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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

The not-so-loaded gun: a retrospective

Finally.

The heist that I have been planning with my crew of hilariously quirky thieves can finally take place now that the Arizona Legislature has passed Arizona Revised Statute 12-781, which is a gun law that restricts public employers and property owners from enforcing a policy prohibiting the transportation and storage of firearms in a private vehicle, according to a recent Daily Wildcat report.  

My cronies’ only obstacle to completion had been those dastardly security check points posted all over campus, where UA security would prevent us from bringing a small, security-system-jamming Electro-Magnetic Pulse (cleverly disguised as a legally owned handgun within a locked container) onto campus.  

With that hurdle out of the way, the secret collection of priceless Faberge eggs in the secret compartment under President Shelton’s desk will be ours.

Admittedly, the previous paragraphs were rife with absurdity, but it was not more absurd than the amount of attention and misinformation that has plagued the university for the past two weeks, all dealing with the prickly pear of recently passed legislation.

Now that the dust has cleared, some chests have been sufficiently beaten and the truth has been effectively mired in mud, it seems like an appropriate time to take a retrospective look at the issue.

A.R.S. 12-781, the piece of Arizona legislation at the heart of this cluster of nonsense, says very little about college campuses. It’s purpose is to restrict employers from passing or upholding policies that prohibit employees from storing guns in their car in the employer’s parking lot.

This forced the Arizona Board of Regents’ hands in upholding Policies 5-303 (Prohibited Conduct) and 5-308 (Student Code of Conduct), which they have now edited in order to avoid conflict with A.R.S. 12-781.

Simple, right? No conspiracy to eventually move the UA down the slippery slope toward a gun-wielding population where the only law is the one you make with your revolver and the man who survives is the man with the fastest draw.

Instead, the law is more oriented toward those who can and do legally carry firearms and would be otherwise inconvenienced if they couldn’t transport those firearms with them to and from their house, work and other destinations.

A rancher carries a rifle and a permit, which he uses at work. He works across town from his home, and his child’s school lies somewhere in between. Can he drop his kids off at school, get to work on time, pick them up, and get home in two trips? Now he can! Thanks, A.R.S. 12-781!

This all seems both straightforward and innocuous, but paranoia and misinformation are a powerful force for making issues out of the irrelevant.

The main argument against the policy change deals with issues of safety and an increased presence of guns on campus.

But if we’re being practical about this, how does a law allowing a concealed, secured, legal weapon to be stored in a parked vehicle impact the safety of the average UA student?

Are people still prohibited from carrying a gun on campus? Yes.

Are people still prohibited from having a gun out of secured vehicle? Yes.

Do criminals still ignore the law in order to commit crime without much consideration for the rights and safety of others? Yes.

More saddening than impractical arguments against the policy change was the fervor with which the fear mongering around the policy was spread without check on campus.

Nothing is more indicative of the relative irrelevance of this policy change than ASUA’s inability to effectively generate a mass consensus from the student body and take a strong stance against the policy, minus the official statement which ranked rhetorically just below “”Guns are bad, mmmkay?””

In short, don’t let hype and fear control your interpretation of what’s going on with this issue. Don’t take my word for it, either. As far as you know, I’m getting a secret stipend from the big bad gun manufacturers in exchange for supporting the weakening of gun control and the corrosion of Arizona schools to martial law.

Do your research, figure out the truth for yourself, and don’t forget to secure and hide your firearm before you park your car on campus.

— Remy Albillar is a sophomore majoring in English. He can be reached at letters@wildcat.arizona.edu.

 

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