carry increases the likelihood of a rape victim dying by more than 500 percent. In most cases when sexual assault occurs, victims are taken by surprise and the assaulter is likely to be someone that the victim knows and is close to; both of which could make it ten times harder for a rape victim to gain access to and fire their weapons.
There are a variety of other ways that students can stay safe without having to wield a firearm, and most importantly, there are campus police officers and staff whose main charge is to protect the students. Adding more guns to the mix couldn’t possibly make the campus any safer. The best thing for us to do is to allow these officials to do their jobs and make sure that they ae properly trained and prepared to protect the student body in a state of emergency.