1 December 2015
Guns on College Campuses
The Second Amendment of the United States Constitution reads: “A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.” Many Americans believe that “the right of the people to keep and bear Arms” means that each individual has the right to carry a weapon. According to the Legal Information Institute, “under this ‘individual right theory,’ the United States Constitution restricts legislative bodies from prohibiting firearm possession, or at the very least, the Amendment renders prohibitory and restrictive regulation presumptively unconstitutional.” However, from the perspective of a collective rights theory, the Second Amendment declares that “citizens do not have an individual right to possess guns and that local, state, and federal legislative bodies therefore possess the authority to regulate firearms without implicating a constitutional right.” There have been approximately 160 school shootings in the United States since 2012. The fact that so many shootings have occurred in just a few years clearly proves there is a issue with gun accessibility This paper will discuss why guns should not be allowed on any school’s campus.
Should students and teachers be allowed to carry guns on college campus? This question was asked on Debate.org, and the results were in a close run with each other. Fifty-two percent of the voters agreed that firearms should be allowed on campus with the remaining forty-eight percent opposing. One voter on the opposing side expressed:
“It is incredibly unsafe. I am all for owning guns, as I have one myself. That being said I don’t think schools are places where they should be allowed. The only people that should be allowed to have guns in schools should be the police. It is easy to say that people should be able to protect themselves but it is also easy for mistakes to be made with a firearm. Even the police make mistakes with their firearms leading to disastrous results; multiply those mistakes by the amount of people on a college campus that could poten- tially have a concealed firearm and you have many tragedies just waiting to happen” (Debate.org)
While on the other hand, a voter on the affirmative side commented:
“If there is a killer someone needs to stop them Even if the killer is going on a spree the police wouldn’t get there on time There needs to be at least one person in a classroom with a gun in case the unthinkable happens. I agree with this so much because it is our 2nd amendment and it is our right to bear arms” (Debate.org).
I agree that guns should not be allowed on school campuses because adding more fire to the flame is not going to change anything. Allowing every college student to carry a firearm will give us more reason to have the fear of school shootings. It will be even harder to avoid or stop shootings with everyone having the ability to bring a gun to school.
Causes of school shootings cannot be specifically identified. According to Socialjusticesolutions.org,there are many reasons as to how school shootings can occur. One issue brought up was bullying. Bullying is something that’s been around for years but it is more prevalent now than ever (Nutt). More and more students are bringing their bullying to social media, where everyone can see it, and once it’s posted it can never be unseen (Nutt). If a person feels the whole world knows what has been said about them, there could be a feeling that it will take just as large of a show to solve the issues that were created. Also, the article speaks on low self-esteem issues. Many students do not have the confidence to be themselves and be happy with it (Nutt). Students are trying to impress the next student in order to fit in or to be liked, when they do not even like who they are themselves. More often than not, a school shooter is a loner that does not have many friends and who feels like an outcast. Students who are confident in themselves are typically not our college campus shooters.
On April 16, 2007, one of the deadliest shootings happened at Virginia Polytechnic Institute. A student at the school, named Seung Hui Cho, entered the dorms at 7:15 a.m., taking the lives of a male and female freshman. Then, hours later, entering classrooms and opening fire amongst students and teachers. Ultimately, Cho killed 32 people, then took his own life afterwards (Sanburn). This unfortunate incident brought a lot of national attention to how easy it is to gain access to a firearm. Many other shootings occurred just in this year without being publicized on national television such as on: October 9, 2015, 1 killed and 3 injured at Northern Arizona University in Flagstaff, Arizona; August 26, 2015, 1 killed and 1 injured at Texas Southern University in Houston, Texas; April 18, 2015, 3 injured at Delaware State University in Delaware; and the list continues on (Sanburn). With the prevalence of these shootings what are we doing to help prevent this from continuously happening?
Shortly after the Sandy Hooks shooting, CNN reported ten ways mass shootings can be prevented. First, there is the strengthening of gun laws, meaning, classes should be given based on gun safety and should be issued to certified users only (Saidi). Also, an internet exchange should not be made when purchasing something so dangerous. Another way is improve mental healthcare (Saidi). When a child is showing signs of depression or suicidal thoughts, take precaution rather than just assuming it’s puberty or just a phase. Not only can the previously mentioned help prevent school shootings, but improving school security is another great solution to help stop these incidents. Having more armed security guards on duty and more metal detectors at school entrances can eliminate a lot of unwanted guns.
While receiving an education at school, being physically hurt of any kind should never be an issue. More safety precautions have to be taking to secure a better environment for young adults. America’s future is at stake if the human race cannot come together and eliminate all of this senseless crime.
Nutt, Justin. “School Shootings and Possible Causes.” Social Justice Solutions. N.p., 14 Dec. 2013. Web. 01 Dec. 2015. <http://www.socialjusticesolutions.org/2013/12/14/school- shootings-possible-causes/>.
Saidi, Nicole. “10 Ways to Put Brakes on Mass Shootings in Schools – CNN.com.” CNN. Cable News Network, 14 Dec. 2012. Web. 01 Dec. 2015. <http://www.cnn.com/2012/12/14/us/ connecticut-shooting-reader-suggestions/>.
Sanburn, Josh. “These Are All the College Campus Shootings in 2015.” Time. Time, 1 Oct. 2015. Web. 01 Dec. 2015. <http://time.com/4058669/northern-arizona-university-school-shoot ings-2015/>.
“Re: Should Students and Teachers Be Allowed to Carry Guns on College Campuses for Person al Protection?” Weblog comment. Should Students and Teachers Be Allowed to Carry Guns on College Campuses for Personal Protection? N.p., n.d. Web. 01 Dec. 2015. <http://www.debate.org/opinions/should-students-and-teachers-be-allowed-to-carry-guns- on-college-campuses-for-personal-protection>.
“Second Amendment.” LII / Legal Information Institute. N.p., n.d. Web. 01 Dec. 2015. <https:// www.law.cornell.edu/wex/second_amendment>.
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