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The Daily Wildcat

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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

More guns on campus will result in more danger, not more safety

 Arizona Rep. Sonny Borelli recently moved to pass a bill that would allow people to carry concealed weapons on college campuses in Arizona.

This was left up to the administrations of individual colleges and none of the major Arizona universities allowed guns on their campuses. If this bill, HB 2072, had passed, it would have overruled any campus policies against weapons, making our campuses more dangerous than ever.

Proponents of guns on campuses claim that a “good guy with a gun” can stop a “bad guy with a gun,” but how many times have we heard of that scenario actually happening?

Even in instances where someone with a gun has stopped or hindered a shooter, the one who stopped the shooter was a police officer, former military member, security guard or a person with professional firearms training.

Less than 2 percent of mass shootings have actually been stopped by armed civilians. Most of the interventions occur after the shooting has happened and people have already died. While it is possible the shooter may have been stopped from killing more people, these situations are seldom and rare.

When the police arrive on scene, they cannot tell who is the actual shooter and who is the armed civilian trying to stop the shooter since they are both holding guns. Sen. Steve Farley, who is opposed to HB 2072, argues that, “[the police] do not want a so-called hero on the scene of the shooting because they don’t know who is the good guy and who is the shooter.”

College campuses are supposed to be places of free speech, where different opinions are shared and students can express themselves without having to fear for their safety.

Take the UA campus for example.

Students from all different groups gather on the UA Mall, talking about their opinions freely to whoever will listen. This could all change if students are suddenly allowed to carry guns around campus. Others may feel threatened to speak their minds for fear of violent retribution.

What happens when a student with a gun becomes angry at others and decides to take matters into their own hands?

We saw this only a few months ago at Northern Arizona University, when one student was killed and three others were wounded by a student shooter. A fight got out of hand and the shooter grabbed his gun out of his car and shot four students.

What happens when a student has too much to drink and gets into a fight at a crowded party? What happens when someone with a gun assaults an unarmed student walking home from the library at night? What happens when a student fails a class and decides to take out their anger on the professor?

While school shootings have happened even on a weapon-free campus, deliberately allowing firearms on our campuses would open the door to a host of potential problems and accidents. Most people do not buy a gun with the intent to do harm; but with the amount of stress and mental health problems facing college students, the chance that someone will snap is high, and having a gun readily available may seem like a way out of their problems.

Having guns on campus is not going to make us any safer, and will quickly diminish students’ peace of mind.


Follow Apoorva Bhaskara on Twitter


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