By Rose McNulty — @rose_mcnulty
In June, Texas lawmakers passed a bill allowing the concealed carry of firearms on college campuses. The law prohibits public universities from generally banning licensed owners of firearms from carrying them as long as they are concealed.
This makes Texas the eighth state to pass such legislation, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. While gun enthusiasts and others who support more relaxed gun laws feel that this will lead to a decrease in gun violence, I feel that this country should be taking steps in the opposite direction and placing more strict restrictions on firearms.
Many university officials are against the idea of allowing concealed carry on college campuses. ”I do not believe handguns belong on a university campus, so this decision has been the greatest challenge of my presidency to date,” University of Texas President Gregory Fenves said in a statement.
If people are able to carry concealed weapons on college campuses, there will only be more problems in the future. Whether it is an increase in actual shootings or active shooter situations, more guns will most likely result in more casualties.
Many people who agree with the law argue that the presence of more guns in general means that the public will be more safe and capable of self-defense. “An armed society is a safe society, so any time you have gun control, there is far more opportunity to become victims,” said Texas State Representative Jonathan Stickland in an interview with the New York Times.
However, most studies show that states with stricter gun control laws actually have fewer gun-related deaths, according to The Atlantic. The While it is not specific to college campuses, it is difficult to overlook this trend.
The ability to carry concealed on campuses may make some gun owners feel more safe, but the odds that a valiant citizen with a handgun will be there to save the day in the case of an active shooter are slim.
When people say that more guns will ensure that there is someone there to stop a potential threat, they are assuming that there is someone in the vicinity that not only has a handgun, but also that the person carrying the handgun is willing to put themselves closer to an active shooter to save others.
Furthermore, this person would have to have enough experience to be accurate under pressure, especially if the active shooter has a rifle or any gun that is easier to aim with from a distance. The odds that all of these things will fall perfectly into place during an active shooter situation are slim to none. Therefore, the ability to carry on a college campus only makes it easy and legal to bring firearms into a place where they pose a risk to students and professors.
College campuses and schools in general are places that are targeted anyway due to the amount of people who attend them. Everytown for Gun Safety has been compiling data about school shootings in America since 2013, and it is appalling how many incidents there have been. Allowing people to carry concealed on college campuses only adds to the risk that already exists in schools.
“I’m a guy that loves my guns. I have all sorts of guns. I just don’t think bringing guns on campus is going to make us any safer. If you’ve ever been shot at, which I have, then you have an appreciation for what a gun can do,” said Adm. William H. McRaven, the chancellor of the University of Texas System, in an interview with the New York Times. This goes to show that even those who are gun enthusiasts can see that it is unnecessary to allow concealed carry on a college campus.
If we want gun violence to stop, allowing concealed carry on college campuses is not the way to go about it. It is a difficult issue to fix, but having strict regulations on who can purchase a gun as well as strict regulations about who can carry in public, especially on college campuses, is definitely a better solution than having more relaxed laws about the concealed carrying of firearms.