Some reasons why colleges should look at the laws that they put in place and try to change them. Students should have the right to conceal weapons on college campuses. The guns provide the protection that may be necessary in certain situations. Like the Virginia Tech Shooting, many people could have been saved if only one person had a gun. Having a gun gives a sense of safety to many people on the campus, especially for women with a greater risk of intruders and rapists. For these women, knowing that they have a way to defend themselves can set their minds to ease. Though some believe that the allowance of guns would increase violence on campus, no other college that has allowed concealed firearms has had an issue. Another concerning issue would be that having guns on campus would be easier for students to commit suicide; there are just some things in life that authorities cannot control, and that is one of them. The right to have a concealed weapon on campus should be conveyed freely.
Position Paper – Legalize Concealed Weapons on College Campuses
Liberty senior, Craig Storrs, says, “It makes me feel secure knowing I would be able to defend myself if something does happen, like Virginia Tech or if I get stopped on the street for a mugging or something like that” (Barry, 2011). The topic of legalizing concealed weapons on college campuses has been argued for many years. Some colleges have legalized concealed weapons on campus and have not had problems, but many will not even think about legalizing concealed weapons. Carrying a concealed weapon at the age of 21 is a right including a college campus, because it offers protection and safety to students (Students for concealed, 2008).
Background of Concealed Weapons on College Campuses
Since the Virginia Tech shooting, many colleges have changed their on-campus laws concerning firearms. In eight states, the legislation is considering if students and staff would be able to carry a concealed weapon into college buildings. Many officials did not want to have another repeat the Virginia Tech shooting. Two years before the Virginia Tech shooting, the lawmakers of Texas rejected a bill to allow concealed weapons onto college campuses. Since then, the bill has come back with better arguments for the right to have a concealed weapon on college campuses. Corey Zipper, a twenty-one year-old psychology major, went to the state capitol to talk to the officials to pass the bill.
Corey Zipper stated, “We get the mature thing a lot – that college students aren’t mature enough. And the alcohol thing – that we’re all just boozed up all the time” (Burnett, 2011). He also states that the law states that “a person much be 21 years old, have a clean record and no psychiatric disorders, and take a 10-hour instruction course that includes time at a firing range” (Burnett, 2011). In 2009 Texas passed the bill to legalize having a concealed weapon on college campus (Burnett, 2011).
It Gives Protection
Allowing students to carry a gun could save their lives. Life can be unpredictable, so when something happens people should be prepared. If by being prepared means they need to carry a gun, then why would the state want to take that right from someone? A person has the right to protect his/herself and others, and a responsible firearm owner would do such. Many lives could be saved by the simple action of allowing concealed weapons on college campuses (Concealed Guns, 2011).
Background of Virginia Tech Shooting
On April 16, 2007, Seung-Hui Cho, student at Virginia Tech, began his shooting around 7:15 A.M. in a co-ed dormitory. He first killed Emily Hilsher and Ryan Clark. The Virginia Tech Police Chief said, “We secured the building, we secured the crime scene” (Caruso, n.d.). The authorities did not put the college on lock down and had classes as schedualed. Seung-Hui Cho did not leave the campus; around 9:15 A.M. he started to kill again. He went into the engineering and science building and chained the doors so no one could escape.
He then went into classroom after classroom; he killed 25 more students and five faculty members. Twenty-nine people were wounded. In the end Cho also took his life (Caruso, n.d.). It was reported that nineteen of the thirty-two victims that were killed were over the age of 21. The age of 21 is the legal age for the right to conceal a weapon in Virginia. If these students would have been able to carry a firearm onto campus, then perhaps these lives could have been saved. Instead of thirty-three lives taken that day, there should have been one. Innocent people would not have died (Students for concealed, 2008).
Concealed Weapons Should not Depend on Location
It is stated in the Constitution that a person has the right to bear arms at the age of 21. This law does not give specific places that are prohibited. People should not have to put their concealed weapon away because of where they are (The Right to Keep and Bear Arms, 1982).
Public Places People can Carry Weapons
Though colleges are small, some places that allow concealed weapons are smaller. When a person goes to the movies, they are allowed to carry a concealed weapon. No one would ever know because the weapon is concealed. Other places would include a shopping mall. When people are shopping, the last thing they are thinking is that the people next to them might have a gun on them (Students for concealed, 2008).
Make College Students Feel Safer
The right to conceal a weapon could put some students at ease. Knowing that they have a way to save themselves in dangerous situations may make the students more relaxed. If a student comes across a dangerous situation, then they are prepared. These students do not have to worry about what to do (Marin, 2012).
College Intruders and Rapists
It is easy for intruders to get into dorms. In New York, two men got into a building by sneaking in behind another guy after he swiped his card. When the college police were called they came and took the men without calling the cops. If this were to happen again, these men would be taken to the authorities. Knowing that it is easy for strange people to get into housing, it not be a good idea to rob students the right to have a concealed weapon. This would give some students that okay to live life and other the need of protection that they might not be able to find anywhere else (Rearick, 2011). One in four women have the chance of being raped in college. Guns could help defend so many different women. They could have gotten out of the situation if they just had a way of defense. Sometimes women are physically too weak to run from situations like that and the allowance of a gun would provide that opportunity to them (College Crime Today, n.d.).
Counterargument: Guns on Campus Would Promote Violence
. “Some professors might be afraid to issue bad grades if they know that students could be carrying guns” (Students for concealed, 2008). Some people believe that allowing student to carry firearms would push them to be violent. If the students are allowed to carry firearms, then they will not be afraid to use them. If there was an argument with another student, then these students would be tempted to use the gun to scare or even harm the other student (Students for concealed, 2008).
Logical Response: Guns on Campus Would not Promote Violence
There has been over thirty colleges campuses that have allowed concealed weapons on their campuses. These campuses have had no issues with gun violence, and there has not been a gun theft or accident in all these years. This shows that it is a possibility to carry conceal weapons and still get a great education with no distraction with no violence. Studies show, “concealed handgun license holders are five times less likely than non-license holders to commit violent crimes” (Students for concealed, 2008).
Counterargument: Guns on Campus Would Encourage Suicide
Some believe that allowing students to obtain firearms would increase the likelihood suicide. They would have all the resources they need now that they are able to carry concealed firearms. This would make it easier for these students to commit suicide without anyone knowing until after the fact. This would then increase the suicide numbers dramatically. Allowing a student to carry a firearm that could potentially use to kill themselves is not the way to help (Students for concealed, 2008).
Logical Response: Guns on Campus Would not Encourage Suicide
According to detectives, “Studies show that 90% of suicides are committed in the home” (Students for concealed, 2008). Since the legal age to own a concealed weapon is 21, most students at this age live off campus. This would not affect the numbers as much as the colleges think it would. If people really wanted to commit suicide, then nothing would stand in their way. Allowing them to conceal a gun will just give them an easier way out (Students for concealed, 2008).
During the Virginia Tech Shooting many lives could have been saved. Students could also feel safer knowing that they have something there to protect themselves and others if needed. Though students could turn to violence many are very responsible to be carrying this gun in the first place. They just cannot get a gun; they have to go through the process. Another concern would be suicide, but since most of the students live off campus anyway nothing would stop that. It would be a lost cause to put a ban on concealed weapons when there is nothing to prevent suicide in the first place. Once the right training classes are taken, it should not be a problem for a person to be able to carry his/her gun that he/she worked hard to get and paid for. The right to have a concealed weapon on campus should be expressed freely.
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