July 19, 2018 | ° F

Guns add dangers to college campuses

Stereotypically speaking, Texans love their guns. Perhaps the Texas House of Representatives loves guns too much  — more than half of the members have co-authored a measure, which would essentially force universities to allow students and professors to carry concealed handguns on campus. There is a sort of "fight fire with fire" mentality behind the bill, as Sen. Jeff Wentworth, R-San Antonio, expressed when said, "It's strictly a matter of self-defense … I don't ever want to see repeated on a Texas college campus what happened at Virginia Tech, where some deranged, suicidal madman goes into a building and is able to pick off totally defenseless kids like sitting ducks." We understand that the Texas House wants to avoid such a tragedy, but they have to realize that the cons definitely outweigh the pros in this scenario. College students are not exactly the ideal candidates for wielding concealed firearms.

For most students, college is a turbulent time. For many of them, it is the first time they have been away from home and on their own for an extended period of time. What usually follows is some pretty ridiculous debauchery. The average University student has probably been in a number of situations where they have witnessed  — or maybe even taken part in  — a brawl between intoxicated students for seemingly no reason. Now consider how differently that situation may play out if one or more of the people involved were carrying a handgun. It is not hard to imagine a student making a serious mistake while overcome by alcohol and passion. A good way to avoid such an awful possibility is to not allow students to carry concealed weaponry.

Also, more armed students means more people capable of going on the sort of rampage that occurred at Virginia Tech. So while the bill may have been proposed as a means of combating school shootings, it may actually end up contributing to them in the end. Glen Johnson, Chancellor of the Oklahoma State System of Higher Education, said it best: "There is no scenario where allowing concealed weapons on college campuses will do anything other than create a more dangerous environment for students, faculty, staff and visitors." If Texas really wants to promote the safety of their students, they should take a different route. For example, they could require that schools hire more armed security personnel  — these are the only sorts of people who should be carrying guns on university campuses. Texas lawmakers need to remember that violence is never the answer.

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